Reliever Yusmeiro Petit was released from his minor league contract with the Padres yesterday, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports (Twitter link) that he exercised an opt-out clause in the deal.
The 14-year MLB veteran returns to the open market in search of a new opportunity. He spent a bit more than a month in the San Diego organization but struggled over 11 appearances with Triple-A El Paso. Through 11 2/3 innings, he surrendered ten runs on 18 hits (including three homers). Petit’s 10:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio was fine, but he allowed too much damage on contact to keep runs off the board.
Recent Triple-A struggles aside, Petit has a generally strong track record over a much larger body of work in the big leagues. He’s posted an ERA under 4.00 in each of the past five seasons and in eight of the last nine years. The righty has been an innings-eating workhorse out of the bullpen. No pitcher recorded more outs in relief between 2017-21 than Petit, who soaked up 363 frames across 317 appearances.
The 37-year-old has never been a hard-thrower, succeeding on plus control and a knack for consistently inducing weak contact. Petit has no doubt been aided in recent years by pitching in a spacious ballpark and in front of an elite defensive unit with the A’s, but it was still a bit surprising he didn’t land a big league deal over the winter given his durability and consistency.
On the heels of a tough showing in El Paso, Petit figures to again be limited to minor league offers during his next trip to the market. There should be no shortage of clubs with interest on a non-roster deal, though, considering how effective he’s been throughout his time in the majors despite lacking overpowering stuff.