Left-hander Eric Stults has chosen to become a free agent after the Padres outrighted him to Triple-A, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Twitter link). Stults was designated for assignment by the Padres last week.
As Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune recently explained, the Padres’ decision to designate Stults was largely based on financial reasons (the $4.6MM he’d earn through the arbitration process, as projected by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz) rather than the southpaw’s performance as a Padre. Stults has been a reliable innings-eater since joining the team in May 2012, posting a 3.87 ERA and 2.71 K/BB rate over 472 IP. The advanced metrics, however, rank Stults as a below-average performer at pitcher-friendly Petco Park, so the Friars felt they could afford to let Stults go in lieu of their other pitching depth.
Stults, who turns 35 next month, has a career 4.12 ERA over 635 2/3 IP with the Padres, White Sox, Rockies and Dodgers over eight Major League seasons.