The Padres have inked a minors pact with veteran first baseman Allen Craig, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). The contract includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets.
Craig, 33, will be looking to get his career back on track after a disastrous tenure with the Red Sox. That three-and-a-half-year run mercifully ended when Craig was released over the summer. He had not joined another organization in the interim.
At the start of the 2014 season, Craig was a star with the Cardinals, carrying a .850 OPS through three full MLB campaigns. Since that time, he has appeared in just 162 games, struggling both before and after the mid-2014 trade that sent him to Boston and posting a cumulative .573 OPS.
Craig has not seen the majors since 2015. He has also been limited at times by injury. But his struggles have generally continued in the upper minors. Last year, at Triple-A, he managed only a .253/.352/.316 slash through 182 plate appearances before he was cut loose.
Certainly, expectations will not be high in San Diego, but perhaps a new environment will give Craig some chance at finding his form. His contract is no longer a factor; the Sox are paying him a $1MM buyout on the 2018 option that was included in the deal that he originally signed with the Cards.