The Padres announced that infielder Allen Cordoba has been sent outright to Triple-A El Paso after clearing waivers. Right-hander Colin Rea, who also cleared waivers, has been released by the organization. San Diego also formally announced the previously reported releases of Cory Spangenberg and Christian Villanueva, the latter of whom is headed to Japan’s Yomiuri Giants on a one-year deal.
Cordoba, 22, was a Rule 5 pick by the Padres back in 2016 and stuck on the 2017 roster all season despite the fact that he’d never played a game above the Rookie-level Applachian League. Unsurprisingly, his struggles in the big leagues were immense; Cordoba hit just .208/.282/.297 through 227 trips to the plate. He’s yet to recover from the sizable jump up the development ladder, it seems, as he managed just a .206/.233/.310 slash in an admittedly small sample of 145 PAs at the Class-A Advanced level in 2018. He’ll remain with the Padres despite being removed from the 40-man roster, which in many ways is a good outcome for San Diego. While the Friars surely hoped for better production in the minors once he was eligible to be optioned, they can now continue to develop the Panamanian shortstop without a dedicated 40-man spot.
As for Rea, the right-hander hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2016. San Diego sent him to the Marlins in a controversial trade involving Andrew Cashner and Luis Castillo. Rea made one appearance in Miami before it was learned that he’d require Tommy John surgery, and the Marlins and trades worked out an agreement to send Rea back to San Diego in exchange for Luis Castillo (who later went on to be traded to Cincinnati for Dan Straily).
Rea, now 28, didn’t pitch at all in 2017 as he rehabbed from surgery. He returned to the mound in 2018 but didn’t find any success in Double-A or Triple-A, limping to a combined 5.73 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 1.67 HR/9 and a roughly 41 percent ground-ball rate in 75 1/3 innings. Prior to his elbow surgery, Rea totaled 134 1/3 big league innings between San Diego and his lone Marlins appearance, working to a 4.69 ERA with a 106-to-55 K/BB ratio. His career 4.35 FIP is a bit more favorable, but both xFIP (4.55) and SIERA (4.67) are right in line with his career earned run average.
Rea has two-plus years of MLB service time, so if a new organization can get him back on track, he’d come with another four seasons of MLB control. Presumably, he’ll draw interest on minor league deals from pitching-needy organizations this winter.