The Padres have announced their Opening Day roster, and, in an example of unusual roster management, it includes three Rule 5 Draft picks. Those three were the first three selections in the draft — the Padres got the No. 1 pick, righty Miguel Diaz, in a trade with the Twins, and the No. 2 pick, catcher Luis Torrens, in a deal with the Reds. They also took shortstop Allen Cordoba with their own pick, the third overall selection.
Diaz headed into the Rule 5 Draft as a member of the Brewers organization, while Torrens was with the Yankees and Cordoba with the Cardinals. Obviously, the Padres have no immediate plans to clear any of the three from the roster, meaning they won’t be offered back to their previous organizations anytime soon. The three will join a young Padres 25-man that includes four other players who haven’t yet turned 24: top outfield prospect Manuel Margot, infielder Luis Sardinas, righty Luis Perdomo and lefty Jose Torres.
[Related: Updated San Diego Padres Depth Chart]
Diaz will take a spot in the bullpen. Torrens will be one of four catchers listed on the roster, along with Austin Hedges, Hector Sanchez (whose contract the Padres selected today) and Christian Bethancourt. (Bethancourt can also pitch out of the bullpen.)
The Padres have also optioned infielder Cory Spangenberg to Triple-A El Paso. The idea is for him to play every day, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets, and Spangenberg missed most of the 2016 due to a quad injury. It’s perhaps worth noting, though, that Spangenberg would have given the Padres a more experienced infield option than Cordoba, who played in the short-season Appalachian League in 2016 and posted a .179/.247/.194 line in camp. Both he and Torrens stand out as highly sub-optimal roster choices for the Padres’ immediate needs. But the team’s inclusion of three Rule 5 picks suggests the Padres are more interested in protecting potential long-term assets than winning games in 2017, which perhaps should come as no surprise — the Padres don’t project to contend this season, given the weakness in their rotation and elsewhere on their roster.
To clear space on the 40-man roster for Sanchez, the Padres designated lefty Keith Hessler for assignment. The 28-year-old pitched 18 2/3 innings of relief with San Diego after arriving from Arizona via a waiver claim, and posted a 3.38 ERA, albeit with 11 walks and just nine strikeouts. The Padres also announced that they placed lefties Christian Friedrich and Buddy Baumann, righty Carter Capps and outfielder Alex Dickerson on the 10-day disabled list.