The Padres have reached agreement on a minor league deal with lefty Matt Thornton, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). He is undergoing a physical today and will join the team in major league camp if he passes.
The deal will pay Thornton at a $1.6MM base salary if he can crack the MLB roster, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. It also includes $1.9MM in available incentives relating to his number of appearances.
Thornton, 39, saw his strikeout rate fall last year but continued to post excellent results while being tasked with a fairly light workload. Though he’s now within eyesight of 40, the southpaw owns a 1.98 ERA over 77 1/3 innings over the prior two seasons.
While he’s been particularly stingy against lefties, Thornton has also posted solid numbers (sub-.700 OPS against) in his exposure to right-handed pitching in that span. He’s finally experienced a bit of a downtick in velocity, but still brought his average heater at around 93.5 mph last year.
Good signing. Rzepczynski is a big question mark. Good to have some lefty depth.
Rzepczynski was traded to the A’s.
Rep is gone, but the entire bullpen is a big question mark so any addition is a good one. Can’t be much worse than what they have now.
He’s such a big question mark, no one can locate him anywhere on the Padres spring training area…
If the Nats could’ve gotten this guy on a minor-league deal, they should’ve brought him back. I bet he’ll be more effective this season than Oliver Perez, and about half the cost.
Just Another Fan
Fantastic pairing, Thornton’s going to be impenetrable in Petco. Always thought whoever got him would get a bargain and he’s on a minor league deal? Big win by SD here.
It would not surprise me in the slightest if Thornton had the lowest ERA of all Padres relievers in 2016.
I genuinely appreciate every comment you make on this site. Thank you for that.
Matt, is that you?
I think the point about it being a minor league deal, which two of the first five commenters have praised, is somewhat silly, since if he is as great as everyone says then he will make the team and be making the major league salary and likely reaching most of his incentives. So people are hyping how he’s this really good player on a minor league deal, except that if he’s actually really good (and I’m not arguing he’s not, I like him and am surprised he wasn’t signed sooner) then he will be making close to $4m, not some minor league salary.
The minor league deal removes a lot of risk for the team. If he doesn’t perform or gets hurt in ST, the team is not on the hook for millions of dollars. I believe he will perform well, and I’m rooting for him because I liked him when he was here with the Nats.
Rzepczynski was traded over the winter so he won’t have to worry him.
Padres are loading up on has-beens and other worthless throwaways from other teams. Remind you of exactly what we did for years?
Clearly they should have been aggressive with a three-year commitment for the 12th man in their bullpen. That’s how ALL the good teams do it!
WTF does that have to do with my post? Good teams don’t have to sign throwaways and 39-year-old setup men. They aren’t fishing in the dumpster for guys like Greg Reynolds, Freidrich and Thornton. They have a 40 man roster filled with MLB talent and don’t need to. The Padres obviously don’t. They have what is projected to be the worst bullpen in baseball so they are out dumpster diving and have the friar praying for a miracle.
Thornton received a deal that if he makes the team, he will make the same salary as Rodney who is the closer, plus some incentives that could double that amount. That is a pretty good indication that they expect him to make the team. What a sad state of affairs.
Except for being completely and totally wrong, you’ve got a fantastic point there. EVERY team has a bunch of names in camp on minor league deals. The Yankees signed Chris Denorfia to a minor league deal yesterday. The Rangers signed Anthony Carter two days ago, where he joined Nate Schierholtz. Ike Davis, Cesar Ramos and others as non-roster invitees. Bronson Arroyo’s in the Nationals camp trying to make the opening day rotation. The World Series Champs have Ross Ohlendorf and Chien-Ming Wang gunning for a pitching spot while Clint Barmes fights Cody Decker for the 25th spot on the roster. The Cubs have as many 30-something retreads and never-weres kicking around their NRI list as anyone in the game.
I know you specialize in posting stupid things, but even by your standards, this is a pretty dumb path to go down.
“Good teams don’t have to sign throwaways and 39-year-old setup men.”
Who said we were a good team?
And you were probably the fan who was happy about what they did last offseason. Now they are in the same spot but less assets.
Just realized, if Thornton makes the team the Padres will have two 39-year-old players and 4 over 30 in the pen. That’s one OLD bullpen.
Fun fact: The 2015 playoff teams had, on average, 4.3 relievers over 30.
Age won’t matter as long as they can produce good results. I think it’s good that they’re taking a chance on this guy, since he has a good track record.
Age won’t matter one bit, they either produce or get released. No harm, no foul. If things workout to Preller’s plan then you have 3 guys who all have extensive experience pitching in the back end of games in Rodney, Jannsen & Thornton. Not only are you banking on the fact that you will get bounce back years from atleast 2/3 guys, you also have to figure that they will have a huge impact over the young pups in the bullpen over the course of a 162 game season. Guys like Luis Perdomo & Company could benefit from having a veteran group around.