Following San Diego’s addition of second baseman Rougned Odor on a minor league deal yesterday, the competition to be part of the Padres Opening Day bench gained a new entrant. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell notes, the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr. while he completes his PED suspension and the possibility that outfielder Adam Engel isn’t ready for Opening Day as he works his way back from a calf strain open up new possibilities for players hoping to break camp as a member of the bench in San Diego.
One of the four spots on the Padres Opening Day bench is certain to be reserved for backup catcher Luis Campusano. As for the last three spots, Odor seems likely to compete with outfielders David Dahl and Jose Azocar, and utility player Brandon Dixon. Odor provides the least versatility of those options, as all but 259 of his career innings in the field have come at second base. By contrast, Dahl and Azocar both have experience at all three outfield spots, while Dixon has played all four corners and second base during his career. Still, Cassavell notes that Odor’s status as a lefty bat could give him, (and, presumably, Dahl) a leg up on earning a spot on the bench entering the season.
Assuming no additional injuries complicate matters, Matt Carpenter will shift to the bench once Tatis is eligible to return after the first 20 games of the season, while Engel will join the bench as soon as he is healthy. At that point, there will only be one spot still available on the bench in San Diego for the aforementioned quartet. Azocar, Dahl, and Dixon all have options remaining, though Odor does not.
More from San Diego…
- Joe Musgrove, who is currently out of action with a fractured toe, is expected to miss at the least the first two starts of the regular season, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Acee notes that it’s possible that without Musgrove’s contributions, the Padres may opt to go with a five man rotation to open the season, preferring to add depth to a bullpen that could be taxed more than usual without the durable right-hander pitching deep into games. Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, Brent Honeywell Jr., and Cole Hamels are among the pitchers who could take Musgrove’s spot on the roster, though whether that spot will earn them a role in the bullpen or the rotation is currently unclear.
- Even after signing Manny Machado to his second $300MM+ contract, the Padres appear to have no interest in slowing down, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic. Given Padres owner Peter Seidler’s already unprecedented investment in the big league club for an organization of their market size, it’s difficult to predict where the limits on spending could be. Lin notes that the backloaded nature of Machado’s new 11-year, $350MM deal with San Diego could help the club pursue an extension with fellow superstar, Juan Soto. It could also assist in a planned pursuit of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani should he hit free agency following the 2023 season as expected, even in spite of the fact that a deal with either player could cost even more than it did to extend Machado. Discussing his recent extension, Machado explains that a candid conversation with Seidler led to the contract eventually being hammered out. Seidler, for his part, says the Padres are “willing and excited about continuing to sign great players.”
Good for Seidler. I enjoy watching him break the market-size narrative in San Diego and compete with the Dodgers and other top spenders for baseball’s best players.
More teams should follow or sell, the fans deserve it.
Agreed. We need owners like Seidler to come to the Bay Area and buy the A’s, staying or relocating to Vegas, it does not matter…
Steve Cohen Owns You
Yep. People call Houston a smaller or mid sized market and it is ridiculous. The Astros draw off that entire region of Texas and Louisiana. Not to mention Houston is a big city with plenty of money floating around.
Being small-market is partly a choice that owners make. I realize that the Reds, Pirates, A’s, Rays, etc have less revenue than the Yankees and Dodgers. But they all could be spending a lot more on salaries if they chose to.
It’s good for the game. Plain and simple. Other owners are just cheap billionaires.
i laugh when they say the cards are small market, avg yearly attendance of 3mil not to mention other than around kc all of mo and southern il, and big chunks of ky and tn. i can’t complain to much because the cards usually avg a payroll of 160ish.
The state of Mississippi seems to root for the Cards, or the Braves. The Bible belt’s team.
Just so happy to hear about Tatis ringworm being in remission.
So happy to see that the Yankees still have the hapless Aaron Boone for a manager. And the Blue Jays set to kick your tails.
Captain has a serious mancrush, Tatis is literally all he ever posts about!
Lmfao imagine thinking the Blue Jays are better than NY on paper. Get yourself some glasses bozo
Steve Cohen Owns You
Uhhhh the two teams are very good.
Online, compare the roster 1 – 26. No question to me, the Jays have as good or better roster. Doesn’t guarantee anything but their roster key parts are just getting into their prime. More Yankees’ players are on the other side.
@Barelybreathin- You really think the Blue Jays will finally kick the Yankees tails? Still waiting for that to happen. Don’t hold your breath.
Wonder if all those juiced up yanks of the 90s are in remission b/c of the roids too.
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
Why are you Yankees fans acting like the blue Jays don’t have a chance? They are a fantastic team too.
@captian i wouldn’t sleep on the jays or the rays i’m still picking nyy to win the ale but if nyy off. looks like it did last 2 months of the season or injuries pile up or both nyy could wind up missing the playoffs. especially with this years balanced schedule and about 10 teams that i feel have a legit shot of making deep runs in oct.
Trade Tatis for Ohtani, but only if Ohtani signs an extension in coordination with the trade.
San Diego would have to pay Ohtani crazy $ to get him out of testing free agency, but if they showed him $500m, it’d be hard for him to look anywhere else.
No one wants Tatis for 350 million dollars. One of the worst contracts out therr when he had 6 years of team control left. Has shown in the past to make bad choices (motorcyle accident(S), performance enhancing drugs). You don’t give a ton of money to someone who is not a professional. It make you and your organization look bad. Also a good chance he will something stupid again in the future
All 29 other GM’s would take Tatis’ contract. Even the Rays and Pirates GM’s.
He’s coming off a major shoulder injury, a long PED suspension, and he’s on the books for another 12 years. You’re absolutely mad if you think every team would take that contract right now.
Tatis aav is $27 MM over a 14 year deal. Probably best bargain in baseball
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
I don’t know I think Brandon Lowe’s (huge fan of the guy) contract with the rays is the biggest steal, or McNeil for the Mets. But its a steal nonetheless!
In the short term I agree. But in 8-12 years, Tatis will be quite a deal
Marinararivera + Tony Plush
True, if he can stay healthy and out of trouble his ceiling is out of this world
Yeah you keep thinking that. I mean hey, you have Correa as your SS so you can bash Tatis, oh wait!
I disagree with the narrative that Soto should make more money than Machado when Soto has yet to prove he is worth more money than Machado. Let him play and prove his true value before speculating that he is worth more money than Machado’s 300 million.
Obviously not a Padre fan.
The game is more interesting with Peter Seidler types. No more Bob Nutting and Dick Monfort’s.
Not gonna lie – I find it very entertaining when the Rays manage to outperform teams spending 3-4x as much as them on a yearly basis. Imagine if the big spenders also had brains.
Not to mention, everything the Rockies do provides an element of comedy to the baseball news.
It is fun to watch the Rays do better than the Red Sox and Yankees. Problem with “big spenders also having brains” is that the league doesn’t have enough cheap good players for every team to build a rays esque roster
With Niño and Engel not ready for Opening Day (on their own respective reasons) I suspect Sugar, Baby Dahl and Roogy make the club. Dixon is odd man out, but fortunately can be Optioned.
Any one of Honeywell, Weathers or Hollywood Hamels can make the 6th man in the rotation. I think that comes down to their respective performances in the next couple weeks. Morejon makes the squad regardless, but could also be that 6th starter.
As for future spending, let’s just wait and see what we may need at future junctures… but so far it has been darn fun watching the Padre naysayers eat crow. LFGSD!
Benefit for Dixon is he’s on the 40, but likely released if Odor makes it.
Odor stinks though (<—see what I did there?)
True and true… therein lies the battle for the 26th man. I see Dix being easier to place in El Paso (on or off the 40) and Roogy has that LFH bat advantage. Perhaps a true coin flip, glad it’s not my decision!
Nelson Cruz is also on the team as the DH, correct? So where does Carpenter play? Outfield or 1B? Then DH platoon once everyone is healthy?
Yes, OF at first then more 1st than OF. After 4/20, I see a DH rotation with Nelly more often than not sprinkled inbetween sporadic 1B starts.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Yeah, no sure why the writer said Carpenter will go to the bench. He’ll platoon DH with Cruz.
That’s even assuming Cruz makes a comeback. If he doesn’t hit out of the gate, he’ll probably be released kind of quickly.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Didn’t think of that, good point. No guarantee Cruz bounces back after 1.5 seasons of ineptitude.
I think they’ll give Cruz a longer leash because Soto/Machado etc… love him and he has a long track record. My thought is he’s probably safe for the first few months, but once we get into the summer if they’re buying he could be one of the pieces that’s replaced if he’s not performing.
I’d expect he starts at DH most of the first 20 games, then once Tatis is back he becomes the weak side of a DH platoon with Carp. Padres have enough positional versatility among their starters that they can afford to have a DH on their bench, so it’s kind of a great fit for him.
I see what you’re saying PT, but post-eye surgery he’s looking pretty good.
i can assure you the san diego padres will not give a longer leash for cruz,because machado and soto are his friends,lol.machado and soto have no say in what the front office of the padres do.
When I read this headline, I seriously thought the Padres were going to try to re-animate Johny Bench and sign him to a long-term deal.
Still a defensive upgrade over 80% of today’s receivers! Haha
Dahl has definitely been better than Dixon this Spring. I really like Lopes but I know he has zero chance of going anywhere. This is his 5th team and he’s not cracked a roster yet, plus he’s an infielder.
Nick Martinez has been ridiculous from what I’ve seen. With No No Joe out Nick can step right into his spot!
Nelson Cruz hit a ball that’s still in orbit yesterday. If he’s able to do that on a consistent basis, Padres gold!
As far as Ohtani, I just hope the Dodgers get burned. Somebody comes in with an 11th hour backdoor deal and steals them from the Dodgers.
I personally think the Padres go all in on Soto. You look him up and make sure he doesn’t walk or even get a taste of free agency.
Thirteen position players on the Padre roster
Machado, Bogaerts, Kim, Cronenworth, Nola, Campusano, Soto, Grisham, Carpenter, and Nelson Cruz are locks. That’s ten of the thirteen.
Tatis when he gets back is eleven
So the Padres have three spots for opening day available, and two starting 4/20 when Tatis returns.
The best option for the three come from Engle, Azocar, Dahl, Odor, and Brandon Dixon
Engle is hurt, so my bet for the three are Dahl, Azocar and Dixon. And one of those three is out of luck on 4/20.
I’m all for signing great players. But my concern is that Juan Soto may be a bit overrated. Not because he isn’t really good, but he is not a 400M player. Not good defensively, and even his offense went down last year. He has power, and he draws walks. Isn’t fast, either. Drawing walks is where he truly excels. But is that skill alone such a unicorn that it’s worth a huge contract when Yordan averages 19M per year, and guys like Machado and Arenado are also elite defenders?
Other than the subpar defense, he doesn’t have many holes in his game as of right now, and he just turned 24. I think the Washington firesale + traded for first time in his life + brand new team + self-imposed pressure to justify the massive trade haul, etc. probably all caught up to him a little last year, because again, he was 23 when that all went down. So i don’t see too much significance to last year. 2018-2021 is who this kid is and it’s only going to get better. Imagine him 5 years down the road still at only 29, building on what he already has now. He will be hitting 40+ HRs with a 300/400/500 slash line yearly, and that honestly feels like a conservative estimate.
He’s like a young Ted Williams. He just happened to have an off-year in 2022, and should rebound in 2023. He was also under a lot of pressure before the trade because the Washington lineup was so bad and he wasn’t getting many good pitches to hit.
Soto is about to put up an MVP season
Happy to see the Padres willing to make long-term commitments to payroll. It would be nice to see some of the larger, “mid-market” teams follow suit here.
Trying to buy titles is not a good long term strategy. Braves and Padres are both pushing their payrolls, both sit on the 33rd parallel, but the Braves are building a dynasty from within and sprinkling in outside help as needed, the Padres are just buying players and trading for players that will need to be bought.
Steve Cohen Owns You
There’s many ways to build a team. All of them have their warts.
The Padres elite scouting program and drafting skills ensure rapid prospect development and turnover enabling roster building through trades and FA signings. That doesn’t work for most teams but only because the Pads are 1) so good at it and 2) have an owner who genuinely wants to reward great players and great fans.
Great fans show up whether a team wins or loses.
yes they do, which is why small-market SD’s attendance has ranked so high among MLB teams
Hired Gun 23
Regardless if the Pads fail or win it all, I’ll be thankful for my great season ticket location, the beer, the tacos and my brown/gold SD ballcap keeping me shaded in the beautiful 619 weather. Cuz believe it or not, the court of public opinion doesn’t amount to much outside of its own confines…
23 I like the way you think.
Typical Pads spend then ship off the talent they spent on for cracker jacks when it doesn’t pan out. Wait & See it’s inevitable
I like cracker jacks.
Hired Gun 23
Beat…all things are inevitable. In a perfect world, every prospect drafted would pan out and beer sales would go through the entire game including extra innings. Until that happens, they’ll sometimes serve as the currency to which a trade can be made…
I bet not. It happened before because owners DIDN’T want to pay the players, now the owner DOES.
Teheran is definitely in the mix! Love what I’ve seen so far, holding out hope he makes it, too. I’d put his odds as much better than Hamels. Might be a victim of the numbers game, though. (At least in terms of making the OD roster.)
@Brew @.@ lol
Haha, they removed my Caballo post, Gwynning! LGFSD
You know, the talk of “buying a ring” is rubbish. Ownership are making long term investments on big time players who have the potential of long term high ROI factors. That’s called smart investing!
Your attendance goes up, season ticket sales go up, merchandise sales goes up, fans will buy the more expensive and special jersey’s without worry of their favorite player being gone in a year. Fan loyalty is at an all time high because the base knows the team.
Say what you want about these long term contracts…because I know I’ll catch you on another chat thread complaining about how these young players and teams have no loyalty to each other and it’s just about the money and short term contracts.
Luis Campusano. should be the Padres starting catcher.