The Padres have claimed infielder Sergio Alcántara off waivers from the Diamondbacks, both teams announced this afternoon. Though he’s still only 25, the Friars will be Alcántara’s fourth big-league team. Arizona had designated him for assignment on Friday to make room for the return of Josh Rojas from injury. To clear 40-man roster space, San Diego placed Pierce Johnson on the 60-day injured list.
Though Alcántara doesn’t pack a ton of punch at the plate — he’s slashed at just a .197/.280/.330 clip in 335 trips to the plate across three seasons in the majors — his defensive versatility has significant value. He’s spent most of brief career at shortstop (including 44 starts there for the Cubs in 2021), but he’s also logged significant time at both second and third. He had served as the D-backs primary third baseman prior to Rojas’ return.
Given the presence of high-end glove-man Ha-Seong Kim in San Diego, the acquisition of another versatile infielder is at least a bit curious. It could signal an as-yet unannounced injury (or player in COVID protocol) requiring time on the IL, of course, but it could also may spell the end of top prospect C.J. Abrams’ first taste of the majors. Currently the youngest player in the NL (among active players, only Wander Franco and Julio Rodriguez are younger), Abrams has struggled a bit in his first taste of The Show, playing solid defense at short but slashing only .182/.270/.273 in 65 plate appearances.