San Diego Padres – MLB Trade Rumors Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:21:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Padres Designate Buddy Baumann For Assignment, Select Contract Of Eric Lauer Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:40:18 +0000 The Padres announced this afternoon that they’ve designated left-hander Buddy Baumann for assignment in order to open roster space for southpaw Eric Lauer, who’ll start for San Diego in his MLB debut tonight. Additionally, first baseman Eric Hosmer has been placed on the family medical leave list.

Baumann, 30, gave the Padres 27 1/3 innings of quality relief from 2016-17, averaging 10.2 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 with a 2.96 earned run average. But he was hit hard in his lone outing this season, retiring just one of the six men he faced and yielding five runs (two earned) on a pair of hits and a pair of walks (in addition to an error committed behind him). Baumann’s big league experience is limited to the past three years, but he has a strong track record in Triple-A: a 3.15 ERA with 9.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9 in 257 1/3 innings there.

As for Lauer, the 22-year-old former first-rounder (25th overall, 2016) becomes the latest potential core piece for the Padres to reach the Major Leagues. He’s considered among the top 15 farmhands in a stacked Padres system, ranking 12th at and Baseball America and eighth per both ESPN’s Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus. Lauer has made three starts in Triple-A this year and turned in a 3.00 ERA with a 19-to-6 K/BB ratio and a 40.9 percent ground-ball rate. Scouting reports on him vary, of course, but the general consensus on the southpaw is that while he lacks a true out pitch, he has a fairly high floor and is a near-MLB-ready fourth or fifth starter.

As the Padres have demonstrated with Joey Lucchesi thus far in the young season, they’re not afraid to make an aggressive promotion and give a young arm the opportunity to claim a spot in the long-term rotation picture if performance dictates. With Luis Perdomo recently being optioned after an ugly start to the season, Lauer should have the opportunity to claim a spot alongside Lucchesi, Clayton Richard, Bryan Mitchell and Tyson Ross.

Padres Place Hunter Renfroe On DL Sun, 22 Apr 2018 01:00:12 +0000
  • Prior to their game Saturday, the Padres activated center fielder Manuel Margot from the disabled list and sent right fielder Hunter Renfroe to the DL (retroactive to April 18) with elbow inflammation. Margot, who suffered bruised ribs when he took a pitch to the chest, returned quickly after going on the DL on April 11. Renfroe, meanwhile, “played with one arm for about a week and a half,” manager Andy Green told Justin Toscano of and other reporters Saturday. The 26-year-old power hitter got off to a .200/.281/.440 start with two home runs in 57 PAs before going on the shelf.
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    NL Roster Notes: Bautista, Perdomo, Gonzalez, Mac/Pence Fri, 20 Apr 2018 02:38:36 +0000 The Braves don’t intend to take a long time deciding whether to bring up recent signee Jose Bautista, Michael Hoad of writes. GM Alex Anthopoulos says that the club is “optimistic [Bautista is] going to have an opportunity to come up,” so it seems the expectation is that the former star will indeed get a shot. He’ll be looking for a return to form at the plate even as he makes a surprising return to third base after nearly a decade spent mostly in the outfield. But Anthopoulos did note that he hasn’t made any promises of a MLB promotion, so it seems that Bautista will at least have to show something to get a crack at boosting a Braves team that is off to a nice start.

    Here are a few notes on some National League players who are already slated to move onto or off of a major league roster:

    • The Padres have optioned righty Luis Perdomo, per a club announcement, with reliever Kirby Yates being activated from the DL to take his roster spot. Though he showed a good bit of promise last year, Perdomo has been tagged for 13 earned runs in 14 innings in his first four starts of the 2018 campaign. Though he has given up quite a lot of hard contact, the resulting .510 batting average on balls in play surely seems like an outlier. Beyond the performance considerations, the move helps the team manage a roster that has quite a few moving parts.
    • Marlins pitching prospect Merandy Gonzalez is heading to the majors for the first time, as’s Joe Frisaro writes. Skipper Don Mattingly says he’ll use his new hurler as a long relief option for the time being. Gonzalez is a starter by trade, and has some long-term hopes of working in a big-league rotation, but at the moment is appealing mostly because he offers the possibility of filling some innings and is already on the 40-man. Miami added Gonzalez in the trade that sent reliever A.J. Ramos to the Mets last summer.
    • There’s nothing official yet, but Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweeted the “informed speculation” that outfielder Mac Williamson will join the Giants tomorrow. There are still some complications, but the 27-year-old has clearly played his way to a call-up. In fifty trips to the plate at Triple-A, he’s hitting a ridiculous .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs. Meanwhile, veteran Hunter Pence has managed only one extra-base hit, nine singles, and two walks in his 61 MLB plate appearances. It seems he will be headed to the DL with a thumb issue.
    Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres Tue, 17 Apr 2018 04:00:26 +0000 This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s 2017-18 Offseason In Review series. Click here to read the other completed reviews from around the league.

    The early-offseason buzz on the Padres’ possible interest in adding an impact player came to fruition when Eric Hosmer inked the biggest contract in franchise history. They had also reportedly shown some interest in top free agent pitchers Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. While the addition of Hosmer isn’t expected to turn the Padres into an immediate contender — nor would’ve the signing of Arrieta or Cobb, for that matter — it’s another step towards building the organization’s next playoff-caliber roster.

    Major League Signings

    Trades and Claims


    Notable Minor League Signings

    Notable Losses

    Padres 25-Man Roster & Minor League Depth ChartPadres Payroll Overview

    Needs Addressed

    The Padres still believe that Wil Myers can take a step forward and live up to the $83MM contract he signed last offseason. And it’s not a stretch, either. He’s averaged 29 homers and 24 stolen bases over the past two seasons and he’s only 27 years old. But he wasn’t comfortable in the role of clubhouse leader, which is partly why the team decided to pursue Hosmer, who filled that role on a Royals team that had a successful three-year run that included back-to-back World Series appearances and a championship.

    Valuing Hosmer was a topic of ample debate as his trip onto the open market drew near. Ultimately, the Pads and Royals decided he was worthy of a significant investment despite the fact that he’s not an overwhelming offensive force for a first baseman. Age (he’s just 28) plainly played a big role along with Hosmer’s oft-lauded makeup. Nobody questions that Hosmer is a quality big leaguer, and the hefty guarantee is spread over a lengthy term, but this type of signing always represents a notable risk for a lower-budget team.

    In addition to Hosmer, the team solidified the left side of its infield by trading for Galvis and Headley. Neither is likely to deliver huge output over the full course of the season, but they’re both steady veterans who will raise the overall standard and provide a benchmark for the team’s youthful assets to measure themselves again. It’s certainly possible that either player could end up on the move over the summer.

    The core of the bullpen — a unit compiled smartly from some unlikely places — remains intact. Craig Stammen, a successful reclamation project in 2017, was re-signed to a two-year deal over the winter. He’ll be joined by veteran Japanese hurler Kazuhisa Makita, who also signed an affordable multi-year pact.

    Most notably, though, the Padres decided to keep closer Brad Hand off of the trade block. It had long seemed he’d be moved — it was rather shocking it didn’t happen last summer — after coming out of nowhere to become one of the game’s better high-leverage relievers over the past two seasons. While the potential to plug more young talent into the system was surely tantalizing, the team smartly took advantage of an opportunity to achieve value by investing further in Hand. The extension gives the organization control through the 2021 season at what looks to be quite an appealing rate for a high-quality closer that had already reached arbitration.

    Filling out the rotation remained a need even after a late-season move to extend Clayton Richard. The Headley swap was designed primarily to bring in Bryan Mitchell, who has a big arm and will be given a chance to sink or swim in the majors. Veteran Chris Young lost a spring battle to make the staff, but old friend Tyson Ross opened some eyes in camp and has continued to show well early in the season. While the loss of intriguing youngster Dinelson Lamet has put a damper on things, the impressive arrival of 2016 fourth-rounder Joey Lucchesi has created some excitement in the early going. Robbie Erlin’s return after two seasons mostly lost to injury is also worth watching. He opened with some success in the pen and has now moved into the rotation, though his first start (just this evening) did not go as hoped.

    Questions Remaining

    Along with Hosmer and Myers, catcher Austin Hedges and center fielder Manuel Margot are all but locked in at their respective positions for the next several seasons. The team’s future double-play combination is expected to be made up of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias. Two of the best prospects in the game, both are on the fast track to San Diego, though they’ll have to earn their way up before being anointed. A lot can happen in one season, but it’s easy to imagine that group of players in the same lineup at some point in 2019. That would leave just two future lineup spots, third base and corner outfield, unsettled.

    In all likelihood, the corner outfield spot opposite Myers will likely be filled internally by one or more of Franchy Cordero, Jose Pirela and Hunter Renfroe. All three will have a chance to make their case in 2018. Cordero, who dazzled at Triple-A in 2017 with his speed-power combination, did not join the competition right away after opening the year on the DL. But with Margot hitting the shelf with an early injury, Cordero has received a chance and is off to a nice start.

    While the return of Headley gives the Padres some stability at the hot corner for at least the next few months, the team’s third baseman during their next window of contention is probably not in the organization at this time. A reunion between Hosmer and Moustakas, who could reach free agency once again next offseason, is intriguing. Filling the spot in-house is a slight possibility, although it would probably take a breakout season from second baseman Carlos Asuaje to convince the team to alter their plans for where Urias and Tatis end up on the diamond. A strong performance from Galvis, who the team could look to re-sign after the season, could also shake things up.

    With an abundance of talented pitching prospects who could reach the Majors sometime over the next 2-3 seasons, the Padres are in great shape to fill out their pitching staff without having to add significantly to their payroll. Left-hander Eric Lauer should join Lucchesi at some point in 2018, while the next wave should be ready to make an impact next season. In the meantime, Erlin, Bryan Mitchell and Luis Perdomo will have every opportunity to prove that they can be a part of the rotation for years to come. Lamet will be counted on to reenter the picture at some point in 2019.


    Hosmer is entering a situation that should seem like very familiar territory. As a highly-touted Royals prospect, he made his MLB debut in 2011. He was surrounded by talented young players, including Danny DuffyAlcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. There was a lot of hype surrounding this group, which only made it more frustrating for the fan base when the team suffered its eighth consecutive losing season. And then a ninth. That this group of players would help lead the team to 86 wins by 2013, their first post-season appearance in 19 years in 2014, and a World Series title in 2015, made it all the more special.

    This Padres team is in the midst of — you guessed it — seven consecutive losing seasons. The streak is almost certain to reach eight. But they have the resources to turn things around quickly. Their farm system was ranked third in baseball by both Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law, while Baseball Prospectus ranked it first. General manager A.J. Preller has done a terrific job stockpiling young talent and still has payroll flexibility even after committing to Myers and Hosmer.

    Signing Hosmer was not a pure win-now move, as he’s young enough to contribute for years to come. But it did represent a strong signal of the organization’s near-term aspirations. The organization’s first major outside acquisition since its failed gambit at producing a contender in Preller’s first year in town, Hosmer is evidently a believer. As I wrote in the Padres’ Offseason Outlook back in November, “If he’s convinced that the Padres are a team on the rise and on a road to contend by 2019, he could be willing to sign on.”

    He signed on. I guess that means he thinks they can contend next season. But there’s still plenty of work to be done to fully establish a new winning core in San Diego.

    How do you grade the Padres’ offseason efforts? (Link for app users.)

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Injury Notes: Kiermaier, Zunino, Iwakuma, Hosmer, Pomeranz Sun, 15 Apr 2018 22:59:30 +0000 Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier suffered a right thumb sprain during today’s game against the Phillies. He’ll get an MRI on Monday, says manager Kevin Cash (h/t Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). There’s no official word yet as to the severity, but Cash says that “he’s going to be out” and that “there’s a chance he’s going to miss a chunk of time.” On Sunday, Johnny Field replaced Kiermaier after his departure, and could get the lion’s share of the work in center field while the former Gold Glove winner is out.

    More of the latest injury notes from around MLB…

    • Bob Dutton of offers some insight into the return timetable of Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, who’s been sidelined the entire season thus far with an oblique strain. On Monday, he’ll begin a rehab assignment at the Class A Advanced level. “I’m really close,” said Zunino. “I think I’m ready now. I’ve had a couple of days of full swings in batting practice, but they’re just being really cautious.” As Dutton notes, that probably means the assignment will last at least two or three games. Meanwhile, 37-year-old right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has been throwing bullpen sessions and could begin a rehab assignment himself in a few weeks. He had shoulder surgery on September 27th of last year after spending the bulk of the season on the DL.
    • Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer missed his second consecutive game today with what’s being described as lower back tightness, AJ Cassavell of reports. A club spokesman has apparently called the injury “minor”. The Friars gave Hosmer an eight-year, $144MM contract that represents a significant investment in both their present and future, and he’s off to a solid start so far this season, hitting .288/.364/.458 in 15 games.
    • Lefty Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox is scheduled to be activated for Friday’s tilt against Oakland, Rob Bradford of reports (via Ryan Hannable of the same publication). it’ll be his first start of the season. Pomeranz has been sidelined with a flexor tendon strain all season, and his return should further improve a Red Sox ballclub that’s currently 13-2 and sits high atop the AL East.
    Padres Claim Tyler Webb Sat, 14 Apr 2018 18:06:08 +0000 The Padres announced that they have claimed southpaw Tyler Webb off waivers from the Brewers.  Webb will report to Triple-A, while Dinelson Lamet (who is slated for Tommy John surgery) will be shifted to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man roster spot.

    Milwaukee designated Webb for assignment last week, and the 27-year-old will now join his third different organization in less than a year.  Webb was selected by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2013 draft, and he made his MLB debut in the pinstripes last season before being traded to the Brewers last July for Garrett Cooper.  Webb ended up tossing eight innings for New York and Milwaukee in his first taste of Major League action, and he’ll join Buddy Baumann as San Diego’s top minor league choices for a left-handed bullpen arm.  Southpaw relievers Kyle McGrath and Robbie Erlin currently have places on the 25-man roster, as well as closer Brad Hand.

    Webb has worked primarily as a reliever throughout his pro career, only making five starts in 156 career minor league appearances.  Over 264 2/3 frames in the minors, Webb has a 3.64 ERA, 11.2 K/9, and a 4.45 K/BB ratio.

    MLB Issues Suspensions, Fines After Rockies-Padres Brawl Sat, 14 Apr 2018 16:02:25 +0000 TODAY: Arenado will begin serving his suspension today, and he has been removed from the Rockies’ lineup, Nick Groke of the Denver Post and others reported.

    FRIDAY: MLB is set to hand down a series of suspensions and fines relating to Wednesday’s brawl between the Rockies and Padres. As’s AJ Cassavell tweets, the two primary combatants — star Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado and San Diego righty Luis Perdomo — are each slated to sit for a five-game stretch.

    Also earning a decent stretch on ice is Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra, who was tagged for four games. Padres reliever Buddy Baumann received a one-game suspension. All of those players were slapped with undisclosed fines, as were Friars veterans A.J. Ellis and Freddy Galvis and Rox righty German Marquez.

    It is hardly surprising to see punishment handed down after the tumult that occurred after Perdomo spun a fastball behind Arenado’s back and the latter charged the mound, throwing haymakers as he went. Parra evidently landed a punch, which explains his relatively substantial levy.

    Both Arenado and Parra are appealing their suspensions, per Nick Groke of The Athletic (via Twitter). That’ll allow them, at least, to stay in the lineup tonight. Perdomo intends to accept his suspension, per Cassavell (via Twitter), which will likely at least push back his next scheduled start.

    Dinelson Lamet To Undergo Tommy John Surgery Fri, 13 Apr 2018 23:07:30 +0000 Padres righty Dinelson Lamet will undergo Tommy John surgery,’s AJ Cassavell reports on Twitter. He’ll miss the remainder of the 2018 season and, likely, some of the 2019 campaign as well.

    When Lamet hit the DL to open the year, the expectation was that it was only to allow him a brief rest after some elbow pain cropped up. Instead, a closer look evidently revealed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. As Cassavell notes, the young righty hoped at first to rehab rather than undergoing surgery, but ultimately elected to bite the bullet and have the procedure.

    It came as something of a surprise when Lamet was brought up to the majors early in the 2017 campaign. But he quickly proved he belonged, showing a strong fastball-slider combo that played in the rotation despite the fact that he only went to his third pitch (a change) in less than one of every twenty deliveries. The 25-year-old Lamet ended the year with a 4.57 ERA over 114 1/3 innings. He recorded 10.9 K/9 on an 11.8% swinging strike rate while permitting a few too many walks and dingers (4.3 and 1.42 per nine, respectively).

    Though there are obviously still some elements of Lamet’s game in need of being smoothed out, the hope was that he would continue to advance while providing solid innings at the MLB level. Now, he’ll be staring down a lengthy rehab process. When the 2019 season gets underway, Lamet will already have accrued 1.130 days of MLB service, so he’ll be primed for potential Super Two status if he goes straight back to the majors once he finishes his rehab.

    Padres Activate Franchy Cordero, Place Manuel Margot On 10-Day DL Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:42:26 +0000 The Padres have announced that outfielder Franchy Cordero has been activated from the disabled list and will lead off and play center field in today’s day game at Coors Field. He’ll take the place of Manuel Margot, who is going on the DL with bruised ribs.

    Cordero, 23, has been on the 40-man roster since late in 2016, so no further roster maneuvers will be required to facilitate his arrival. The toolsy youngster entered the season rated tenth by among the prospects in a deep San Diego farm system.

    This will be the second attempt at the big leagues for Cordero, who received a thirty-game run last year. He’ll obviously need to improve upon the .276 OBP he carried in that short sample. Despite his less-than-excellent first look at the majors, Cordero posted a big 2017 season at Triple-A, with a .326/.369/.603 batting line and 17 home runs in 419 plate appearances, and is off to a hot start there again this year. (He had technically opened the season on the MLB disabled list and was playing on a rehab assignment.)

    Meanwhile, Margot is set for an early-season respite after taking a pitch to the chest. He was already cleared of any fractures, so it seems likely this’ll be a relatively short stay. Margot has struggled to post just seven hits through his first 49 plate appearances, only two of which have gone for extra bases. The organization will surely exercise patience, though, with a player who is already a premium asset in the field. Margot showed a fair bit of promise last year, when he slashed .263/.313/.409 with 13 home runs and 17 steals in his 529 plate appearances.

    Padres Acquire Brett Nicholas From Rangers Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:03:12 +0000 The Padres announced that they’ve acquired catcher Brett Nicholas from the Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Nicholas, 29, was outrighted off the Rangers’ 40-man roster late in Spring Training and recently was further displaced by Texas’ signing of Cameron Rupp to a minor league contract. The Padres have assigned him to Triple-A El Paso.

    Nicholas has appeared in 36 games for the Rangers over the past two seasons, tallying 110 plate appearances and hitting .252/.300/.446 with four homers in that brief sample. He’s halted just two of 15 stolen-base attempts against Rangers pitching in that time, though he’s been more effective (27 percent) in parts of eight minor league seasons. Baseball Prospectus doesn’t view his pitch framing in either the Majors or the minors too highly, but Nicholas is a lifetime .283/.333/.427 hitter in 1669 Triple-A plate appearances.

    Padres general manager A.J. Preller is plenty familiar with Nicholas, as he was an assistant GM with the Rangers back in 2010 when Texas drafted Nicholas in the sixth round out of Missouri. The left-handed-hitting Nicholas will give the Friars some additional depth behind catchers Austin Hedges and A.J. Ellis, and he also comes with some experience at first base. It seems likely that Nicholas will team with Raffy Lopez to handle the bulk of the catching duties in Triple-A.

    Padres Place Wil Myers On 10-Day DL Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:37:32 +0000
  • The Padres announced tonight that they’ve placed Wil Myers on the 10-day disabled list due to nerve irritation in his right arm and recalled right-hander Phil Maton from Triple-A El Paso. While Myers will be shut down from baseball activities entirely for the next few days, the Friars don’t consider the injury to be serious and are actually expecting a minimal DL stint, as’s AJ Cassavell writes. X-rays have already shown that there’s no structural damage in Myers’ arm, per Cassavell, who adds that a specialist examined Myers and made the diagnosis of some apparently mild irritation. “It’s early in the season,” Myers told Cassavell. “If I can use these days to get this right, get my back right, to finish the last 148 games completely healthy, it’s the right move.”
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    Padres To Select Contract Of Tyson Ross Tue, 03 Apr 2018 15:20:53 +0000 The Padres will select the contract of veteran righty Tyson Ross in time for him to start today’s contest,’s AJ Cassavell reports on Twitter. He joined the team on a minors deal over the winter.

    Ross had been reassigned to open the season, but was expected to join the MLB roster in short order once he was needed to make a start. He’ll earn a $1.75MM base salary and can also achieve up to $4.25MM in incentive pay that accrues with every fifth start.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether Ross can rediscover the form that made him such an effective hurler for the Padres in his original run with the organization. Injuries have intervened, of course, and Ross was markedly ineffective (7.71 ERA, 36 K, 37 BB) in his 49 MLB innings last year while maintaining career-low velocity readings on his four- and two-seam fastballs.

    That said, Ross had quite a strong track record before his shoulder problems began. And reports were fairly promising this spring. Ross allowed five earned on ten hits in his 15 Cactus League innings, with an 11:6 K/BB ratio.

    Padres Could Remove Luis Perdomo From Rotation Sun, 01 Apr 2018 13:27:25 +0000
  • After a rough season debut Saturday, Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo is in danger of losing his starting job, perhaps even his roster spot, AJ Cassavell of writes. The 24-year-old Perdomo surrendered five earned runs on seven hits and four walks (with seven strikeouts) in four innings during a loss to Milwaukee, after which Padres manager Andy Green said: “It’s two years on the roster [for Perdomo]. It’s just one outing this year, and it wasn’t a great outing. But it’s time for him to go. It’s time for him to step up and attack. The challenge is out there in front of him.” If Perdomo does fall out of San Diego’s starting five, it could turn to left-hander Robbie Erlin, per Cassavell. Erlin, 27, pitched 3 2/3 innings of two-run relief Saturday in his first action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2016.
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    Wil Myers Dealing With Back Issue Sun, 01 Apr 2018 02:13:31 +0000
  • Padres corner outfielder Wil Myers has been dealing with back trouble over the past couple weeks, and it kept him out of the lineup Saturday. It doesn’t seem to be a serious injury, however, as manager Andy Green told reporters including AJ Cassavell of that Myers’ issue is “a day-to-day thing at most.” Myers suggested that moving from his previous position, first base, to the outfield has had a detrimental effect on his back in the early going. “I need to work on my posture a little more,” Myers said. Playing a new position kind of wears on you a little bit. I’ll be fine, going to keep working to get it better. Before too long, it’ll be gone.” Myers, who began his major league career in 2013 as an outfielder, spent the previous two seasons as a first baseman. He moved back to the grass in the offseason to accommodate Eric Hosmer, whom the Padres signed to an eight-year, $144MM contract in free agency.
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    Joey Lucchesi To Make MLB Debut Friday Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:53:40 +0000 The Padres rotation — like other parts of the roster — came with some surprises. As Dennis Lin of the Athletic tweets, Joey Lucchesi is going to take the ball for the team’s second game of the season. And while veteran righty Tyson Ross didn’t open the season on the active roster, he’s expected to be added in short order, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune adds on Twitter. Acee notes that there’ll be some competition early in the season to see who’ll be able to stick as a long-term piece in the unsettled rotation mix, noting that Lucchesi has a chance to stay if he performs well.

    Lucchesi, 24, was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft and will be the first pitcher taken that season to appear in the Majors. He ranks ninth in a stacked Padres farm system according to both and Baseball America, having turned in a combined 2.20 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and 50 percent ground-ball rate in 139 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A last season.

    Padres Set Roster Thu, 29 Mar 2018 01:46:13 +0000
  • Outfielder Matt Szczur and righty Jordan Lyles will be part of the Padres’ Opening Day roster, AJ Cassavell of tweets. The out-of-options Szczur, 28, will continue to provide outfield depth in San Diego after coming over in a trade with the Cubs last summer. Lyles, meanwhile, spent a bit of time with the Padres in 2017 and then re-signed on a major league contract in the offseason. The deal also features a club option for 2019 for Lyles, who’ll begin the year in the Friars’ bullpen. Having pitched to a 5.43 ERA/4.55 FIP across 681 combined innings (182 appearances, 107 starts) with the Astros, Rockies and Padres, Lyles hasn’t lived up to the billing he had as a prospect. He’s still just 27, however.
  • Catchers A.J. Ellis and Raffy Lopez will also be on the Padres’ roster, the team announced. Those two and starter Austin Hedges will give the Padres three backstops on their 25-man roster. Ellis, an established veteran backup, is now set to make $1.25MM after signing a minor league deal in the offseason. The 30-year-old Lopez, who brings just 83 PAs of MLB experience, also signed a minors pact over the winter.
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    Padres Outright Rowan Wick Wed, 28 Mar 2018 19:34:26 +0000 The Padres have outrighted right-hander Rowan Wick after he cleared waivers, per a club announcement. That move frees up a 40-man spot for the club’s final roster decisions.

    Claimed off waivers from the Cardinals during the offseason, Wick will land somewhere in the Padres system to open the 2017 season. He’s known for a big arm but is still new to pitching after moving out from behind the plate. Last year, he worked to a 3.19 ERA in 42 1/3 innings, most of them in the upper minors, while recording 8.9 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.

    Padres Release Chris Young Tue, 27 Mar 2018 14:30:00 +0000 Veteran right-hander Chris Young has been released by the Padres, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). Young triggered his opt-out rights after learning that he would not be added to the Opening Day roster.

    The Pads had given Young a long look as a rotation candidate this spring, but ultimately decided against keeping the 38-year-old. He had been slated to earn a $1MM base salary in the majors, with a hefty potential incentives package that included up to an additional $6MM more.

    Young had been hoping to bounce back with the Pads after a pair of miserable seasons. He has already shown he can be useful in his late thirties, with two sturdy campaigns in 2014 and 2015, but has stumbled to a 6.52 ERA in his 118 2/3 frames since the start of 2016. This spring, he recorded 15 strikeouts against four walks in his 14 1/3 innings, but also coughed up four dingers and a dozen earned runs.

    San Diego’s decision to keep reliever Adam Cimber left no space in the bullpen and created additional 40-man roster pressure, leaving Young on the outside looking in. Presumably, he could still rejoin the organization on another minors deal if he’s unable to find a better situation elsewhere.

    The decision means we won’t see Young pitch for the Padres for the first time since 2010. But it could suggest that another old favorite, Tyson Ross, will earn his way back onto the team after also joining as a non-roster player. Ross, whose career dove when shoulder issues arose, has reputedly looked good this spring and has allowed only five earned runs in his 15 Cactus League frames.

    Padres Finalizing Pitching Plans Tue, 27 Mar 2018 04:29:31 +0000 The Padres are in the process of finalizing their pitching plans for the start of the coming campaign. Righty reliever Adam Cimber has forced his way onto the Opening Day roster after turning in an unexpectedly excellent spring, as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports on Twitter. The 27-year-old built off of a quality 2017 effort in the upper minors — over which he threw 80 2/3 innings of 2.90 ERA ball with 7.3 K/9 and just 1.1 BB/9 — by posting nine scoreless frames in the Cactus League. Meanwhile, veteran righty Chris Young will not break camp in the majors, Acee also tweets. It’s not known at this point whether he’ll exercise his opt-out clause, but that’s at least an option for the towering 38-year-old, whose spring (15 strikeouts but also four home runs in 14 1/3 innings) largely imitated his past two seasons’ output (116 strikeouts but also 35 home runs in 118 2/3 innings).

    Padres Outright Carter Capps Mon, 26 Mar 2018 17:19:14 +0000 Padres reliever Carter Capps has been outrighted to Triple-A El Paso after clearing waivers, according to a team announcement. The move frees up a spot on the Padres’ 40-man roster.

    Earlier in his career, the right-handed Capps looked like one of the game’s next great relievers. He was electrifying across 31 innings with the Marlins in 2015, when he recorded a 1.16 ERA/1.10 FIP with a ridiculous 16.84 K/9 against 2.03 BB/9. Capps then had to undergo Tommy John surgery prior to the 2016 campaign, keeping him out that entire year, and his career hasn’t gotten back on track since.

    In July 2016, when he was recovering from surgery, the Marlins traded Capps to the Padres in a seven-player deal that also involved the likes of Andrew Cashner and now-Red Luis Castillo. Capps returned to the mound with the Padres last season, but the near-invincibility he showed in 2015 wasn’t on display. Thanks in part to a significant drop in velocity, Capps yielded nine earned runs on 12 hits and two walks, with just seven strikeouts, in 12 1/3 innings. He then underwent another serious procedure, thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, in late September.

    Capps returned to action this spring and struggled again, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. While Capps didn’t walk anyone, he only fanned four. Now, given that there aren’t any MLB teams that believe this version of Capps is worthy of a 40-man spot, he’ll have to rebuild his stock in the minors.

    Dinelson Lamet Headed For Disabled List With Elbow Issue Mon, 26 Mar 2018 02:23:08 +0000 Padres right-hander Dinelson Lamet is headed for the disabled list after leaving Sunday’s outing after just six batters due to elbow pain, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  There doesn’t appear to be any structural damage to Lamet’s elbow and a source tells Acee that the righty will miss just “minimal time,” though that absence looks like it could last into May.  “The hope is he will miss only the season’s first month,” Acee writes, which is a somewhat ominously vague timeframe for a pitcher who was expected to play a big role in San Diego’s rotation.  Lamet posted a 4.57 ERA, 2.57 K/BB rate and a whopping 10.9 K/9 over 114 1/3 innings in his rookie season, displaying some control and home run-allowance issues but impressing many with his ability to miss bats.

    Franchy Cordero Headed To DL Sun, 25 Mar 2018 16:14:16 +0000
  • Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero will begin the season on the disabled list because of a groin injury, per AJ Cassavell of Cordero, 23, had been in the running for a big league roster spot, but that bid’s now on hold. As a result, it’s likely Hunter Renfroe and one of Matt Szczur or Travis Jankowski will open 2018 as the Padres’ reserves behind starting outfielders Wil Myers, Manny Margot and Jose Pirela, Cassavell suggests.
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    Padres Had Late Interest In Alex Cobb Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:41:02 +0000
  • Before Alex Cobb signed with the Orioles, “the Padres got involved late on” the free agent righty’s market.  It would’ve been another eye-popping move for a team that surprised many by signing Eric Hosmer, though the Padres could’ve simply been doing some due diligence — Cobb likely drew interest from several seemingly-unlikely teams as he continued to languish on the open market.  The Padres also had at least some interest in Jake Arrieta, another big-name free agent starter who was still unexpectedly available into March.  Given A.J. Preller’s penchant for aggressive moves and the Padres’ prospect depth, I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego made a big in-season trade to further kickstart its rebuilding process.

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    Alex Dickerson To Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Miss 2018 Season Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:58:22 +0000 Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a sprained UCL in his throwing elbow, The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reports (Twitter link).  Dickerson had been considering non-surgical options but instead he’ll go under the knife near the end of March, and be sidelined for the entire 2018 season.

    Dickerson, 27, made a good impression as a rookie in 2016, hitting .257/.333/.455 with 10 homers over 285 plate appearances for San Diego.  He hasn’t played a big league game since, however, as back problems and eventual surgery sidelined him for all of 2017.  Dickerson was already facing a tough path to a 25-man roster spot due to the Padres’ crowded left field situation, and now he’ll lose another year of his career due to the Tommy John procedure.

    A third-round pick for the Pirates in the 2011 draft, Dickerson came to the Padres in November 2013 in a trade for Jaff Decker and Miles Mikolas.  Dickerson has posted very strong minor league numbers, with a career .309/.367/.501 slash line over 2138 PA down on the farm.  Baseball America ranked him as San Diego’s 22nd-best prospect prior to the 2016 season.

    Padres Release Tom Wilhelmsen Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:30:58 +0000
  • The Padres have released reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, whom they signed to a minor league contract last month. Before the Padres parted with him, Wilhelmsen tossed four innings of four-run ball during the exhibition season. Wilhelmsen was highly successful as a Mariner from 2011-15, a stretch in which he was their closer at times, but the right-hander has seen his career go off the rails since then. The 34-year-old combined for 72 2/3 innings of 5.94 ERA ball and posted 5.57 K/9 against 3.84 BB/9, with a strong 50.4 percent groundball rate, from 2016-17 as a member of the Mariners, Rangers and Diamondbacks.
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    Latest On Padres' Pitching Battles Sat, 17 Mar 2018 06:00:23 +0000
  • The Padres are no longer considering Jordan Lyles for their rotation,’s AJ Cassavell tweets. The veteran righty could still earn a pen slot; given that the Padres promised him $1MM for the season in a deal that includes a 2019 option, it would seem they expected to carry him on the roster in some capacity. But the 27-year-old has been roughed up this spring and in his recent MLB seasons. By Cassavell’s reckoning, also via Twitter, that leaves the battle for the club’s final two starting jobs to veterans Tyson Ross and Chris Young along with younger hurlers Luis Perdomo and Robbie Erlin.
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    Cimber Forcing His Way Into Padres' Bullpen Mix Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:21:47 +0000
  • Padres skipper Andy Green tells the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee that right-hander Adam Cimber has pitched his way into consideration for a spot in the team’s Opening Day bullpen. Cimber, 27, spent Spring Training 2017 in minor league camp and by Green’s own admission wasn’t near the top of the team’s list headed into big league camp this year. A sidearming righty, Cimber has hurled six shutout innings with two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. Recently, he’s been facing high-profile hitters such as Edwin Encarnacion, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras and still finding success, Acee notes. The opportunity before him isn’t lost on the former ninth-rounder, who signed for a $5K bonus in 2013. Cimber discusses the opportunity to finally earn a big league salary playing the game he loves, as well as some of the ups and downs that come with being a minor league relief prospect.
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    Asuaje, Spangenberg Creating Tough Decision For Padres Wed, 14 Mar 2018 02:14:16 +0000
  • Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune highlights the ongoing competition for the Padres’ starting second base job, which is currently down to Carlos Asuaje and Cory Spangenberg. Both have been impressive this spring, OPSing north of .900 in their small samples of work, but as Acee notes, there may only be room for one of them to make the roster. (Both have two minor league options remaining.) However, he does note that manager Andy Green’s tone on the matter has changed somewhat. After once characterizing the competition as an either-or scenario, Green took a softer stance Tuesday. “We’re not set in stone how we’re going to put the roster together all the way across,” said Green. “It’s going to be tough the way we’re currently constructed to carry both of them, but it’s not an impossibility.” The winner of the competition won’t have any time to get comfortable, though; as Acee notes, prospect Luis Urias is also looming and could debut early in the 2018 campaign as well.
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    Reaction To The Phillies/Jake Arrieta Agreement Mon, 12 Mar 2018 04:23:39 +0000 One of the offseason’s major free agents finally came off the board today, as Jake Arrieta agreed to a three-year, $75MM contract with the Phillies that will become official once the right-hander passes a physical.  Here is some of the early reaction to the deal…

    • “For the Phillies, this was as close to a no-brainer as $25 million per season gets,” David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes.  Murphy argues that the Phillies were simply in such dire need for starting pitching that a quality arm like Arrieta was too good to pass up, even at a significant price for a still-rebuilding team.  Though Arrieta’s performance dipped in 2017, Murphy notes that even Arrieta’s down year still more or less equaled Aaron Nola’s numbers, so “in essence, the Phillies will have added another Nola even if Arrieta’s 2017 is his new normal.”  Even if Arrieta declines further, the three-year length of the deal means that he won’t be much of a long-term burden on the Phils’ spending abilities.
    • The threat of such a decline, however, makes this signing “a strange one” for the Phillies, in the opinion of’s Keith Law (subscription required).  Arrieta’s peripherals and velocity were both down in 2017, and Law wonders if “this is a Tim Lincecum situation where there’s no actual injury but he’s just wearing down after a great peak.”  Even if Arrieta stabilizes his performance or regains some of his old form, Law questions the wisdom of a contract that will likely deliver most of its value before the Phillies are truly ready to contend.
    • “The Padres had more than passing interest in Jake Arrieta”, Dennis Lin of the Athletic tweets, but the $25MM average annual value of Arrieta’s contract was too high for San Diego’s liking.  The club was known to have been at least considering the idea of going after the right-hander, who could’ve joined Eric Hosmer as the second major Scott Boras client to (surprisingly) sign with the Padres this winter.  Lin feels the Padres are likely to stick with their current rotation mix rather than add another starting pitcher, though “there are fans of Alex Cobb in the organization.”
    • The Nationals had been mentioned as a speculative landing spot for Arrieta for much of the offseason, due to both the Nats’ possible need for another starter and Boras’ well-documented relationship with the Lerner family.  As Mark Zuckerman of notes, however, “Nats folks insisted from the beginning Boras was trying to make them more interested in Arrieta than they were.”  Even if Washington was more likely to engage in Arrieta’s market if the price dropped, it seemingly never got low enough for the Nationals to make a strong bid.
    Padres Made Run At Yelich Before Brewers Trade Sat, 10 Mar 2018 05:41:31 +0000
  • In other news that’s largely of historical interest, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag provided some notes on the Padres’ offseason efforts. The team was able to land Eric Hosmer after Kansas City was unable to earn ownership authorization for its initially reported, seven-year offer, Heyman reports. That seemingly helps explain why subsequent reports indicated that K.C. never went that high in the bidding. San Diego also “made a big play” for outfielder Christian Yelich before he was shipped from the Marlins to the Brewers, Heyman notes in his leaguewide rundown of information. Notably, the Pads effectively ended up adding an outfielder when they inked Hosmer, thus pushing Wil Myers back onto the grass.
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    Could The Padres Add A Starter? Thu, 08 Mar 2018 19:39:15 +0000
  • The Padres have had “internal discussions” about Jake Arrieta, writes FanRag’s Jon Heyman, though he notes that it’s not clear if the team has any interest in actually making an offer. Realistically, there are likely many clubs that aren’t obvious suitors for Arrieta and the remaining top-level free agents that have at least internally kicked around the idea of delving back into the open market with prices bottoming out in recent weeks. Arrieta “has the fortitude to wait things out,” per the report, however. Heyman notes that Padres sources have indicated they’re at least keeping tabs on market prices for several players, which, again, probably holds true for a number of clubs.
  • Meanwhile, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune spoke to two agents who represent two of the remaining starters on the market within the past week and was told that the Padres are “looking for pitching.” However, Padres officials emphasized to him that they’re not actively pursuing arms from outside the organization and are focused on the in-house options they have — both at the big league level and looming in one of the game’s best farm systems.
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    Alex Dickerson Reportedly Weighing Tommy John Surgery Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:08:06 +0000
  • Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson, who was diagnosed with a sprained UCL recently, could be looking at Tommy John surgery to repair his throwing elbow, tweets Dennis Lin of The Athletic. Dickerson, who missed all of the 2017 season due to back surgery, is still considering a non-surgical rehab program as well, however.
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    Alex Dickerson Diagnosed With UCL Sprain Thu, 08 Mar 2018 03:48:25 +0000 Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson has been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left (throwing) elbow, and surgery is a possibility, writes’s AJ Cassavell. It’s a tough break for the 27-year-old Dickerson, who missed all of the 2017 season following back surgery but showed some promise at the plate in his rookie campaign in 2016. That year, Dickerson slashed .257/.333/.455 with 10 homers in 285 plate appearances while walking at a 9.1 percent clip and fanning in just 15.4 percent of his plate appearances. Per Cassavell, the club is “hopeful” that Dickerson won’t require Tommy John surgery, but even if he doesn’t require surgery, he’s likely to miss at least the first month of the season.

    Colin Rea Suffers Setback Sun, 04 Mar 2018 00:25:06 +0000
  • The Padres have temporarily halted right-hander Colin Rea’s throwing program after he experienced soreness in his pitching shoulder Friday, AJ Cassavell of reports. Rea, who’s working back from 2016 Tommy John surgery, is now unlikely to be ready for the start of the year, Cassavell suggests. Consequently, it appears he’s out of the running for a spot in the Padres’ season-opening rotation, though Cassavell notes that they still have seven other candidates for their starting five.
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    NL West Notes: Samardzija, Padres, Rockies Sat, 03 Mar 2018 07:28:45 +0000 Giants righty Jeff Samardzija held an interesting chat with’s Jon Morosi. In large part, it’s a lengthy discussion of Samardzija’s multi-sport background and decision to pursue baseball professionally — which, he says, was driven more by interest than any considerations of the health implications of playing in the NFL. The San Francisco hurler likens the game of baseball to a “big painting you put together” and hints he could still have some masterpieces in his brush. He also suggests he’s not yet thinking about the end: “Where’s the end of the wick? Who knows? Let’s find out. That’s the fun of it all.”

    More from the NL West:

    • As the Padres consider roster options, the club is looking to squeeze some added utility out of certain players. Infielder Christian Villanueva, in particular, will be tried out as a backup option at short, per’s AJ Cassavell (via Twitter). The 26-year-old, who’s out of options, has played all of 14 innings at short as a professional. But after he posted a .296/.369/.528 slash at Triple-A last year, the Pads seem to be looking for ways to hang onto Villanueva.
    • In other Padres news, the organization is seeing promising signs from injured hurlers Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea, per Cassavell. The Tommy John recoverees are certainly interesting players to watch this spring, as both have shown their talent at times in the past. Erlin, it’s worth noting, is well ahead of Rea in the rehab process, though both are well over a year removed from their procedures. Both are part of a long list of pitching possibilities in Padres camp, as reflected in the current organizational depth chart over at Roster Resource.
    • It seems one area of focus this spring for the Rockies is finding a way to swipe a few more bags. As Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports, the club is particularly interested to see whether the fleet-footed Raimel Tapia can learn to translate his speed into stolen bases. Just as interesting as the efforts on the bases, it seems there’s at least some hope that Tapia could hold down a spot at the top of the lineup. That seems a bit of a questionable fit, as the young outfielder doesn’t walk much and is therefore quite reliant upon maintaining a lofty batting average on balls in play to get on base. While lineup construction is hardly the most consequential issue facing the Rox, it seems worth noting that second baseman DJ LeMahieu has led the club in OBP in each of the past two seasons and would seem to be a sensible fit in the leadoff spot.
    Minor MLB Transactions: 3/1/18 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 18:07:40 +0000 Here are Thursday’s minor moves from around the game…

    • The Padres have added veteran outfielder Cole Gillespie on a minor league contract, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. San Diego already has a fairly notable outfield crunch, though Gillespie is surely viewed as little more than a minor league depth option at this juncture. The 33-year-old didn’t play in affiliated ball last season, splitting the year between the Mexican League and the independent Atlantic League and batting a combined .283/.353/.384. Gillespie logged 212 plate appearances for the 2015-16 Marlins and hit .276/.318/.413 in that time — his most recent MLB action. He’s spent parts of six seasons in the Majors, where he’s batted .251/.305/.367, and he’s a career .289/.381/.459 hitter in parts of eight Triple-A campaigns.
    Green On Padres' Outfield Logjam Thu, 01 Mar 2018 04:43:41 +0000
  • The Dodgers and Padres are both facing crowded outfield mixes, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick notes in a team-by-team look at the Cactus League. The Dodgers made “every attempt” to trade Matt Kemp after reacquiring him in a salary-motivated trade back in December but were unable to find a taker. He’s now competing with Joc Pederson and Andrew Toles for at-bats in left field, with prospect Alex Verdugo looming as well. The Padres, meanwhile, have Manuel Margot and Wil Myers holding down a pair of outfield spots, leaving a huge group of Hunter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski and Franchy Cordero vying for playing time. Skipper Andy Green tells Crasnick there’s a “cutthroat competition” for playing time but also noted that the deep mix of outfielders creates the ability to platoon and play matchups more effectively.
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    Padres Notes: Young, Mitchell Mon, 26 Feb 2018 01:42:52 +0000 The late Kevin Towers was memorialized at a “Celebration Of Life” ceremony today at Petco Park, with scores of Towers’ friends and colleagues from around baseball in attendance.  The Associated Press’ Jay Paris and the Padres’ Bill Center each have details on some of the memorials from the 22 speakers who shared their experiences and fond memories of Towers, whose 35 years in baseball included stints as the general manager of the Padres and the Diamondbacks.  “He was one of the guys that always brought all the GMs together,” said former Reds and Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty.  “Kevin loved life and lived it to the fullest.  He suffered a lot in the last two years but he always stayed positive and fought a brave fight.  There will never be another KT.”

    • Also from Laurila’s piece, he hears from right-hander Chris Young that multiple teams contacted the veteran about potential front office positions this winter.  The 38-year-old isn’t quite ready to retire, and in fact hopes to play two more seasons, though he is realistic that his on-field future could be decided within the next few weeks.  “This spring is going to determine that.  I’m either going to show that I’m back to being myself, or that my stuff isn’t playing.  If my stuff isn’t there and I can’t get outs, the time will have come to move on from the playing side,” Young said.  The Padres signed Young to a minor league deal this winter to see if he can rebound from a very rough pair of seasons; Young posted a 6.52 ERA over 118 2/3 innings with the Royals in 2016-17, allowing a whopping 35 home runs in that stretch.
    • After three years of shuttling between Triple-A and the Yankees’ big league roster, Bryan Mitchell is relieved to finally have a stable place in the Padres’ rotation, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes.  “It’s awesome….To know that now, I can set all my focus on Opening Day and working toward that.  I don’t have to put pressure on myself or worry about that,” Mitchell said.  “It’s just less stress, to be honest — to know that’s how they [the Padres] feel and I have that waiting on me.  I can just set my goals on that first start and have everything ready versus have everything ready and not knowing.  It eliminates the unknown factor.”  The Padres felt strongly enough about Mitchell’s potential that they were willing to take on the $13MM remaining on Chase Headley’s contract in order to acquire the right-hander from New York.
    Preller, Green On Addition Of Hosmer Thu, 22 Feb 2018 05:47:00 +0000 Padres GM A.J. Preller said at yesterday’s press conference to introduce Eric Hosmer that Hosmer’s openness to new data was a key component in signing him (link via Dennis Lin of The Athletic). “[H]e’s a guy with an inquisitive mind,” said Preller. “Those are things that, when we sat down with him, were important to us.” Many have suggested that Hosmer, one of the league leaders in ground-ball rate, could more consistently tap into his power and become a more reliable offensive weapon were he to adopt a more fly-ball-oriented approach.

    Regarding the divide between Hosmer’s four Gold Glove Awards and his poor ratings from Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, manager Andy Green noted that those metrics don’t account for Hosmer’s ability to pick low throws, nor do they account for “organizational philosophy on (defensive) positioning.” Lin also spoke to Padres lefty Matt Strahm, who teamed with Hosmer in Kansas City before being traded to San Diego last summer. Strahm referred to Hosmer as “Superman” and noted that Hosmer “literally can pull all 25 guys in a clubhouse together, and I’ve never seen that.”

    Padres To Designate Rocky Gale Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:14:38 +0000 The Padres will designate catcher Rocky Gale for assignment, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic (Twitter link). That’ll open a 40-man spot to accommodate the signing of Eric Hosmer.

    Gale, who is just days from his thirtieth birthday, has seen limited MLB time in parts of two seasons. He spent the bulk of 2017 playing at Triple-A, where he slashed .278/.328/.365 over 377 plate appearances.

    Despite his lack of opportunities in the majors, Gale certainly has ample experience in the upper minors. He first reached Triple-A way back in 2011 and has seen at least some action at the highest level of the minors in every ensuing season.

    San Diego could still included Gale in its camp competition for the reserve catching role if he ultimately clears waivers. For now, though, veteran A.J. Ellis is likely in the lead for the job as the backup to starter Austin Hedges. The only catcher currently on the 40-man is Luis Torrens, who was kept on the active roster last year as a Rule 5 pick. Minor-league signee Rafael Lopez is also in camp along with non-roster invitees Stephen McGee and Austin Allen (neither of whom has yet appeared in the majors).

    Padres Sign Eric Hosmer Tue, 20 Feb 2018 03:30:05 +0000 MONDAY: The deal is official, with the Padres announcing the signing of Hosmer as well as the key terms.

    SATURDAY: The Padres have agreed to sign first baseman Eric Hosmer, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  The contract is an eight-year deal that includes an opt-out clause after the fifth season, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter).  The deal contains a full no-trade clause for the first three seasons and then limited no-trade protection afterwards, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller reports (Twitter links).  Hosmer will be paid $20MM in each of the first five seasons and $13MM in the three remaining years, plus a $5MM signing bonus.  The $144MM total figure represents the largest contract in the history of the Padres franchise.  Hosmer is represented by the Boras Corporation.

    Eric HosmerThe agreement concludes a rather unusual trip through the open market for Hosmer, and he winds up on a team that nobody could’ve predicted as a potential suitor last fall.  With a rebuild underway and Wil Myers safely locked in at first base, the Padres didn’t at all appear to fit as a landing spot for Hosmer’s services.  Instead, San Diego rather quickly emerged as an interested party in Hosmer, as the team felt that his young age (he turned 28 last October) indicated that he could still be a productive cornerstone player when the Padres were again ready to contend.  With Hosmer now signed, in fact, it’s possible that the Friars could push that contention timeline forward by at least one season.

    [Updated Padres depth chart at Roster Resource]

    Hosmer is the second major free agent first baseman to join a surprise team this winter, after Carlos Santana’s deal with the Phillies.  Both signings represent aggressive moves by rebuilding clubs, and while Philadelphia has been widely expected to kickstart their ride back into contention with a big splurge in the 2018-19 free agent market, the Padres were seen to be at least a couple of years away since most of the top names in their well-regarded farm system were still in the lower minors.  General manager A.J. Preller is no stranger to aggressive moves, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he tried to deal some of those young blue-chippers for players that could help the Padres as soon as 2019.

    The lackluster San Diego lineup has now added three notable veteran upgrades this offseason, though obviously Hosmer is a long-term asset in a way that Chase Headley and Freddy Galvis (potential trade chips and both signed through only 2018) are not.  Myers will shift into a corner outfield spot, leaving Jose Pirela, Hunter Renfroe, Alex Dickerson, Cory Spangenberg, and Matt Szczur all battling for regular at-bats in the other corner position or in bench roles.  The Padres could also look to deal from this surplus to add pitching depth in the rotation or bullpen.

    Hosmer entered free agency on the heels of a career year that saw him hit .318/.385/.498 (all career bests) with 25 homers and 98 runs scored over 671 plate appearances with the Royals last season, and he was also one of five players who appeared in all 162 of his team’s games in 2017.  As good as he was, however, Hosmer is still looking to string together consecutive quality seasons as a big leaguer — he has alternated between strong years and replacement-level performances in each of the last six seasons.  Hosmer’s grounder-heavy offensive attack seems to leave him prone to a wide variance in production, as he has been pretty average in the power and walks department.  It has been theorized that Hosmer’s approach at the plate would differ if he left Kauffman Stadium, though moving to another pitcher-friendly stadium in Petco Park will make it interesting to see what adjustments, if any, Hosmer makes.

    These question marks surrounding Hosmer’s status as a top-tier player, plus the general chill surrounding the free agent class as a whole this offseason, may have contributed to a relative lack of teams in his market.  With other possible first base-needy teams (i.e. the Red Sox, Mariners, Cardinals) turning to other lineup options, Hosmer’s market was seemingly limited to just the Padres and Royals.

    A Hosmer reunion also seemed somewhat curious for a K.C. team that appears to be entering a rebuild stage, though the Royals also valued Hosmer’s youth and potential as a long-term building block, particularly since he has already contributed to one World Series title and is hugely popular within both the Kansas City community and the Royals’ clubhouse.  The Royals had reportedly offered Hosmer a seven-year deal in the nine-figure range, though the exact dollar figure wasn’t quite certain.

    Instead, the Royals will now receive an extra pick after the first round of the June amateur draft as compensation for Hosmer (who rejected a qualifying offer) signing elsewhere for more than $50MM.  Combined with their other compensation pick for Lorenzo Cain’s deal with the Brewers, plus their Competitive Balance Draft selection, the Royals currently have four of the top 40 picks in the draft, setting them up for a strong reload of their farm system.  Another pick will be coming their way if Mike Moustakas signs elsewhere, as well.  For the Padres, since they are revenue-sharing recipients and didn’t exceed the luxury tax, they’ll only have to surrender their third-highest draft pick as penalty for signing Hosmer.

    The Padres had reportedly issued a seven-year offer worth under $140MM to Hosmer, so it looks like the extra year and the extra bit of cash sealed the deal.  Hosmer is guaranteed to make at least $105MM as a Padre, and he’ll have the option of testing the free agent market again after his age-32 season.  MLBTR projected Hosmer for a six-year, $132MM deal this winter (ranking third on our list of the offseason’s top 50 free agents), so Hosmer’s actual deal fell short in average annual value ($18MM per year to our $22MM per year) but contained more potential years and a larger overall dollar figure.  If Hosmer does opt out, he’ll have earned an average of $21MM per season over the first five years.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

    Hunter Renfroe Reportedly Drawing Trade Interest Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:46:49 +0000 Trade interest in outfielder Hunter Renfroe has picked up, according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of The report comes less than 24 hours after the Padres’ signing of Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144MM contract.

    The signing of Hosmer would seem to displace incumbent first baseman Wil Myers, pushing him back to the outfield where he began his career. That would correspondingly create a logjam in the outfield for the Padres, as Renfroe, Jose Pirela and Manuel Margot had previously seemed tabbed for the three spots there. The team also has Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski, Cory Spangenberg and Matt Szczur, all of whom are candidates to compete for at least some at-bats. With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that teams would be calling about the 26-year-old Renfroe. Whether or not the Padres are seriously considering trading him remains to be seen, of course.

    Renfroe boasts less than a full season’s worth of MLB at-bats for his career, and has struck out in over 28% of them. His power upside is tremendous, however, and that potential has translated to 30 career long balls thus far. It’s worth noting that after being recalled from the minors on September 18th of last season, Renfroe smashed six homers in his final 11 games of the season. If the former top prospect can work to reduce his sky-high 33.7% career chase rate and improve his contact overall, he’d be a truly valuable hitter for any major league ballclub.

    Which teams are interested in acquiring the righty-hitting Renfroe and what they’d be willing to give up is unclear at this time. Morosi notes that the Braves are currently looking to add an outfielder, and Renfroe is a long-term piece (he’s under team control through at least 2023) that could certainly help the Braves during their next window of contention if he pans out. The Indians are in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder as well, though that fit is merely speculative. It’s also easy to wonder at this point whether teams who’ve shown interest in Brewers outfielder Domingo Santana (the Diamondbacks come to mind) might also have interest in Renfroe.

    Renfroe was taken 13th overall by the Padres out of Mississippi State University during the 2013 draft, and rose quickly through the minors at first, reaching the Double-A level by the midway point of the following season. Prior to 2016, MLB Pipeline described him has having “plus-plus raw power to his pull side.” The publication also noted one of his biggest drawbacks: an aggressive, lengthy swing that makes him vulnerable to “quality secondary pitches” on the outer part of the plate. He’s long been lauded for his physical strength, as well as the quality of his contact when he’s able to put the bat on the ball.

    Law: Hosmer Signing A "Baffling Misstep" By Padres Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:49:45 +0000 The Padres’ signing of Eric Hosmer “is the most inexplicable move of the offseason,” Keith Law of ESPN opines (Insider required). Despite only bidding against the Royals for Hosmer, the Padres significantly overpaid for Hosmer in handing him an eight-year, $144MM guarantee, writes Law, who doesn’t expect the player to justify the cost. Hosmer has endured an inconsistent career, hasn’t lived up to the considerable hype he had as a prospect, and isn’t enough of an impact player to help turn around the Padres’ fortunes, Law contends. Further, adding Hosmer and bumping Wil Myers from first back to the outfield is unlikely to benefit the latter, who “will probably become an adequate-not-good player” in the grass, as opposed to the “good-not-great player” he was at first base, Law offers. While Law is bullish on the Padres’ overall direction, he regards this signing as a “baffling misstep” by their front office.

    Padres Claim Rowan Wick Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:56:31 +0000 The Padres have claimed right-hander Rowan Wick off waivers from the Cardinals, reports Dennis Lin of The Athletic (on Twitter). Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had first reported that Wick, who was designated for assignment when the Cards signed Bud Norris, had been claimed by an unknown team (Twitter link).

    Wick, 25, was drafted as a catcher and moved to the outfield before ultimately transitioning to the mound on a full-time basis in 2016. As one might expect, then, his body of work as a reliever in the minors is rather limited, but he’s shown some positive trends. This past season he split the year between the Gulf Coast League, Double-A and Triple-A, working to a combined 3.19 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings. Wick also issued 19 walks, hit two batters, balked twice and uncorked a pair of wild pitches, so he still seems somewhat raw on the mound.

    The Padres aren’t strangers to the notion of trying to convert a position player into a pitcher, though, having gone through the process (albeit unsuccessfully) with former top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt in recent years. San Diego had an open spot on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move from the Friars won’t be necessary to accommodate the addition of Wick.

    Latest On Padres' Pursuit Of Eric Hosmer Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:16:28 +0000
  • The Padres’ personnel department has “fallen in love” with Eric Hosmer, writes Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego continues to maintain serious interest in adding Hosmer’s bat and leadership skills to its emerging core of young players — so much so that two sources indicated to Acee that the team would forgo making a big splash in next year’s free agent crop if it meant signing Hosmer this winter. Part of that likely stems from their interest in Hosmer, while some of the thinking is likely also attributable to the fact that more traditional big spenders like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox (as well as possibly the Rangers and Giants) will be more aggressive next winter. It’s difficult, after all, to envision the Friars topping any of those deep-pocketed clubs in a bidding war.
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