The Padres made a series of transactions prior to today’s game, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). Right-hander Pierce Johnson was activated from the 60-day injured list, right-hander Reiss Knehr was optioned to Triple-A, catcher Austin Nola was activated off the paternity list, and infielder/outfielder Matt Beaty was designated for assignment.
Johnson appeared in six games in April before heading to the IL with tendinitis in his right forearm. While the bright side is that forearm issue didn’t result in a longer-term injury like a Tommy John surgery, Johnson still ended up missing most of the 2022 season, costing the Padres a key bullpen arm and costing Johnson a chance to build himself a nice platform for his entry into free agency this winter. Still, the right-hander has time to play an important role down the stretch as San Diego looks to secure a wild card berth.
After playing with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan in 2019, Johnson returned to Major League Baseball when he signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Padres in January 2020. That contract then become a three-year, $7MM pact when the Padres exercised their club option on Johnson for 2022 — essentially a no-brainer decision given Johnson’s solid work (3.22 ERA, 31.6% strikeout rate) over 58 2/3 innings in 2021.
Beaty also spent time on the 60-day IL this season, with a shoulder impingement limiting him to only 20 games. Beaty was a solid part-time/bench player for the Dodgers in 2019-21, but Los Angeles designated him for assignment in March, and Beaty landed with the Padres in a rare trade between the two NL West rivals. It’s safe to say that the injury derailed Beaty’s season, as he has only a .333 OPS over 47 plate appearances.
With these struggles in mind, teams might be wary of claiming Beaty off the DFA wire, though his roughly league-average production as a Dodger could sway teams in need of a left-handed hitter. Beaty also brings some versatility in the field, as he has experience at both corner outfield and corner infield positions.