Padres pitcher Clayton Richard opts for free agency

USA TODAY Sports

Richard missed the final three months of the season after having season ending surgery but should be healthy for spring training.

Starting pitcher Clayton Richard elected to become a free agent Monday after being outrighted by the San Diego Padres, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

More from Gas Lamp Ball: Clayton Richard becomes a free agent

Richard made just 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2013 due to two seperate injures. The first, an intestinal virus, kept him out for a few weeks. The second was more serious: Richard needed surgery to repair an AC Joint in his right shoulder that ended his season in July.

When he was able to pitch, Richard suffered through a disappointing campaign. He posted a 7.01 ERA and 1.63 WHIP while posting a strikeout to walk ratio of just 24:21 in over 50 innings. From 2010-2012, Richard made 84 starts for the Padres, posting a combined 3.88 ERA.

The Padres 40-man roster is currently full, meaning they had nowhere to put Richard when he was set to come off the 60-day disabled list. It's possible he could return to the team if they have an opening later in the offseason. He is expected to be fully healthy for spring training.

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