SAN DIEGO -- It wasn't a complete surprise Saturday when Orioles manager Buck Showalter pulled Troy Patton into his office in Baltimore and informed the reliever he was being traded to the Padres.
"I had heard the whispers before so I was somewhat prepared for the possibility of getting traded," he said. "It wasn't a complete shock, but whenever it does actually happen, it's obviously such a drastic change, so it's a little bit to get used to."
Patton had the length of his long flight from Baltimore to San Diego on Saturday to ponder his change of scenery and what it means for him, joining a new team, a new league and his role, as he now steps into a bullpen that ranks among the best in the game.
"It's been a little busy, but I'm ready to go," Patton said.
The Padres dealt catcher Nick Hundley and $1.5 million to the Orioles for Patton, a left-hander who has a 3.28 ERA in parts of six seasons in the big leagues, the last five in the Orioles organization.
Patton sat out first 25 games of season after testing positive for amphetamine (Adderall). In nine games this season since he came back from his suspension, Patton had an 8.10 ERA over 6 2/3 innings.
The Orioles leaned on Patton heavily in 2012 and 2013, as he appeared in over 50 games each season and had ERAs of 2.43 and 3.70.
"I'd like to think that I've found a niche to stay in the Major Leagues," he said. "This year has been a little bit different obviously, but I felt good the last three years before that. I felt like I belonged here and I earned it a little bit more."
Patton gives the Padres a second left-hander in the bullpen to go with Alex Torres. Like Torres, Patton won't necessarily be used as a left-handed specialist.
"He's a good fit for us as a second lefty back there. With the current state of affairs with the injuries, we wanted an experienced arm," said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes.