The Padres have added right hander James Bourque on a minor league deal, per his MLB.com transaction page.
Bourque, 26, hasn’t appeared in the majors since getting a handful of innings with the Nationals back in 2020. That year, he tossed just four innings of relief, giving up three earned runs and walking five batters. He also appeared in a single game in 2019, and all told has pitched 4 2/3 big league innings for a 13.50 ERA.
A 14th round pick by the Nats back in 2014, Bourque worked as a starter initially, but after struggling to a 5.03 ERA in A-ball in 2017 he was moved into a relief role. He immediately found success there, seeing his strikeout rate surge while working to a 1.70 ERA in 53 relief innings between Single and Double-A in 2018. A major league debut would come in 2019, but as touched on, he hasn’t found success at the highest level to date.
Injuries have limited Bourque to just 8 1/3 minor league innings since being released by the Nationals at the end of the 2020 season. Those innings came during a stint in the Cubs organization in last year, when Bourque struck out 16 batters in those 8 1/3 innings, but also walked nine. He’ll head west to join the Padres and hope to find a way back onto a big league roster.