The Mariners announced that they’ve traded infielder Luis Sardinas to the Padres in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Padres have also announced the move, adding that Sardinas has been optioned to Triple-A El Paso, and right-hander Erik Johnson has been moved to the 60-day disabled list in order to create a spot on the 40-man roster.
Seattle designated Sardinas, 23, for assignment last week after he posted a meager .181/.203/.264 slash in 77 big league plate appearances and a similarly uninspiring .252/.295/.276 batting line in 177 Triple-A plate appearances. A disappointing 2016 campaign notwithstanding, Sardinas is a former Top 100 prospect that is a known commodity to San Diego GM A.J. Preller, who signed Sardinas out of Venezuela in 2009 with the Rangers and watched him develop into a well-regarded infield prospect. Sardinas has experience at shortstop, third base and second base in both the Majors and minors, and he’s a career .279/.311/.347 hitter at the Triple-A level even when including this season’s dismal results.
At the peak of his prospect status, Sardinas drew praise from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo for his “terrific defensive skills” and “outstanding arm” as well as a contact-oriented approach that allowed him to hit line-drives to all fields. Sardinas has solid speed — 107 steals in 142 attempts in the minors — and hits from both sides of the plate. While he may not be as well-regarded as he once was, he makes for a reasonable low-cost addition with the upside of at least being a glove-first utility option for a Padres organization that is presently thin on infield depth at the upper levels of its minor league system.