Each year, MLBTR looks ahead to the contract issues facing the 30 MLB teams. We’ll lead off with the Padres this year:
Eligible For Free Agency (3)
- Mark Kotsay – Kotsay signed a $1.25MM contract with the Padres this past offseason and has eight hits and a homer in a limited role so far in 2012. He'll turn 37 this December, but the Padres figure to have interest in retaining him on a minor league deal if he continues hitting.
- Jeff Suppan - One start into the season it's too early to say whether the right-hander will have a role on next year's team. Perhaps another minor league deal will work for both sides.
- Jeremy Hermida - Like Kotsay, Hermida's an extra outfielder who won't necessarily have a place on the 2013 Padres. At 28, he's the younger of the two.
Contract Options (3)
- Huston Street: $9MM mutual option which the club can decline for $500K. Dan Mennella recently discussed the Padres' choices, reminding us that a midsummer trade is possible.
- Jason Bartlett: $5.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout. Though the option can vest during the season, Bartlett doesn't appear to figure in to the Padres' long-term plans.
- Orlando Hudson: $8MM club option with a $2MM buyout. Again, it seems unlikely that the Padres will commit a significant part of their payroll to an aging middle infielder whose offensive production has dropped off.
Arbitration Eligible (13)
- First time: Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera
- Second time: Clayton Richard, Luke Gregerson, Will Venable, John Baker, Joe Thatcher
- Third time: Chase Headley, Tim Stauffer, Edinson Volquez, Dustin Moseley, Chris Denorfia, Micah Owings
Headley leads a large Padres arbitration class that could theoretically cost $30MM in 2013. It's unlikely that they'll all be tendered contracts, however, and Moseley and Owings might already be considered non-tender candidates. Padres director of baseball operations Josh Stein will still have enough arb cases on his hands to keep busy next winter.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Padres have a 2013 payroll commitment of just $11.475MM, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. GM Josh Byrnes figures to have some payroll flexibility once arbitration raises are accounted for even if the team's payroll remains relatively low.