San Diego Padres Rumors

San Diego Padres trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Padres Claim Chris Rearick, Designate Caleb Thielbar

The Padres claimed left-hander Chris Rearick off waivers from the Rangers, the team announced (via Twitter).  In a corresponding move, San Diego designated southpaw Caleb Thielbar for assignment.

Rearick is back with the Padres just a few days after the Rangers themselves claimed him off waivers.  Rearick had been designated for assignment by San Diego and was quickly DFA’ed again by Texas to make room for young lefty Andrew Faulkner.  Rearick made his MLB debut earlier this season with the Padres, and he has a 12.00 ERA over three innings in the Show.

San Diego claimed Thielbar off waivers after Minnesota designated him assignment on July 31.  The lefty has a 2.41 ERA over 41 innings for the Padres’ and Twins’ Triple-A affiliates, despite an unimpressive 1.09 K/BB rate (25 strikeouts and 23 walks).  This year’s peripherals aside, Thielbar has posted solid numbers over his minor league career and he has a 2.74 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.63 K/BB rate over 98 2/3 Major League innings with the Twins.

Thielbar joins five other players in “DFA limbo,” and you can keep track of their status via the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker.


Cafardo On Rangers, Jackson, Brewers, Yankees

The Red Sox didn’t go by MLB’s minority hiring rules when they interviewed only Dave Dombrowski for the president of baseball ops role but they have been instructed to do so for the GM job, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes.  If the Red Sox take the step of hiring a minority GM candidate, Cafardo suggests that Ken Williams would be a strong choice if he chooses to leave Chicago.  Here’s more from today’s column..

  • The Rangers were very interested in acquiring Austin Jackson “a few days ago,” but nothing came of those talks, Cafardo writes.  Jackson, 28, cleared waivers last week and was said to be generating interest, though it appears that no one wanted to take the remaining ~$1.7MM salary off the Mariners‘ hands.
  • Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is in play for the Brewers job, a major league source tells Cafardo.  “Despite his last-place finishes he’s seen as a team builder, especially when it comes to farm systems,” said the source.   The Angels, Mariners, and Phillies are also thought to be possibilities for Cherington.
  • The Yankees have been blocked in every attempt to add to their pitching, both out of the bullpen and in the starting rotation. Baseball sources tell Cafardo that GM Brian Cashman doesn’t seem optimistic about his odds of pulling anything off.  The Mets have been blocked from adding a reliever as well.
  • The Royals want a backup catcher for the playoffs just in case something happens to Salvador Perez.  KC turned down the opportunity to land A.J. Pierzynski from the Braves, Cafardo writes, but they’re still looking for an affordable left-handed hitting backstop. Some KC scouts like the Red Sox’s Ryan Hanigan, but he hits right-handed and has a $3.7MM salary next year with an option for 2017.
  • Unsurprisingly, Cafardo hears that the Rangers are looking for offense, the Twins are looking for relief help, and the Blue Jays want to add to their bullpen.  However, a deal for Toronto doesn’t seem likely at this time.
  • Cafardo writes that the Nationals, Padres, Red Sox, Mariners, Reds, Orioles, Indians, and Tigers are expected to be quite active this winter.

Mets Claim Marc Rzepczynski On Revocable Waivers, In Talks With Padres

8:42pm: The Mets are unlikely to work out a trade with the Padres for Rzepczynski, a source tells Newsdays’ Marc Carig. At this time, it’s unclear if that’s because the club landed an alternative. The acquisition of Addison Reed doesn’t necessarily affect the Mets interest in Rzepczynski since the latter reliever is a lefty specialist. 

4:15pm: The Mets have claimed Padres lefty Marc Rzepczynski, Rosenthal tweets. It’s not yet clear exactly when they would need to complete a deal for him. Rzepczynski, who turns 30 today, has a 4.88 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 27 2/3 innings this year with Cleveland and San Diego. The Padres acquired him for Abraham Almonte at last month’s deadline. He’s making $2.4MM this season and will be eligible for arbitration again this winter. He might not be the only player they’re working on acquiring — Rubin tweets that the Mets have claimed a reliever from another NL team.

3:09pm: The Mets claimed the reliever from an NL team and are currently in discussions with that team, Rubin tweets.

2:07pm: The Mets have made a claim involving a reliever on revocable waivers and are waiting to see how it turns out, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). It’s unclear whether the pitcher’s current team will pull him back from waivers or let him go, either by simply by allowing the waiver claim or by negotiating a trade.

1:34pm: The Mets are progressing on a move to add a reliever, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. He emphasizes that a deal might not ultimately be consummated, but writes that the team is involved in real discussions.

Earlier this week, it looked like the Mets might not be able to strike a deal, and GM Sandy Alderson had previously expressed pessimism about the possibility of making a trade. Now that a trade looks more likely, though, it seems likely the Mets are on the hunt for a lefty (although a righty certainly could also be a possibility). They’ve struggled to find a second consistent left-handed arm this season, and their current group of righties (Jeurys Familia, Tyler Clippard, Hansel Robles, Carlos Torres and Logan Verrett) has mostly performed well, despite the losses of Jenrry Mejia (to a suspension) and Bobby Parnell (to the disabled list).

The Mets lost one lefty, Jerry Blevins, to injury earlier this year, and they designated another, Alex Torres, after he walked 26 batters in 34 1/3 innings. They’ve gotten good results this year from Sean Gilmartin, but Eric O’Flaherty hasn’t worked out since they acquired him from the Athletics earlier this month. (As another potential lefty relief option, they also have Dario Alvarez, who’s performed well in the high minors this season, on their 40-man roster.)

MLBTR’s list of players who have cleared revocable waivers doesn’t contain any lefty relievers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any available, since it isn’t always known to the public which players have cleared. It’s also possible the Mets could claim a player and work out a deal with his team.



Rosenthal’s Latest: Farrell, GM Changes, Wright, Dodgers

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a trio of videos on FOX Sports:

  • Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is battling lymphoma, has completed the first of three rounds of chemotherapy. He’s visiting the Sox each day they’re at Fenway and holding video chats with interim manager Torey Lovullo and his coaching staff when the team is away. New Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has not said whether Farrell will return next season, however, regardless of his health.
  • Following what’s been a tumultuous month in many team front offices, the Phillies and Reds could be among the next teams to make GM changes, Rosenthal says. There could be up to ten manager changes as well.
  • Rosenthal also interviews Mets third baseman David Wright, who recently returned to the lineup after missing almost four months due to a hamstring injury and an ongoing back issue. Wright discusses what it’s like to deal with a lingering condition. Some days are better than others, he says, and a player needs to be honest, because if he tries to play on a bad day, he’ll be hurting his team.
  • The Dodgers‘ massive $300MM payroll may be a one shot deal. They’re paying a large chunk of change for players who aren’t even on the roster like Matt Kemp, but they were able to acquire additional talent by doing so. This year, they’re paying a 40 percent tax on overages beyond the roughly $189MM soft cap. Next season, the penalty will increase to 50 percent. However, prospects like Corey Seager and Julio Urias are expected to be on hand to reduce the luxury burden.
  • Marlins manager Dan Jennings is a potential candidate for the Mariners open GM job. He has past experience working for Seattle as a scout and crosschecker. Most teams allow their employees to interview for promotions with other clubs, but the situation is tricky with Jennings. He’s the Miami manager, but he’s also currently under contract as a GM. As such, it’s not clear if Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would allow Jennings to interview.
  • Sources have told Rosenthal that Padres ownership is “frustrated” with GM A.J. Preller. However, chairman Ron Fowler insists the only frustration is related to the club’s 2015 performance. He believes Preller will be the GM for a long time to come. Preller was originally hired to improve the farm system via the draft and international scouting. Obviously, the club used most of their minor league ammunition in a bold bid for contention this year, but the original plan remains intact.
  • Rosenthal’s colleague Jon Paul Morosi hears that the Reds may wish to replace GM Walt Jocketty. His contract expires after the 2016 season. It’s Rosenthal’s opinion that owner Bob Castellini is unlikely to fire Jocketty outright. Instead, they may move him into a consultative role like the Brewers did with Doug Melvin. That would allow the club to then hire a new GM in time for 2016.

Padres Pull Kimbrel Back From Waivers

SATURDAY: The Padres have pulled Kimbrel back from revocable waivers, Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). That means that, as expected, Kimbrel will not be traded. The Mets are known to be trying to acquire a reliever they claimed on revocable waivers, but it’s not Kimbrel. Rosenthal writes that six teams claimed Kimbrel, but the Mets were not one of the six.

FRIDAY: Padres closer Craig Kimbrel has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown club, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). However, a club official tells Rosenthal that the Padres have no intention of trading Kimbrel.

Kimbrel is earning $9MM in 2015 as part of a four-year, $42MM contract extension signed with the Braves, and he’s owed about $1.87MM of that sum through season’s end. He’s owed $25MM on top of that sum through the 2017 season, including a $1MM buyout on a $13MM club option for the 2018 season.

After a rocky start to the season in which Kimbrel posted a 5.93 ERA through his first 15 appearances, Kimbrel has been characteristically outstanding. Since May 16, Kimbrel has a 1.73 ERA with a 49-to-13 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings and collecting 26 saves in 27 opportunities.

Acquired in a stunning blockbuster trade on the eve of Opening Day, Kimbrel came to the Padres alongside Melvin Upton Jr. in exchange for outfield prospect Jordan Paroubeck, right-hander Matt Wisler, a Competitive Balance (Round A) Draft Pick and the contracts of Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin (the latter of whom was immediately designated for assignment and released). Kimbrel drew significant interest prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but GM A.J. Preller elected to hold onto the four-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year.


Rangers Claim Chris Rearick

The Rangers have claimed lefty Chris Rearick off waivers from the Padres, Texas executive VP of communications John Blake announced on Twitter. Rearick was designated recently by San Diego to clear space for the addition of righty Jon Edwards to the 40-man roster.

Rearick, 27, has spent most of his time pitching in the upper minors over the last several seasons. While he compiled good numbers throughout his minor league career heading into the 2015 campaign, walks have become a sudden problem. He has averaged six or more free passes in his 44 MiLB frames and his three MLB innings while seeing his overall strikeout rates plummet.


NL West Links: Betancourt, Venable, Hall

The Dodgers‘ losing streak extended to five games after dropping a 3-2 result to the Astros today.  It was another rough outing for the struggling Los Angeles bullpen, as Kenley Jansen blew a save by allowing Houston to tie the game in the ninth, and Chris Hatcher picked up the loss after giving up a 10th-inning walkoff homer to Jason Castro.  Entering Sunday, Dodgers relievers had combined for a 6.00 ERA since the All-Star break, the second-worst bullpen ERA of any club in the second half.  Here’s some more from around the NL West…

  • Rafael Betancourt was designated for assignment by the Rockies earlier today, and the veteran reliever told reporters (including MLB.com’s Thomas Harding) that he’s at peace with the fact that his 12-year career could be over.  He isn’t too optimistic about another team picking him up, saying “I don’t see any team that’s a contender right now that is looking to” acquire a struggling 40-year-old.  Betancourt may be a little hard on himself; several ERA indicators (3.32 FIP, 4.27 xFIP and 3.67 SIERA) show that he’s pitching much better than his 6.18 ERA would imply, and his velocity, strikeouts and walk rates are around his career averages.  Betancourt has been hurt by a .328 BABIP and a stunningly low 52.6% strand rate over his 39 1/3 innings of work.
  • The Dodgers declined to claim Will Venable on trade waivers, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.  Los Angeles is rather deep with outfield options but, as Morosi notes, the Dodgers could’ve used Venable in center with Joc Pederson struggling.  The Dodgers were hardly alone in passing on Venable, who went through waivers and then garnered interest from several teams.  The Padres dealt Venable to the Rangers last week.
  • The Diamondbacks are eager to make an impact in Japan both marketing-wise and in terms of player acquisitions, team president Derrick Hall told Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times.  “For us, we’ve always looked to be identified with someone in Japan.  We’re still hoping to find that talent one day,” Hall said.  “It’s a dream of mine personally to have a Japanese player in a D’Back uniform, as well as a Mexican-born player who can have an impact. Because I’ve seen what a difference that makes having grown up and cut my own teeth in the Dodgers organization all those years. Of course I was around during the time of Nomo-san and Nomomania and that was electric.”
  • Hall, Tony La Russa, Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez recently traveled to Japan on a goodwill tour on the Diamondbacks’ behalf, and while they weren’t specifically there to scout players, they did see Kenta Maeda and Shohei Otani pitch in NPB action.  Arizona was one of several teams linked to Maeda last offseason before the righty decided to re-sign with the Hiroshima Carp.  Maeda could be posted this winter, while Otani is just 21 and it’ll be at least a few seasons before the Nippon Ham Fighters consider making him available to North American teams.  Hall said the D’Backs are “going to be aggressive” on signing talent they believe in, though given the large fees involved in signing top-flight Japanese talent, “it makes it more difficult for teams like us in smaller markets.  When we write that big a check, we cannot miss. We’ve gotta be right.”

West Notes: Padres, Morrow, Norris, Doolittle, Furbush, Freese

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick provides an interesting look at mid-year starting pitcher rental trades, examining the risks and rewards inherent in such a decision. He reaches back into recent history to see how deals for high-end arms worked out for the teams that made them, and includes a variety of interesting quotes from executives involved in this year’s deals. It’s well worth a full read.

Here are some notes from the game’s western divisions:

  • The Padres passed on a chance to deal significant pitchers before and after the July 31 deadline, and now seem unlikely to make any further significant deals, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Many of San Diego’s potential trade chips have been claimed on waivers and subsequently withdrawn when a deal could not be arrived at. While starter James Shields has reportedly cleared, Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit are two notable players who are said to be off limits at this point.
  • While his season ended with another surgery, righty Brandon Morrow could still be brought back by the Padres next year, assistant GM Josh Stein tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock“I think it’s early, but we acquired [Morrow] knowing that there was a risk of an injury and the contract was structured to take that into account,” explained Stein. “I certainly wouldn’t say that there’s not an opportunity to explore something similar going forward.” Morrow said that he “hope[s] to come back, for sure,” though he acknowledged that he is “a ways away from a decision.”
  • Meanwhile, just-signed Padres righty Bud Norris says he is enjoying working from the pen but still hopes to return to the rotation, Lin reports. Norris, 30, has had a nice four-inning scoreless streak to start his time with the Friars, and will certainly draw some interest on the free agent market this winter given his relative youth and track record of delivering solid innings.
  • With his velocity solid and results excellent, rehabbing Athletics closer Sean Doolittle could make it back to the bigs in the coming days, MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes. Doolittle, 28, has made just one appearance in the majors this year for the disappointing A’s, but it’s certainly a good sign for his long-term prospects that he’s responded so well to ongoing rotator cuff issues.
  • Mariners southpaw Charlie Furbush, meanwhile, has a partially torn rotator cuff of his own to deal with, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports (Twitter links). Fortunately, Furbush says the injury appears to be relatively minor and may not require surgery. The 29-year-old has put up a 2.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 21 2/3 frames on the year. He played the year on a $1.3MM salary and can be controlled for two more seasons via arbitration.
  • The Angels can expect a return in relatively short order from third baseman David Freese, MLB.com’s David Adler reports. Freese has been out since July 22, and the Halos have struggled to find a replacement in his absence. The 32-year-old has hit at his usual league-average pace this year (.240/.309/.397) while providing steady defense. He’ll have a chance to bolster his stock before hitting the free agent market after the season.

Padres Complete Venable Trade, Designate Chris Rearick

The Padres have officially added righty Jon Edwards from the Rangers to complete the recent trade that sent Will Venable to Texas, the club announced. Edwards had needed to clear revocable waivers before he could be sent as the player to be named later.

San Diego designated Chris Rearick for assignment to clear a 40-man spot. The 27-year-old southpaw was knocked around in his first three big league innings this year, and struggled to a 5.11 ERA (with thirty strikeouts and thirty walks) over 44 Triple-A frames. Rearick has been much more successful in the minors in past seasons, and has never shown those kinds of control issues previously.


Rangers Acquire Will Venable, Designate Michael Choice

The Rangers have acquired outfielder Will Venable from the Padres in exchange for minor league catcher/outfielder Marcus Greene and right-hander Jon Edwards (who was included as a player to be named later), per a team announcement. In order to clear space on the roster for Venable, the Rangers have designated have designated outfielder Michael Choice for assignment.

Will Venable

Venable, 32, will give the Rangers some additional outfield depth and could immediately step into left field, if Josh Hamilton‘s injury troubles continue. Hitting .258/.318/.378, Venable is in the process of bouncing back from perhaps the worst season of his career — a 2014 campaign in which he batted just .224/.288/.325 in the first campaign of a two-year, $8.5MM extension. He’s earning $4.25MM this season as part of that contract, of which about $1.11MM remains. Venable will be a free agent at season’s end, making him a pure rental for the Rangers as they push to bridge either the three-game gap separating them from the AL West lead or the one-game gap sitting between their team and a Wild Card slot.

Venable’s career numbers (.252/.316/.410) don’t leap off the page, but he has superior numbers against right-handed pitching and away from Petco Park — the stadium which he’s called home for the entirety of his career. He’s a career .257/.323/.425 hitter against righties and a .269/.330/.431 hitter on the road.

Greene, 20, is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent this June. He began the season at the Class A level, where he hit .218/.365/.500 with five homers, 16 walks and 23 strikeouts in 96 plate appearances before suffering his injury. He did not rank among the Rangers’ Top 30 prospects, but Baseball America gave him a favorable write-up upon being selected in the 16th round of the 2013 draft. Per BA, Greene’s best tool is arm strength, but he also comes with raw power upside and a solid makeup.

The 27-year-old Edwards first had to pass through revocable waivers before he could be included in the deal. He has thrown 14 1/3 big league innings over the last two seasons, working to a 5.02 ERA with 9.4 K/9 against a troubling 8.2 BB/9. But he’s been excellent this season at Triple-A, compiling a 1.42 earned run average while striking out 44 batters and issuing just eight walks over 31 2/3 frames.

Choice is a former Top 100 prospect that the Rangers acquired prior to the 2014 season in the trade that sent Craig Gentry to Oakland. Though the 25-year-old has a solid .279/.363/.463 slash line throughout his minor league career, he’s mustered just a .188/.253/.320 slash in 300 plate appearances between the Rangers and Athletics.

For the Padres, this marks the first piece that GM A.J. Preller has traded away. The first-year general manager took some heat from the media for his decision to stand pat at last month’s non-waiver deadline despite facing a significant gap in the division and Wild Card standings. It’s conceivable that this could be the first of a few trades made by the Padres, who also stand to lose Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit (though he does have a club option) to free agency this winter. Of that group, only Upton would be a lock for a qualifying offer, although Kennedy has pitched markedly better as of late. Right-hander James Shields has also cleared waivers and will probably see his name kicked around the rumor mill a bit more before the end of the month.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram first reported on Twitter that Edwards was the PTBNL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.