The Giants have acquired corner infielder Kevin Padlo from the Mariners for cash, according to announcements from both teams. The M’s had designated him for assignment over the weekend. San Francisco has optioned Padlo to Triple-A Sacramento, while the team had a pair of 40-man roster spots available after recently placing Mike Yastrzemski and Zack Littell on the COVID-19 injured list.
Padlo has just ten MLB games under his belt, but he’s now on his fourth different organization. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Rockies, he was dealt to the Rays as part of the swap saw Jake McGee and Germán Márquez head to Denver. Padlo was in the low minors at the time, and he spent the next few seasons climbing up the Tampa Bay system. His minors tenure was a bit up-and-down, but he had an excellent 2019 campaign split between the top two levels.
That strong showing against high-level pitching set Padlo up to reach the majors for the first time last season. He debuted in April and appeared in nine games but spent most of the season on optional assignment to Triple-A Durham. He struggled to a .194/.270/.379 line there, and Tampa Bay designated him for assignment in August. Seattle grabbed him off waivers, but his Mariners tenure consisted of a lone pinch-hitting appearance during a game in Arizona last September.
Padlo began this year with Triple-A Tacoma, where he’s gotten off to a slow start. He is hitting just .173/.317/.327 through 15 games, striking out in 36.5% of his plate appearances. The M’s bumped Padlo off their 40-man roster when they acquired outfielder Stuart Fairchild from the D-Backs on Saturday.
Over the winter, Baseball America slotted the 25-year-old as the #24 prospect in the Seattle system. BA praised his huge raw power and wrote that he’s athletic enough to play average defense at third base, but the outlet also raised questions about his bat-to-ball skills. Padlo is a .235/.330/.469 hitter in 621 career Triple-A plate appearances. He’s hit 31 homers with a robust 11.4% walk percentage in that time, but a 29.4% strikeout rate speaks to his hit tool concerns.
The Southern California native is in his final minor league option year. The Giants can shuttle him between San Francisco and Sacramento for the remainder of the season, if he sticks on the 40-man roster. He’ll add some right-handed depth to a third base group that is currently without Evan Longoria. Non-roster players Alex Blandino and Wyatt Mathisen are also righty-swinging infielders with the River Cats, but both players have gotten off to tough starts in 2022.