Vicente Padilla's stock has risen dramatically since he signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in August. He posted a 3.20 ERA in 39.3 innings, and was brilliant finishing off the Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLDS. He received hugs from Joe Torre and Ned Colletti and kind words from his new teammates.
Padilla will be a free agent this winter. His checkered history will likely limit him to one-year offers. Through the years Padilla missed significant time with triceps, shoulder, and elbow injuries. He was suspended twice for throwing at hitters, and led all of baseball in HBPs (98) from 2002 to 2009. His Rangers teammates complained about him and applauded his exit. He battled a drinking problem that resulted in a July 2006 DWI (the Rangers signed him to a $33MM deal that winter anyway). By this summer the Rangers were fed up, designating Padilla for assignment and eating over $5MM of his contract.
Where do you see Padilla landing, and what type of contract will he receive? Given all the good vibes, I expect the Dodgers to look into re-signing him to a one-year deal, worth perhaps $4MM plus incentives. Back when Padilla was a free agent in December of '06, Mets GM Omar Minaya was among those interested. Will Minaya renew his interest three years later? The Nationals, Diamondbacks, and Brewers figure to be in the market for free agent starting pitching as well.