As the Padres begin to make some of their final roster cuts ahead of Opening Day, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell reports that San Diego has returned Rule 5 draft pick Jose Lopez to the Rays, optioned utilityman Brandon Dixon, and reassigned right-hander Julio Teheran and utilityman Tim Lopes to minor league camp.
Lopez became the 12th player picked in this year’s Rule 5 draft when the Padres selected him with the 21st pick. A left-handed pitcher Lopez was dominant at Double-A with the Rays last year, striking out a whopping 38.7% of batters faced at the level en route to a 2.60 ERA in 55 1/3 innings. That dominance was enough for the Padres to take a chance on the 24 year-old Lopez, but after a difficult spring where he walked five batters in six innings of work, Lopez is being returned to the Rays, who will pay San Diego back half of the $100k fee the Padres paid to select Lopez in order to reclaim him.
Teheran, meanwhile, was a potential option to act as the sixth starter in San Diego while Joe Musgrove is on the shelf with a fractured toe. An 11-year MLB veteran, the 32 year old Teheran has a career 3.80 ERA in 1396 1/3 innings of work that came primarily as a member of the Braves rotation from 2013 to 2019. Over that period of time, Teheran showed himself to be a reliable, innings-eating back-end starter with an ERA+ of 111. Teheran struggled mightily in the shortened 2020 season with the Angels, however, and has only pitched five big league innings since then. Cassavell notes that due to the assignment clause in Teheran’s contract, he can depart the Padres organization if he receives a big league offer elsewhere. For now, though, Teheran seems poised to remain with San Diego, serving as depth in Triple-A.
Both Dixon and Lopes were in the mix to be part of the Padres bench. Dixon, 31, has a career 74 wRC+ in 201 games at the big league level but provides versatility, with experience at first, second, and third base and all three outfield spots during his major league career. However, with versatile players such as Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim already on the roster, the Padres will instead opt to send Dixon to Triple-A as depth. Lopes, meanwhile, has primarily been a corner outfielder in the big leagues but also has experience in center field, at second base, third base, and shortstop. The 29 year-old Lopes has just 94 games of big league experience to this point in his career, and hit well this spring with an .890 OPS in 55 plate appearances. Despite that solid showing, Lopes will join Dixon as depth in Triple-A.
After this round of cuts, it would appear that outfielder David Dahl and infielder Rougned Odor are in line to make the Opening Day roster in San Diego, while the sixth starter spot could go to left-hander Jay Groome or right-hander Brent Honeywell Jr. Dahl had some early success with the Rockies in his career, but has battled injuries throughout his career and has struggled to just a .538 OPS in 87 games since the start of the 2021 season. Odor, meanwhile, spent seven seasons as the regular second baseman for the Rangers, posting an 86 wRC+ during that time, before spending 2021 with the Yankees and 2022 with the Royals. Despite the meager offense numbers for both players in recent years, each can provide the Padres with a left-handed swing off the bench while providing depth in the outfield and infield, respectively.
As for the sixth starter battle, Groome, whom the Padres acquired in the Eric Hosmer deal with the Red Sox last summer, has dazzled in 14 innings of work this spring with a 1.29 ERA, though he has struggled with his control, walking 10 batters while striking out 13. Honeywell, meanwhile, signed a major league deal with the Padres this offseason after the former top prospect was non-tendered by the Rays after years of injury woes. Honeywell got hit hard this spring, posting a 6.88 ERA in 17 innings, but with 22 strikeouts and just six walks in those innings, there’s reason to believe the quality arm he seemed destined to become as a prospect could still surface.
“over that time Teheran showed himself to be a reliable, innings eating back of the rotation starter” – guy-look at the stats! He was, in a few seasons at least, far more than a back of the rotation starter. Hence 20 career WAR. How are 120-130 era+ seasons back of the rotation quality?
Drew Waters Bat
I think they downgrade his time because they weren’t extremely competitive during his time. Fredi Gonzalez was the coach but he was the best pitcher for the Braves for a few years. Most of the time he would turn it over to Johnny Venters then to Craig Kimbrel. He was almost always good for 7 innings of maybe 1 or 2 run ball. Alot of shutouts too but he always gave the team a chance to pull it out.
He went 6 inning a lot too and turned it over to O’Flaherty in the 7th. I had to mention him too because he was flat out dominant and posted one of the best relief seasons ever with a sub-1 era.
Don’t forget Eric O’Flaherty along with Venters and Kimbrel. They were the most dominant trio I’ve ever seen at the backend of any bullpen my entire life.
Unfortunately, Fredi used them over and over and over until they dried up, significantly shortening their respective careers.
Richardc, In Seattle during the 116 win season, we had a similar pen with lefty Arthur Rhodes, righty Jeff Nelson, and Kaz Sasaki with an unhittable splitter. They were just about flawless that year. One of the best trios in my memory.
I agree. Teheran definitley was a reliable innings eater, but he was more of a #3/#4 arm, not just simpily a 5th starter.
Drew Waters Bat
He was the opening day starter for a few consecutive seasons. Folty and crew weren’t terribly good but they worked. Kris Medlen, dang I miss that hat. The Astros I hoped called and apologized. He had alot of more innings ahead of him and that destroyed his psyche. Freddie Freeman said that is what pissed him off the most. Medlen retired the next day after his 7 runs of trash can ball.
Frankly it makes Mr.Deeds look like a fool to even write that
I vaguely remember people criticizing his WHIP. I think he was one of those guys where the peripherals didn’t look good and the league just kept underestimating him.
Don’t think it was whip but stats like fip. He had years with very good whip. He did become more of a back of rotation starter but earlier on he was more of a #2/3
Career ERA+ of 106. He was an above average. A #3 overall for his career.
From 2013-2016, he was more like a number two starter, and he made two all-star rosters. And he pitched a masterpiece in the last game at their old stadium.
And he ain’t what he used to be though! Still, if the Pads just get a decent performance out of him (as a back up to the back ups), then they’ve made out great with signing.
Mike Rizzo is still laughing his ass off about the Juan So-so trade, and Mike still chuckling about the Trea Turner trade.
…as the Nationals lose 100 games again
Is he laughing about getting nothing for Bryce Harper?
Yes, because the NATIONALS won the World Series the very 1st year he was gone. Mike’s definitely laughing still about it.
I’m convinced you are a bot
It is by default a bot as there is no such thing as a “Marlins fan”
I doubt if it’s a bot. No bot could be that stupid.
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Oh you mean the guy with a 1.600 OPS this spring?
You had to change your name again?
Rizzo is crying right now. His team is going to lose 100 games again this season and won’t be good again before 2025. His contract is up at the end of this year and it’s doubtful he will be back.
Trea for Myers was horrible. The players sent to rent Soto were a fair deal for both sides. Just Padres would be foolish to pay $400+ million to extend him.
Not sure what the Myers trade has to do with the current trade, but I agree that in hindsight it turned out bad for 2 of the 3 teams involved.
2+ seasons of Soto is not a rental.
The trade was a fair one and only time will tell how it eventually turns out. As of today, the Padres are a big winner as Soto put up a 130 OPS+ and 1.8 WAR while Abrams struggled in limited play and Gore didn’t take the mound at all for the Nationals. None of the other prospects are expected to stick in the majors until 2025, so this trade will be judged mainly on how Abrams and Gore do between now and the end of the 2024 season hen Soto will be a FA. It’s only been 2 months of regular season play, so let’s check back after the 2024 season to re-evaluate the trade.
Why would it be foolish to extend one of the best hitters in the game? That makes no sense at all.
What makes tremendous sense is for the Padres to make an offer right now for a 15/450 extension with no deferred money that will keep Soto a Padre through his age 38 season.
Soto has said over time that there were 3 reasons he turned down the Nationals offer. #1, he wants to win, and the Nationals were not going to win for years to come. #2, the deferred money, which is not worth as much as getting paid now. #3, the heavily backloaded contract with no signing bonus. Big money in years 10-15 is not worth as much as getting big money upfront because of inflation.
That I know of, he has never commented publicly on the length, total amount of dollars, or AAV.
The Padres were in the NLCS last season and are built to win now. With so many top players locked up long term, they are built to win for the next 5 years or so. They also have guys like Merrill, Lesko, Salas, Zavala, and Lizarraga in the pipeline so the future beyond 2025 is not bleak.
The Padres have not signed players to contracts with deferred money or that were heavily backloaded in recent years.
A little surprised the Padres optioned Lopez. Seems like a good low-risk/high-reward kind of player.
Solid player, just the victim of a strong roster crunch. Might have been different if he didn’t have that Option…
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
They didn’t option him they sent him back to the Rays. You can’t option Rule 5 players.
Pardon me, when OP said Optioned I thought he meant Lopes… but you’re right, Lopez was returned. Also the victim of a roster crunch, to be fair.
They would have had to keep Lopez on the major league roster all year in order to keep him. The padres obviously felt that other players were more deserving of consideration for a roster spot.
Tim Lopes? No room in that infield for him.
Or Jose Lopez? Lopez was Rule 5 pickup that they sent back to his original team. No room in the bullpen for him.
Albert Belle's corked bat
Rays are happy to get Lopez back
The Reds need to give Teheran a contract, right now. Get him a ticket to Cincy.
One of the knocks on Julio was that he gave up a lot of homers. Not sure Cincy is the best landing spot for him.
I assume you haven’t seen the 13 pitchers the Reds are throwing out there this opening day.
Old timer 78
Watch a lot of Spring Games and practices. Lopes and Dahl did a lot of this well. Odor can hit. Great Ball contact. I think he will be a Surprise . Great Team Chemistry will Help everyone.
The last couple of games they’ve thrown Odor in the outfield, a position he’s never played and he looked pretty good!
As a Braves fan of many years I thought it was a mistake to move on from Teheran but it turned out to be genius. I never would of thought several years later his career has basically fallen off a cliff. Braves got their money worth out of him.
Use and abuse and trade away before free agency or let them leave as free agents. Best way to never get saddled with a brutal contract.
You can never know for sure how changing from the only team you ever played for effects a player (anyone who studies psychosomatic effects knows it can effect a players health too). He had gotten to be so inconsistent tho. He always was but the last few seasons on ATL any given day he could just as easily get shelled as pitch 6-7 strong innings.
I think the rule 5 draft is a good idea in theory to get guys who are blocked a path to the bigs with other teams, but it must feel really bad to have to be sent back to your old team who didn’t believe in you enough to protect you and now after failing to prove yourself with the team that rule 5’d you in spring, you now have to prove yourself even more to a team that feels lukewarm about you at best.
Just because a team doesn’t protect you doesn’t mean they don’t believe in you. It just means they don’t think you are ready for the show, and need those 40 man spots for those who are. The bigs are littered with guys playing for the same club that they once were Rule 5 eligible. Hundreds of players are eligible each year, few are picked. The guys who end up making the majors, who went unprotected, are typically the ones who aren’t taken in the draft.
Old timer 78
It is All in the numbers. I remember when the Friars in the Early times had very limited MLB Quality Players. Always hunting the Waiver WIRE. Now they have Really Tough Decisions.
There’s an error that says odor was a royal in 2022 when he was an oriole
Ummm Odor spent 2022 with the Orioles but the Royals
Hired Gun 23
I like Groome. Glad we brought him over for Hosmer, wish less money had gone to Boston but what can ya do…
Hosmer was a bad signing! SD was not competitive when he signed and they needed to start somewhere. SD basically released Hosmer to save $5,000,000 in CBT space, and after 6 years in the Red Sox system Groome was way down the depth chart. After watching his lack of progress in the Red Sox system, I highly doubt Groome amounts to much. He would have been a DFA had he not been traded.
Hired Gun 23
I’m glad we got him…regardless.
Did you see any of Groome’s games in El Paso last season or in spring training this year? He will be in the Padres rotation for a good portion of the 2023 season.
Hired Gun 23
Very limited exposure to his outings but from what I’ve seen, you very well could be right and I hope you are, web!
Can’t believe AJ Preller is still trying to fill out a “championship” roster with Rangers prospects from 10 years ago. Sorry but if Rougned Odor is part of your 26 man roster you’re not good enough to win a ring.
Trace Thompson played well enough on the Dodgers to earn a major league deal after washing out with the Padres. These guys are all good, sometimes it just takes the right opportunity.
Also Teheran looked pretty good to me. Perhaps they have a handshake agreement to bring him up ASAP. Does Groome still have options? Maybe they have to keep him up or lose him?
Groome can still be optioned and I think the ability to send him down is why they’re going to start the year with him. He’s looked good this spring and can throw once in Musgrove’s spot in the rotation and then they can option him back to AAA when Musgrove is ready. Not sure if Tehran can go down to the minors once he’s brought up.
The other component is probably 40 man spots. They’re going to need 2 for Dahl and Odor and they only have 1 available right now. So picking Tehran over Groome would have meant another player they have to DFA.
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Groome can only be optioned in 2023. Come next season it’s either carry him on the active roster, fake an injury to him or DFA him.
Since we are talking about 2023, it doesn’t matter what his option status is for 2024.
MLB GMs – 2
Camden453 – 0
What a loser.
some one will pick him up. 36 crappy innings of horrible play vs 1300 innings of rotation worthy innings regardless of where you put him in the rotation. also his 15 innings in spring.. stat wise isn’t down right horrible.
I would talk to him about signing if i had the room.
The San Diego Padres. LOL!