Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News asks whether Vicente Padilla’s start today against the Twins will be his last as a Ranger. He highlights Padilla’s inability to go deep into games as well as his questionable behavior off the field. He also notes that Padilla’s beaning and subsequent brawl with Nick Swisher and the A’s didn’t sit well with teammates:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Hank Blalock missed the Rangers’ next game with soreness incurred from being at the bottom of the pile trying to break up the fight, a fight which Padilla crawled away from after the benches cleared.
Grant suggests the Rangers try to swap Padilla and his remaining two years, $24.75MM for a bad contract like Jose Contreras or Carl Pavano or even just cut him and pay the money.
To all this I say: the Rangers knew what they were getting into. Here’s what we knew about Padilla before the Rangers signed him in December of last year: headhunter, injury and conditioning problems, alcohol issues, doesn’t speak to the media. If any of those things bothered the Rangers they shouldn’t have locked him up for 3/33. These things didn’t just surface for the first time this year. Note that I am not dogging him for not speaking to the media – he may just be self-conscious having begun English lessons in 2000.
I thought Padilla was a relative bargain at three years guaranteed instead of four. Just one year into the deal, he’s being viewed as a burden by Texas. One interesting note: Padilla came up as a closer; maybe some team would like to try him in that role if the Rangers eat some salary. It could keep him healthy.