San Diego Padres – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-25T03:41:25Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/24/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125802 2018-06-25T02:50:07Z 2018-06-25T02:50:07Z Here are today’s most notable signings from the first few rounds of the draft.  Scouting reports and pre-draft rankings can be found courtesy of MLB.comFangraphs, Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law (the latter two available to subscribers only)…

  • The Padres signed Texas Tech outfielder Grant Little to an $800K bonus, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis reports (Twitter link).  The bonus falls just a bit shy of the $812.2K slot price for the 74th overall pick.  Of note, this was the pick in Competitive Balance Round B that San Diego acquired from the Twins last month in the Phil Hughes trade.  Fangraphs ranked Little 65th in their rankings, though the other outlets (MLB.com 128th, BA 158th, outside Law’s top 100) weren’t nearly as bullish.  Scouts believe Little (a left fielder in college) could handle second base, third base, or even center field as a pro.  Little is considered to have strong contact skills at the plate, though he lacks power.
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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Designate Tyler Webb]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125740 2018-06-24T19:38:40Z 2018-06-24T19:37:38Z The Padres announced that they’ve designated left-hander Tyler Webb for assignment. His roster spot will go to right-hander Robert Stock, whom the team selected from Triple-A on Sunday.

This is the second time a team has designated Webb this season. The Brewers jettisoned Webb on April 7, leading the Padres to claim him off waivers a week later. The 27-year-old went on to throw five innings with San Diego prior to his latest designation, allowing seven earned runs on six hits and three walks (with four strikeouts). He has been far better as a member of the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, where he has logged a 2.05 ERA with 11.45 K/9 and 3.27 BB/9 in 22 innings.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Activate Austin Hedges, Select Robert Stock]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125716 2018-06-24T20:35:05Z 2018-06-24T17:53:09Z The Padres announced a slew of roster moves Sunday, including the reinstatement of catcher Austin Hedges from the disabled list and the selection of right-hander Robert Stock from Triple-A. The club also placed righty Jordan Lyles on the DL with right elbow inflammation, recalled reliever Kazuhisa Makita and optioned both reliever Phil Maton and catcher Rafael Lopez. With a full 40-man roster, the Padres will need to create an opening for Stock.

Hedges is back after going on the DL on May 1 because of tendinitis in his right elbow. The 25-year-old struggled at the plate before then, hitting .173/.235/.293 in 81 trips. On the other hand, the defensively gifted Hedges shined as a pitch framer, per Baseball Prospectus. He’ll rejoin A.J. Ellis to comprise the Padres’ top two catchers, pushing Lopez out of the mix. Lopez didn’t take advantage of Hedges’ absence, as he has batted a meager .180/.263/.290 in 114 PAs and offered subpar pitch-framing work this season.

Stock, 28, is finally in position to make his major league debut nine years after the Cardinals chose him in the second round of the 2009 draft. A two-way player at USC, where he was also a catcher, Stock converted to pitching on a full-time basis after the 2011 season. Also a former Pirate and Red (not to mention an indy league participant), Stock joined the Padres prior to 2018 and has since fared well in the minors, including a 23 1/3-inning run at Triple-A, where he has logged a 1.93 ERA with 9.26 K/9, 3.86 BB/9 and a 55.6 percent groundball rate.

Lyles’ issue isn’t expected to require surgery, but he’ll see a doctor Monday, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The 27-year-old has collected 21 appearances (eight starts) this year and recorded a 4.46 ERA with 7.56 K/9, 2.43 BB/9 and a 46.8 percent grounder rate over 66 2/3 innings.

Given the numbers Maton has posted this year out of San Diego’s impressive bullpen, his demotion comes as a surprise. The 25-year-old has recorded a 1.53 ERA with 9.17 K/9 and 4.08 BB/9, though he went on the DL with a right lat strain on May 13 and hasn’t been effective in his two outings since returning this week. Over a total of 1 2/3 innings in those appearances, Maton allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Interested In Maikel Franco]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125691 2018-06-24T13:43:49Z 2018-06-24T13:43:27Z The Padres have interest in Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (video link). A deal may not be easy to swing, though, as Rosenthal notes that the Phillies would have to acquire a third baseman or a shortstop from elsewhere in order to move Franco.

Franco, now 25, garnered hype as a prospect and made good on that as a rookie in 2015, when he slashed .280/.343/.497 with 14 home runs in 335 plate appearances. He hasn’t been anywhere near that effective since, however, as he has offered below-average production in each season dating back to 2016. In 229 trips to the plate this year, Franco has hit .255/.297/.425 – nearly matching his lifetime line of .248/.300/.426 – with nine homers.

With a .230/.300/.498 line and 16 HRs in 230 PAs this season, Padres rookie third baseman Christian Villanueva has been better than Franco in the aggregate. But the 27-year-old Villanueva has gone backward in each month of the season, having posted a wRC+ of 199 in April, a 74 mark in May and a paltry 53 this month. Given Villanueva’s struggles and their lack of obvious third base solutions in general, it’s understandable that the Padres are seeking help there, even though they’re 35-44 and well out of playoff contention. Franco could be a multiyear solution for San Diego if it acquires him and he turns his career around, as he’s arbitration eligible through the 2021 campaign.

Despite the subpar production of Franco and other left side infielders Scott Kingery and the injured J.P. Crawford, the Phillies boast a 41-33 record and own a 1 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers for the NL’s second wild-card spot. They’re also in contention in the NL East, trailing the division-leading Braves by just 1 1/2 games. As such, it seems the Phillies are on track to buy as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. If they do bolster the left side of their infield before then, it could come in the form of Orioles shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado or one of the other high-end third basemen likely to be available – the Royals’ Mike Moustakas, the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson or the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre (who has drawn Philly’s interest).

Should the Phillies land one of those players or other infield help, it could open the door for Franco to head to San Diego. The Phillies may package him with other talent in order to acquire relief help from the Padres, Rosenthal notes. The Padres’ bullpen has been a significant bright spot this year, which has led to interest in relievers such as Brad Hand, Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen. Hand, the closer and the best of the Padres’ relievers, would garner the largest return. The Padres reportedly want a “young everyday player” back for him, and while Franco fits that description, there’s little doubt Philly would have to surrender additional talent for San Diego to give up Hand.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Reportedly Checked In On Manny Machado]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125582 2018-06-23T06:09:15Z 2018-06-23T04:29:11Z
  • The odds seem rather long, to say the least, but Jon Heyman of Fan Rag wrote yesterday that the Padres have at least checked in with the Orioles on star infielder Manny Machado. That connection might make greater sense if the Padres were a more plausible contender or, at least, if Machado was not slated to reach free agency at season’s end. As it stands, it’s tough to fathom the Friars unloading young talent in an attempt to chase the postseason this year. Doing so in earnest, in all likelihood, would mean adding multiple other pieces as well. It could still make sense, though, for the Padres to get a gauge on Baltimore’s situation. The Pads could face some 40-man pressures this winter, so there could be an opportunity to function as a part of a three-team arrangement. If the club is really feeling bold, perhaps it could make an early strike for Machado with plans to flip him if a sudden run up the standings doesn’t ensue, though a mid-season gambit of that kind involving a rental player of Machado’s caliber would be sui generis.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres To Activate Wil Myers, Option Franmil Reyes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125489 2018-06-21T17:47:06Z 2018-06-21T17:22:09Z The Padres are set to activate first baseman/outfielder Wil Myers from the DL, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). His return was suggested on Twitter yesterday by James Clark of the East Village Times, who reported that the team will option Franmil Reyes in a corresponding roster move.

    Myers has been on the shelf with an oblique injury and has only taken forty plate appearances thus far on the season. He recorded just one home run and no walks in that ten-game sample, but still stands with a .300/.300/.450 slash to this point.

    If there was a notable development early in the year, it could be that Myers drew positive reviews for his work in right field. The sample is too small to tell us much of anything, but it’s generally positive given the circumstances.

    After all, the Friars have an extended commitment to Myers, who was bumped to the outfield to make room for Eric Hosmer. Though he’s earning just $2MM this year and $3MM next, Myers is due a healthy $20MM annually from 2020 through 2022. His contract also includes a $20MM option for an additional season, which comes with a $1MM buyout.

    There has been chatter at times that the Padres could look to find a taker for some of that deal, though there’s no real indication that it’s a serious consideration. The San Diego organization does have a rather extensive group of options in the outfield, but can ill afford to try to move Myers now, when his value is at a rather low point.

    For the time being, then, the club will hope that Myers can show good health and good form on the field. It’s conceivable he could end up being involved in some trade discussions over the summer or the offseason to come. At this point, though, it is not really clear where the interest would come from or how a deal might conceivably be structured.

    Without regular time available in right field now that Myers is back, the Padres will send the 22-year-old Reyes down to continue honing his craft at Triple-A. His first taste of the majors certainly highlighted some of his strengths and challenges as a player.

    Reyes knocked six long balls and carried a .228 isolated slugging market in his 96 plate appearances. On the other hand, though he had sported quality K/BB numbers on the year at Triple-A, he has posted a whopping 40.6% strikeout rate and meager 4.2% walk rate in the majors. Reyes is also quite a large man who has drawn some ire for his work in the field, though DRS actually viewed him as an approximately average performer in right (again, in a limited sample).

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Upcoming Rule 5 Crunch Could Motivate Padres To Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125448 2018-06-20T19:59:35Z 2018-06-20T19:59:35Z
  • There’s a widespread expectation that the Padres will sell some pieces this summer, but Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription link) takes a deeper look at a factor that could push the Friars into activity: the Rule 5 Draft. San Diego has more than a dozen prospects who’ll be Rule 5 eligible this offseason, Lin observes, which could create further motivation to open some spots on the 40-man by moving assets that are controlled beyond the 2018 season. Brad Hand, Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen all fit that bill and have all already drawn trade interest, Lin writes, and the Padres could also shop outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski to other clubs as well. Lin speaks with general manager A.J. Preller at length about the upcoming roster crunch in a thorough look at some of the decisions the club will face in the not-too-distant future.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Franchy Cordero Considering Elbow Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125446 2018-06-20T18:32:56Z 2018-06-20T18:32:56Z Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero has been diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow following an MRI, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com Cordero is currently mulling whether to attempt a rest/rehab route or to undergo surgery that would keep him out for a substantial period of time. Dennis Lin of The Athletic pegs the rehab timeline for Cordero at 12 weeks, which would cover the vast majority of the remaining season (Twitter link).

    Cordero originally landed on the disabled list in late May due to a strained right forearm, but his rehab assignment was recently shut down after he felt some discomfort in his elbow while swinging a bat during a minor league plate appearance.

    [Related: San Diego Padres depth chart]

    The 23-year-old Cordero is hitting .237/.307/.439 with seven homers in 154 plate appearances so far in 2018. He’s one of several intriguing but still-unproven outfield options on the Padres’ roster, joining Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes in that regard. San Diego also has Wil Myers locked into a corner outfield spot following the offseason signing of Eric Hosmer, while fleet-footed Travis Jankowski provides an older but more defensively sound option than the other outfielders on the roster (with the exception of Margot).

    Considering the fact that the surgical route has the potential to put Cordero out for the remainder of the season, there’s little harm in waiting to see if rest will make the injury tolerable enough to play through until the offseason. After all, given the team’s uncertain mix of outfielders, the final months of the season could represent a proving grounds for Cordero, who possesses exceptional power but has, to this point in his career, been far too strikeout prone. If, even after a substantial period of rest, the discomfort in Cordero’s elbow proves to be too much, delaying the surgery wouldn’t figure to have any impact on his readiness for the 2019 campaign.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Franchy Cordero's Rehab Shut Down Due To Elbow Concerns]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125438 2018-06-20T16:12:52Z 2018-06-20T16:12:23Z
  • Padres fans are holding their breath as they await a new diagnosis on outfielder Franchy Cordero, whose rehab has been shut down entirely, as Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. Cordero, who began a minor league rehab assignment this week, “felt something” in his elbow while taking a swing in one of those rehab games, according to Lin. He was evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache yesterday. While there’s been no official word from the team just yet, it’s an ominous-sounding injury at a time when the organization hoped Cordero was nearing a return to the lineup. The 23-year-old Cordero hit .237/.307/.439 through 154 PAs early in the season and had developed a penchant for off-the-charts exit velocity and distance projections from Statcast thanks to his light-tower raw power.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Reportedly Seeking Young Position Players In Hand Talks]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125363 2018-06-20T14:42:27Z 2018-06-20T14:42:27Z
  • Much as we’ve heard in prior periods of trade interest, the Padres seem disinclined to offer up closer Brad Hand for less than a compelling return. Per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, via Twitter, the “likely asking price” on Hand will be a “young everyday player.” Morosi gives the example of Rafael Devers, should the Red Sox come calling, but there’s no evident reason to read that as more than a hypothetical. If anything, it seems the report stands for the proposition that the Friars are not going to be particularly amenable to considering packages consisting of multiple, far-off prospects. We recently rated Hand as one of the top ten players to watch at the trade deadline, but noted that the San Diego organization has little reason to simply take what it can get for a player who is under affordable control for a few more seasons after signing an appealingly priced extension over the winter.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/14/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125006 2018-06-15T03:45:11Z 2018-06-15T03:45:03Z Here are the day’s deals of note from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

    • Athletics second-round pick Jeremy Eierman will receive a $1,232,000 bonus, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). That’s well over the $872,400 slot value that came with the 70th pick. The Missouri State produce drew big grades from BA (#26) and MLB.com (#29) as the top collegiate shortstop, with both a history of productivity and an intriguing power/speed offensive profile for a player who could potentially stick at shortstop. Analysts also note that an offensive downturn in the just-completed season introduced new questions about his long-term outlook.
    • The Cubs are in agreement with second-round pick Brennen Davis on a $1.1MM bonus, Callis reports on Twitter. That checks in just north of the 62nd pick’s $1,060,900 allocation. Davis ranked 81st on the Fangraphs board, with physical tools and projection driving the outfielder’s draft standing. He had been committed to the University of Miami.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Padres will pay out $2.6MM to land supplemental first-round choice Xavier Edwards, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis (Twitter link). A consensus first-round talent, Edwards went 38th overall ($1,878,300 allocation) and required a well-over-slot bonus to give up his commitment to Vanderbilt. Fangraphs was the highest outlet on the Florida high-schooler, ranking him 17th among all eligible players based upon his outstanding speed, quality bat, and promising outlook as an up-the-middle defender.
    • The Rays have deals in place with compensation selection Nick Schnell and competitive balance Round B choice Tanner Dodson, according to reports from Callis (Twitter links) and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (also on Twitter). Schnell will receive $2.3MM; the high-school outfielder was chosen with the 32nd overall pick, which comes with a $2,171,700 slot value. He’s credited with a quality tool set and what MLB.com calls an “extremely projectable frame.” Tampa Bay will save some money on Dodson, whose $997,500 bonus falls shy of the $1,228,000 slot value at #71. He’s valued most as a power pitcher but is also said to have legitimate talent as a switch-hitting outfielder, which could give the Rays another multi-functional prospect to work with.
    • Second-round choice Nick Sandlin will go to the Indians for $750K, Callis tweets, which will leave some savings against the $939,700 pick allocation. With the signing, the Cleveland organization will add a highly effective collegiate hurler who is known less for his pure stuff than for his wide pitch mix and use of varied arm angles. Sandlin cracked the top 100 list of the Fangraphs team and landed within the top 200 draft prospects as graded by Baseball America and MLB.com. It certainly seems he’ll be an interesting player to follow as a professional.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres’ Relievers Drawing Trade Interest]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124976 2018-06-14T17:52:17Z 2018-06-14T17:52:17Z The Padres, unsurprisingly, have already been receiving trade inquirieson their relievers, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic in his latest notes column (subscription required). Not only is Brad Hand garnering a strong bit of interest, but setup men Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen are each drawing inquiries from rival clubs, as are some of the team’s younger relievers.

    Most notably, Rosenthal suggests that the interest in Hand is different than in recent years, owing both to his newly signed contract extension and the fact that he has now more emphatically cemented himself as a proven, elite lefty reliever.

    Each of the listed relievers has an ERA south of 2.50 on the season, and each boasts strong K/BB numbers in addition to a ground-ball rate of 50 percent or better. More appealing than any of that, however, could be the simple fact that each of the three is both affordable and under control for multiple seasons.

    Hand, who turned 28 in March, is the most notable of the bunch. Despite his relative proximity to free agency, he signed surprising three-year, $19.75MM contract extension in the offseason — a deal that also gives the Padres affordable a $10MM club option over the 2021 season. A waiver claim by the Padres out of the Marlins organization, Hand has improved each year in San Diego. He’s currently sitting on a 1.78 ERA with 13.3 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9 and a 50 percent ground-ball rate in 35 1/3 innings.

    Overall, since joining the Friars, he’s pitched to a superlative 2.43 ERA and averaged nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings. With an average annual value just barely north of $6.5MM, his contract would fit into the majority of teams’ budgets — even those close to the luxury tax threshold (with, perhaps, the notable exception of the Giants, though a San Diego/San Francisco swap of this magnitude seems unlikely anyhow).

    Hand, though, is hardly the only waiver claim who has reinvented himself in San Diego. The 31-year-old Yates pitched well for the Padres after being claimed from the Angels last season, but he’s taken his game to a new level in 2018, tossing 27 innings with a flat 1.00 ERA, a 32-to-8 K/BB ratio and a 52.3 percent grounder rate.

    San Diego encouraged Yates to ditch his slider in favor of a splitter (as he recently discussed with MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell), and the righty has transformed himself completely. That ground-ball rate is nearly 20 points higher than his career mark, and the formerly homer-prone Yates has now surrendered only one home run in 2018 with his new ground-focused attack. Yates, who has a 2.83 ERA in 82 2/3 innings and an average of 13 strikeouts per nine innings pitched since joining the Padres, is earning just $1.0625MM in 2018 and is arbitration-eligible through the 2020 season.

    Stammen, meanwhile, parlayed a minor league deal with the Padres prior to the 2017 season into a two-year, $4.5MM deal spanning the 2018-19 seasons. And after posting a 3.14 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 1.34 HR/9 and a 51.6 percent ground-ball rate in 80 1/3 innings of relief last year, Stammen has further elevated his status in 2018.

    So far, the 34-year-old has logged a 2.30 ERA with a career-best 9.5 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9 and 0.29 HR/9 with a 50 percent ground-ball rate through 31 1/3 frames. Stammen’s velocity remains in the low 90s (91.2 mph average fastball), but his 12.2 percent swinging-strike rate and 35.6 percent chase rate resemble his peak form with the Nationals from a few years back. Beyond that, he’s pounding the zone more than ever, evidenced not only by his walk rate but his superb 69.1 percent first-pitch strike rate. At $2.25MM both this year and next (plus up to $1MM worth of incentives each season), he’s a bargain that any team could afford.

    Rosenthal notes, too, that some of the Padres’ younger relievers have also attracted interest. While specific names aren’t listed, it stands to reason that clubs may have checked in on rookie Adam Cimber, who went from an afterthought to a potential All-Star seemingly overnight. Former starter Robbie Erlin has displayed the best control of his career while working as a multi-inning lefty, while right-hander Phil Maton has impressed since joining the club as well.

    [Related: San Diego Padres depth chart]

    Of course, it’s hardly certain what route the Padres will take this summer. Preller has surprised onlookers in the past by holding onto Hand at multiple trade deadlines, and he opted not to trade Tyson Ross in 2016 and Jhoulys Chacin last season. With an emerging young core, perhaps Preller and his staff would prefer to hang onto their impressive collection of controllable bullpen arms with an eye toward contending in the future.

    It’s also not out of the question that the Padres end up viewing themselves as at least fringe contenders during the current season. While such a notion will elicit plenty of eye-rolling, the Friars are 11-4 over their past 15 games and now sit 5.5 games back in the NL West. They’re still four games under .500, so a serious run seems far-fetched, though they’re also on the verge of getting Joey Lucchesi, Wil Myers and Franchy Cordero back from the disabled list, as well.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Myers, Lucchesi, Cordero Set For Rehab Assignments]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124954 2018-06-14T04:19:30Z 2018-06-14T04:19:30Z
  • The Padres announced tonight that outfielders Wil Myers and Franchy Cordero and left-hander Joey Lucchesi are all set to begin minor league rehab assignments tomorrow. San Diego has been without Myers since April 29 due to a left oblique strain, while Cordero has been out since late May due to a forearm strain. In the absence of both corner outfielders, the Friars have been utilizing a mix of Travis Jankowski, rookie Franmil Reyes, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Matt Szczur in the outfield, though the impending return of both Myers and Cordero will shuffle that arrangement. Myers has taken just 40 plate appearances with the big league club this season, hitting .300/.300/.450, while Cordero hit .237/.307/.439 through 154 PAs and began to draw some notoriety for his prodigious home run distances and exit velocities on Statcast. As for Lucchesi, he was among the most impressive rookie pitchers in all of baseball through his first nine starts, pitching to a 3.23 ERA with a 48-to-15 K/BB ratio and a 43.8 percent ground-ball rate in 47 1/3 innings. He’s been out since May 15 due to a hip strain.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[NL West Notes: Buehler, Turner, Hand, Marte]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124612 2018-06-10T03:52:58Z 2018-06-10T03:52:58Z Walker Buehler left last night’s game before he was able to get through the sixth, but it wasn’t due to poor performance. The promising young right-hander left due to a side injury. Thankfully, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports that Buehler is describing his injury as “bruised ribs”. There’s no word yet as to whether he’ll need to land on the DL for a stint, but the news ought to bring a mild sigh of relief to Dodgers fans. Such a description would seem to eliminate the dread of an oblique or intercostal strain, if Buehler’s self-description holds up. Bruises seem far less likely to disrupt his excellent season thus far; Buehler’s been worth 1.7 fWAR across nine starts in part thanks to a 4.91 K/BB ratio and 54.5% ground ball rate.

    Other items out of the NL West…

    • The Dodgers have received news on Justin Turner that’s far less promising, however. Shaikin also reports that Turner’s performance could be diminished all season by lingering wrist issues. The slugger spent most of the season thus far on the DL after suffering a fractured wrist during a spring training game. Shaikin also points out that he’s been held out of the lineup in three of the last four games, and has managed just a .668 OPS since returning from the disabled list.
    • AJ Cassavell of MLB.com revisits the Brad Hand extension in his recent piece, reminding readers that it significantly reduced the likelihood of the reliever being traded any time soon. Hand has been one of the best relievers in baseball in recent seasons by metrics such as WPA, fWAR and ERA, and though he’d certainly fetch a hefty price for the rebuilding Padres, they now control him through 2021. That’s a season in which they could feasibly be contending for a title. For his part, Hand certainly had that in mind. “”When I signed the contract, that was the big part of it,” he said. “I wanted to be here, I wanted to help the young guys come up, and I wanted to win a World Series here.”
    • Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo believes Ketel Marte is “100% playable” in spite of a recent injury, says MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. However, Lovullo adds that he “created some tenderness” with a headfirst slide into third base this past Sunday. He was held out of the lineup on Saturday, but the move seems to have been largely precautionary; his manager reportedly wanted to give him a day to get ahead of the injury. Marte has struggled to produce offensively throughout his career, sporting a .258/.313/.364 line since debuting in 2015. However, his excellent defense has played him to 2.6 wins above replacement, according to Fangraphs’ metric.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Had Offseason Interest In Miles Mikolas]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124574 2018-06-09T21:55:30Z 2018-06-09T21:55:16Z
  • Along with the previously reported Rangers, the Twins and Padres were among teams with offseason interest in right-hander Miles Mikolas, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Mikolas, who pitched in Japan from 2015-17, ended up signing a two-year, $15.5MM deal with the Cardinals. The 29-year-old is no stranger to the Padres, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft and then had him on their roster for parts of the 2012 and ’13 seasons. Mikolas was unheralded in San Diego, but he has turned into one of the NL’s most effective starters during his stint in St. Louis. Across 79 1/3 innings this season, Mikolas has notched a 2.27 ERA with 6.58 K/9, 1.02 BB/9 and a 50.2 percent groundball rate.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jose Torres Suspended For Remainder Of Season Under Domestic Violence Policy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124471 2018-06-08T20:24:41Z 2018-06-08T20:15:14Z Major League Baseball has announced that Padres pitcher Jose Torres has been suspended for the remainder of the season for violating the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Technically, it’s a 100-game ban that will be considered to have started on June 5th.

    Torres has been on the restricted list all season long after he was arrested in February and charged with a host of crimes after a domestic disturbance. He stood accused of pointing a gun at a woman with whom he was in a domestic relationship, with criminal charges for assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage, and intimidation as well as for possession of marijuana.

    At one point, at least, Torres was scheduled to go to trial in July, but may well have reached a plea agreement. The league typically awaits resolution of a criminal case before issuing a suspension, though the joint domestic violence policy does not condition the authority to do so upon any legal action.

    This ban appears to be the longest yet handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred. Previously, Hector Olivera’s 82-game suspension had been the lengthiest under a policy that was instituted in the summer of 2015.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Preller, Conner On Acquisition Of Hughes, Draft Pick]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124105 2018-06-04T20:23:49Z 2018-06-04T20:23:49Z The Padres’ acquisition of Phil Hughes was clearly more about acquiring the Twins’ competitive balance draft pick than the pitcher himself, and GM A.J. Preller and scouting director Mark Conner spoke to MLB.com’s A.J Cassavell about the swap. Preller told Cassavell that he’s been calling every team that received pick in the competitive balance lottery on a near-weekly basis in an attempt to acquire an additional selection — something that’s long been a priority but was magnified in 2018 after San Diego surrendered a pick to sign Eric Hosmer“The game now is about making your money work for you,” said Preller. “…You have to figure out what’s the best bang for your buck. Having the extra pick gives you more options.”

    The move was met by excitement from Conner and his scouts, who’ll now not only have an extra pick (No. 74 overall) but an additional $812,200 in their draft pool. The Padres, of course, spent considerably more than that to obtain the pick, relieving the Twins of just over $7.6MM of Hughes’ salary. While it seems a shrewd (albeit expensive) pickup of a resource with limited availability, not every organization agrees; one exec from another club told FanRag’s Jon Heyman last week that the Padres were “insane” for taking on that much of the remaining contract to obtain the pick.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Designate Kyle McGrath]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123524 2018-05-28T18:35:13Z 2018-05-28T18:34:04Z The Padres have designated left-hander Kyle McGrath for assignment, according to the team. His 40-man spot will go to right-hander Phil Hughes, whom the Padres acquired from the Twins on Sunday.

    McGrath has been with the Padres since 2014, when they selected him in the 36th round of the draft, and made his major league debut last year. Across 23 innings in San Diego, including four this season, the 25-year-old has notched a 3.13 ERA with 7.83 K/9, 3.52 BB/9 and a minuscule 28.1 percent groundball rate. Additionally, McGrath has limited left-handed hitters to an ugly .152/.243/.250 line.

    Should a team in need of a lefty reliever claim McGrath, it would have the ability to send him to the minors. McGrath still has three options remaining, and has spent most of this year with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres To Activate Hunter Renfroe, Send Franchy Cordero To DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123433 2018-05-28T00:53:09Z 2018-05-28T00:53:09Z
  • Franchy Cordero will likely be placed on the 10-day DL tomorrow due to forearm soreness, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell tweets.  The Padres believe the issue has recently been impacting Cordero’s swing, which could explain his .515 OPS over his last 47 plate appearances.  This recent slide cooled off what had been a strong start for Cordero on the season, and the outfielder still owns an overall .237/307/.439 slash line and seven homers over 154 PA.
  • Hunter Renfroe is expected to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow to take Cordero’s spot on the Padres roster, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes.  Renfroe hasn’t played since April 17 due to elbow inflammation, and he has nine Triple-A rehab games under his belt as he prepared for his return to the majors.  Acee notes that the rehab assignment may have essentially doubled as an opportunity for Renfroe to get his bat on track, as the former top prospect got off to a slow start this season and has yet to really break out in the big leagues, though Renfroe has crushed left-handed pitching.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Acquire Phil Hughes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123385 2018-05-27T21:52:21Z 2018-05-27T21:51:21Z 4:51pm: $7.25MM is the precise sum, Jon Heyman of FanRag hears.

    1:54pm: The Padres will pick up approximately $7.5MM of Hughes’ contract, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets.

    1:05pm: The Padres have acquired right-hander Phil Hughes, cash and the 74th pick in June’s draft from the Twins for young catcher Janigson Villalobos, per announcements from both teams.

    The Twins designated Hughes for assignment earlier this week, even though they still owed him the rest of his $13.2MM salary this year and another $13.2MM in 2019. Now, Minnesota will eat the remainder of Hughes’ salary this year, but San Diego will pay nearly half the tab next season, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com suggests.

    In a best-case scenario for the rebuilding Padres, the 31-year-old Hughes would reemerge as a viable starter or reliever with the club. However, there doesn’t seem to be much hope on either front, given that Hughes has recently undergone two different surgeries to address thoracic outlet syndrome – which is often a death knell for pitchers. Those procedures ended each of Hughes’ previous two seasons prematurely, and have played a role in the bloated 5.99 ERA he has logged across 124 2/3 innings (33 appearances, 22 starts) since 2016.

    While Hughes is certainly the eye-catching name in this trade, acquiring the pick in Competitive Balance Round B is the greater boon for San Diego. The Padres now have four of the draft’s top 85 choices, including Nos. 7 and 38, with which to add to an already deep farm system. The Friars’ newest selection carries a slot value of $812,200, and adding it will help make up for the pick they lost when they signed free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer in the offseason.

    Villalobos, a Venezuela native, immigrated to the United States when he signed a deal with the Padres in March 2016. He went on to post a .253/.408/.322 line in 233 plate appearances at the Rookie level from 2016-17, though the 21-year-old hasn’t played anywhere this season. He’ll suit up for the Rookie level Gulf Coast Twins when their season begins.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Travis Jankowski Has Drawn Trade Interest]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123337 2018-05-27T04:52:02Z 2018-05-27T04:51:20Z
  • Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski has drawn trade interest, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported before the Mariners-Rays swap. It seems the Mariners tried for Jankowski prior to landing Span, but according to Divish, the Padres didn’t show much interest in the M’s low-ranked farm system. Known mostly for his speed and defense, the 26-year-old Jankowski has gotten off to a .313/.382/.400 start at the plate in 89 attempts this season. He’s controllable through the 2021 season.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Prado, Murphy/Goodwin, DeJong, Casilla, Trumbo, More]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123270 2018-05-26T05:15:52Z 2018-05-26T05:08:48Z It seems that Marlins infielder Martin Prado has suffered a rather significant left hamstring injury, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The 34-year-old has endured a run of significant problems with his hamstring muscles in the past year or so. Details aren’t yet known, but it certainly sounds as if Prado will be sidelined for a lengthy stretch. He’s owed $13.5MM this year and $15MM for the 2019 campaign. The long-productive infielder has struggled to a .169/.221/.180 batting line in 95 plate appearances on the season.

    Here’s more on the injury front:

    • The Nationals finally got some promising injury news, as they’ll send both Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin on rehab assignments beginning tomorrow. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted the news with regard to the former; Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweeted manager Davey Martinez’s announcement on both players. Murphy has yet to appear in the 2018 campaign after offseason microfracture surgery, while Goodwin has been slow to return from a wrist injury.
    • It’s still unclear just how long the Cardinals will go without shortstop Paul DeJong, but he says he has been given a four-to-eight week estimate by the medical professionals, as Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than anything, it seems that broad range indicates that there’s not a lot of clarity at this point as to how long it’ll take to heal. All involved will obviously hope that it hues toward the earlier estimate, as the replacement options all have their warts as semi-regular shortstops.
    • It seems the Athletics will go without reliever Santiago Casilla for a stretch. He has been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports (Twitter links). Details of his anticipated absence are not yet available, but it’s said to be likely that Casilla will end up on the DL. At the same time, he says he does not believe it’s a serious malady. The veteran entered play today with an ugly 14:13 K/BB ratio, but had allowed eight runs on only 11 hits in his 21 innings of action.
    • Though he seemingly avoided a more concerning fate, Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo will likely head to the DL to rest his ailing right knee, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report (Twitter links). Trumbo was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of arthritis, which won’t necessarily put him on the shelf for long but also probably isn’t the best news for a defensively limited player who’s owed $12.5MM this year and $13.5MM next. He has been productive thus far in 2018, though, with a .309/.317/.469 slash through 82 plate appearances. On the other hand, it’s somewhat worrisome that he has managed only a pair of home runs and a single walk in that span.
    • In other AL East news … so long as there are no surprises in the interim, Nate Eovaldi will finally start for the Rays on Tuesday, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Yankees announced that reliever Tommy Kahnle is back from the DL, which represents a promising development given the uncertainty that surrounded him when he went on the shelf. And while the Blue Jays still aren’t planning on a near-term return from Troy Tulowitzki, skipper John Gibbons says the veteran shortstop is at least ready to begin running, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets.
    • While the Padres had hoped to welcome back catcher Austin Hedges in relatively short order, he’s now halting his rehab after his problematic right elbow flared up, as MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell writes. It still seems there’s little reason to fear that Hedges is dealing with a real structural problem, though surely it’s frustrating for the organization that he hasn’t yet fully turned the corner.
    • Meanwhile, the Angels provided an update on hurler Matt Shoemaker, though it mostly suggests ongoing uncertainty with regard to the root of his arm issues. As the club announced, and MLB.com’s Maria Guardado tweets, the latest examination “ruled out peripheral nerve involvement” but “showed mild edema in the forearm.” Shoemaker is also said to have undergone a bone scan. The results of that weren’t specifically cited, but it seems to suggest that the organization is looking at quite a lot of possibilities to figure out what’s really causing problems for the starter.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Ross On Possibility Of Being Traded]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123186 2018-05-25T03:42:59Z 2018-05-25T03:42:03Z Tyson Ross spoke recently with Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune about the likelihood that he’ll be traded by the Padres at some point in the near future. Ross spoke like a pitcher who is anticipating that he’ll be traded, though he notes that his experience with the Padres in 2015 taught him that there are no certainties. That season, Ross was considered to be among the top trade assets in baseball, but the Padres held onto him — a decision GM A.J. Preller likely regrets, given that Ross was injured for the whole 2016 season and ultimately released. “I was one of the bigger names being thrown around as a trade piece,” Ross said of that 2015 campaign. “A.J. held on to me. He didn’t get his return on that. If he wants to make a move at some point, that’s the game. For him, it would be a great investment — buy low, sell high.”

    MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently took a look at Ross and another pair of Padres starters, Clayton Richard and Jordan Lyles, and explored their trade candidacy as the summer approaches. Ross, right now at least, looks like a rare thoracic outlet surgery success story; in 60 1/3 innings he’s notched a 3.13 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9 and a 44.1 percent ground-ball rate.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Trade Candidates: Padres Starters]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122970 2018-05-23T13:08:58Z 2018-05-23T13:08:58Z While some other youthful National League clubs have shown big strides thus far in 2018, the Padres remain buried in the NL West and don’t seem to be going anywhere this season. The rotation’s performance, to be sure, has not helped matters. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a source of some summer trade assets.

    Late last year, the Friars reached a two-year, $6MM extension with Clayton Richard. In December, they added Jordan Lyles for a meager $1MM guarantee in a deal that also includes an option for 2019. And when the calendar flipped to 2018, they brought back old friend Tyson Ross on an incentive-laden, minor-league pact.

    In the aggregate, the strategy wasn’t all that different from the one the Pads used in the prior winter, when Richard joined Trevor Cahill, Jhoulys Chacin, and Jered Weaver as low-cost free agents that landed in San Diego. In both cases, the idea was to buy up some cheap innings while potentially opening the door to a mid-season trade return.

    To this point, despite the generally poor performance of the San Diego starting staff, the trio of veteran assets has been rather cost-effective. Indeed, all three are worthy of tracking for organizations weighing deadline additions. The fact that none will break the bank is of particular note, especially in a world in which several contenders will be looking to improve while staying beneath the luxury tax line.

    Let’s take a closer look …

    At first glance, Richard does not appear to be doing much of interest. He’s carrying a 4.87 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 through 61 frames thus far. His typically superlative groundball rate is down, albeit to a still-excellent 54.4% rate. And he only managed a 4.79 earned-per-nine rate as a starter in 2017.

    True, it’s probably not worth getting too terribly excited over the 34-year-old southpaw. But there’s much more to the story. Richard is sporting a career-best 10.2% swinging-strike rate. Fielding-independent pitching metrics such as FIP (3.78), xFIP (3.48), and SIERA (3.90) all feel he has outperformed his results thus far in 2018 — and likewise that he did so last season. Though he has been tagged when facing an opposing order for a third time, he has been much more useful in the prior two times through a lineup.

    Taken together, it’s not hard to imagine the right organization viewing Richard as quite a useful asset. He’s averaging six frames per start and thus could fill out a rotation or serve as a long man down the stretch. And he has been particularly stingy against opposing lefties, who are hitting just .226/.298/.308 against him, so there’s also some postseason swingman/lefty specialist potential here. That’s an interesting combination.

    Certainly, scouts will be watching to see how Richard throws as the deadline approaches. The same is true to an even greater extent with regard to Lyles, a 27-year-old who’s off to his most promising showing in some time. Over 37 2/3 innings through 16 appearances — three of them starts — he has compiled a 3.11 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

    To be sure, there’s a lot left for Lyles to prove. He has enjoyed a stingy .233 BABIP-against, though Statcast figures indicate he hasn’t needed much luck in the batted-ball department (.260 wOBA against a .286 xwOBA). Clearly, opponents’ success on balls in play will go up, but the lack of good contact suggests that there’s more than just sample fortune at play. Notably, too, Lyles has thus far managed a career-best swinging strike rate (10.9%) and average four-seam velocity (95.2 mph).

    It’s worth bearing in mind that both Richard and Lyles come with affordable future control. While the Padres may yet have designs on making a leap in the standings in 2019, and might look to bolster their rotation further, it’ll be hard to add too many pieces in one winter (even from within). The club will surely value the right to control such useful arms at minimal rates of pay, meaning neither will be available unless the return is at least of some interest.

    That’s not quite the same situation for the 31-year-old Ross, who has been the Padres’ best starter thus far. He’s only under contract for the present season, so barring a Richard-like extension, he’ll be a free agent at year end.

    Since reuniting with the Friars after a miserable season apart, Ross has looked something like his old self. Over 53 2/3 innings, he’s sporting a healthy 3.35 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and a 46.2% groundball rate. He still doesn’t throw as hard as he used to, but has regained some (but not all) of his ability to generate swings and misses (9.9% this year).

    If the deadline was closer, Ross would probably be the pitcher of the three generating the most attention. But we still have some time for things to shake out. The Statcast data does indicate that Ross has been a bit fortunate to allow only a .273 wOBA to opposing hitters, as the quality of contact would suggest a more robust .324 xwOBA rate of output. He has thus far suppressed home runs quite well, as he did traditionally, but any slippage in that area could also reverse the ERA fairly quickly.

    Taken together, the Padres hardly have a slate of major trade assets in their starting five. But this trio could all draw interest over the summer.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Struck Gold With Kirby Yates Waiver Claim]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122730 2018-05-20T02:28:18Z 2018-05-20T01:20:28Z
  • Padres reliever Kirby Yates has emerged as one of the best waiver pickups in recent memory, thanks in part to the development of a splitter, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com writes. Yates, whom San Diego claimed from the Angels in April 2017, has posted a 3.06 ERA with 13.6 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 70 2/3 innings as a Padre. The club can take some credit for Yates’ breakout, as it has encouraged the 31-year-old to use his splitter – a pitch he has tossed 32 percent of the time this season en route to dominant results, Cassavell details. “The Angels didn’t want me to get away from the slider,” Yates told Cassavell. “I wasn’t necessarily going to get away from the slider, but I was trying to add a third pitch. When I got here, it was, ’We like your split, we want you to throw it more.’
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Release Chase Headley]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122629 2018-05-19T17:48:47Z 2018-05-19T17:48:31Z May 19th: The Padres have made an official announcement of Headley’s release.

    May 18th: The Padres have released Chase Headley following this past weekend’s DFA, tweets Dennis Lin of The Athletic. The veteran third baseman is now a free agent. San Diego has yet to make a formal announcement, though the move is listed both on the MLB.com transactions log and on the Padres’ transaction log at their official web site.

    It’s hardly an unexpected outcome for the 34-year-old Headley, who opened the season with a dismal .115/.233/.135 performance through 60 trips to the plate and is earning $13MM in the final season of a four-year, $52MM contract that he initially signed with the Yankees. Any team to claim Headley off waivers would’ve been on the hook for the remaining $9.5MM of that figure. San Diego technically could’ve absorbed a notable chunk of that salary in a trade, but Headley’s performance this season surely didn’t drum up much interest from rival clubs in that regard.

    Headley is now available to any club that wishes to sign him to a minor league contract, and he’ll only be owed the pro-rated portion of the league minimum under a new deal. That sum, subsequently, would be subtracted from the $9.5MM the Padres still owe him, so they could save at least a small portion of that money if he latches on elsewhere.

    It’s unlikely that any team would plug Headley straight into its MLB roster, but he’d make sense for a club in need of some depth at the infield corners in Triple-A. While there seems to be a perception that Headley didn’t provide much of any value to the Yankees in 2017, that’s not really the case. In 586 plate appearances last year, Headley slashed .273/.352/.406 with a dozen homers, 30 doubles and a triple. That’s hardly elite production, but his overall output rated average or slightly better, after adjusting for park and league, per OPS+ (99) and wRC+ (104). Both Fangraphs (1.9) and Baseball-Reference (1.8) felt that he was worth roughly two wins above replacement.

    For the Padres, the trade that brought Headley back to San Diego has provided poor results all around in the early going. The trade, of course, was never about acquiring Headley but rather acquiring right-hander Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees. In taking on the remainder of Headley’s contract, the Padres effectively purchased four years of control over Mitchell for $13MM.

    Mitchell, though, hasn’t panned out whatsoever in San Diego and has already lost his rotation spot. The 27-year-old came to the Padres with a terrific minor league track record and had shown potential at times in the Majors as well, but he’s been rocked for a 6.21 ERA in 37 1/3 innings with his new organization. While early-season ERA numbers can often be misleading, Mitchell’s struggles aren’t merely the product of poor luck, though. He’s issued 29 walks in 37 1/3 frames — a considerably higher total than the meager 18 strikeouts he’s managed. Mitchell has also surrendered six home runs and yielded a 39.4 percent hard-contact rate to opposing batters, as well (30th-highest among 132 MLB pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched).

    Because Mitchell is out of minor league options, the Padres weren’t able to send him to Triple-A to straighten out and were instead forced to move him into the bullpen. He logged a starter’s workload in his lone appearance out of the ’pen thus far, totaling 5 2/3 innings of long relief and allowing three runs — again with more walks (three) than strikeouts (two).

    Certainly, there’s ample time for him to improve his performance and to even make the trade a worthwhile one. The Padres, after all, can afford to be patient with him in a long relief role given their 17-28 start to the season, but he’ll eventually need to display better control, as the Friars will become more serious about contending in 2019 and beyond.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Place Joey Lucchesi On 10-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122392 2018-05-15T16:47:31Z 2018-05-15T16:30:03Z The Padres have placed young lefty Joey Lucchesi on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced by infielder Carlos Asuaje, who had just been optioned down.

    A hip strain is the official diagnosis for Lucchesi, who has been a revelation as a rookie. In his nine starts, he has reeled off 47 1/3 innings of 3.23 ERA ball with 9.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. It is not known how long he’ll miss, but the 24-year-old will surely be handled with care by the Friars.

    There’s no reason at present to believe that Lucchesi is dealing with a significant problem. If anything, early indications are that it’s not a major issue, as MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell wrote after Lucchesi threw five frames last night.

    Erring on the side of caution is generally good policy with respect to young hurlers, particularly in the midst of a season that is exceedingly unlikely to result in a postseason berth. In this case, too, Lucchesi may be best off with at least some loose limitations on his workload. Last year, he threw 139 frames, adding nearly one hundred frames to his 2016 tally and representing a big step up from his first year as a professional.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Promote Franmil Reyes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122295 2018-05-14T21:24:35Z 2018-05-14T21:24:09Z TODAY: The move is now official. Asuaje will be the player who’s sent out. The 26-year-old has struggled to a .198/.263/.292 slash in 118 plate appearances.

    YESTERDAY: The Padres will promote outfielder Franmil Reyes prior to Monday’s game against the Rockies, James E. Clark of the East Village Times reports.  The corresponding move isn’t yet known, though San Diego has an open 40-man spot after Chase Headley was designated for assignment on Saturday.

    Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, the 22-year-old Reyes was something of an unheralded prospect entering the season, as he wasn’t ranked by either Baseball America or MLB.com as one of the top 30 minor leaguers in the Padres’ system despite solid numbers at the high-A and Double-A levels in 2016-17.  (Granted, the Padres’ farm system is particularly deep in quality prospects.)  In his first exposure to Triple-A pitching, however, Reyes has taken the Pacific Coast League by storm, entering today’s action with an astounding .346/.440/.748 slash line and 14 home runs over 150 plate appearances.

    Reyes hit 16 homers at high-A ball in 2016 and 25 homers at Double-A last season, though his latest power surge is as eye-popping as it gets, even with the caveat that the PCL is a very hitter-friendly league.  Given that the Padres are lacking both home run pop and hitting in general, it makes that the team would ride the hot hand and see what Reyes can provide at the big league level.

    It remains to be seen who will leave the roster to make room for Reyes, though the obvious candidate seems to be Matt Szczur, who has only 47 PA this season and is also a right-handed hitting outfielder.  Szczur is out of options, however, so if the Padres don’t want to expose him to waivers, Carlos Asuaje or perhaps a reliever could be candidates.  San Diego’s outfield situation could be further crowded by the return of Hunter Renfroe, who is working his way back from an elbow injury, though Renfroe has yet to begin a rehab assignment and could receive some extended time the minors anyway to get his own hitting on track.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Release Michael Mariot]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122325 2018-05-14T19:21:28Z 2018-05-14T19:21:28Z
  • The Padres announced over the weekend that righty Michael Mariot was released from their Triple-A club. The former Royals and Phillies reliever has 49 2/3 innings of work under his belt in the Majors, all coming from 2014-16, though he’s struggled to an ERA just south of 6.00 in that time. The 29-year-old has never had much trouble missing bats in the minors since moving from a starting role to the ’pen, but he’s off to a dismal start in 2018 with a 12.15 ERA in 13 1/3 innings of work. Mariot did punch out 14 hitters with Triple-A El Paso, but he also walked seven, hit a batter and surrendered a whopping five homers in his 13 1/3 innings. Overall, he owns a 3.80 ERA with 9.5 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 in 253 1/3 Triple-A innings.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Place Phil Maton On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122214 2018-05-13T17:51:59Z 2018-05-13T17:50:57Z The Padres announced that they’ve placed right-hander Phil Maton on the 10-day disabled list with a a right lat strain. His roster spot will go to fellow righty Kazuhisa Makita, who’s returning after a short stint at the Triple-A level.

    At 15-26, the Padres appear likely to finish under .500 for the eighth straight season. This year’s club isn’t teeming with bright spots, then, though Maton and the bullpen in general have been outstanding. The 25-year-old Maton has pitched to a microscopic .56 ERA with 9.56 K/9, 3.94 BB/9 and a 42.2 percent groundball rate across 16 innings. He’s among a slew of relievers who have been effective for the Padres, whose bullpen ranks toward the top of the majors in fWAR (third), ERA (sixth), K/BB ratio (sixth) and grounder rate (seventh).

    Makita, on the other hand, didn’t do San Diego’s run prevention numbers any favors before it demoted him earlier this week. The 33-year-old rookie, an offseason free-agent pickup from Japan, has notched a 6.75 ERA and a paltry 22.2 percent grounder mark over his first 16 MLB frames. On the positive side, the soft-tossing Makita has matched Maton’s K/BB rates and logged an impressive swinging-strike percentage (15.4).

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Notes: Spangenberg, Preller Trades]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122173 2018-05-13T17:47:47Z 2018-05-13T17:30:38Z
  • The Padres’ decision to designate veteran infielder Chase Headley on Saturday opened up a spot for infielder/outfielder Cory Spangenberg, whom they recalled from Triple-A. Now, Spangenberg may be in a do-or-die spot with the organization, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune suggests. The 27-year-old Spangenberg will see more time at third base than the 34-year-old Headley did, per Acee, as the bottom-feeding Padres want to find out if the younger player is capable of emerging as a long-term piece. Spangenberg, who has been with the Padres since they chose him 10th overall in the 2011 draft, has offered roughly league-average offensive production (.262/.319/.399, 97 wRC+) across 1,009 major league plate appearances.
  • In the wake of Headley’s exit from the Padres’ roster, Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required) opines that “the jury’s still out” on A.J. Preller’s ability to make trades. The fifth-year general manager took on Headley and his $13MM salary during the offseason in order to acquire righty Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees, and that hasn’t worked out at all thus far. Both that trade and the 2015 swap in which Preller sent infielder Jedd Gyorko to the Cardinals for outfielder Jon Jay “have been duds,” Lin writes.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Designate Chase Headley]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122139 2018-05-12T21:50:35Z 2018-05-12T20:41:31Z The Padres have designated third baseman Chase Headley for assignment, according to a team announcement. San Diego recalled infielder Cory Spangenberg from Triple-A to take Headley’s 25-man roster spot.

    With a .115/.233/.135 line in 60 plate appearances, Headley got off to a terrible start prior to his designation. Between his own struggles and the success of fellow third baseman Christian Villanueva, the 34-year-old Headley was unable to return to a regular role in San Diego – which he held with both the Padres and Yankees from 2008-17. Headley was a quality starter throughout that run, especially during a 31-home run, 7.2-fWAR season with the Padres in 2012.

    The switch-hitting Headley chipped in a decent season last year in New York, where he slashed .273/.352/.406 with 1.9 fWAR in 586 PAs and helped the Yankees to the ALCS. But the Yankees then shipped Headley to the Padres in a salary-dumping trade over the winter, when the Pads dealt outfielder Jabari Blash, agreed to take on Headley’s $13MM salary and acquired right-hander Bryan Mitchell.

    The hope was that Headley would continue to serve as a capable veteran in his second go-round with the Padres, but the deal was more about Mitchell from the rebuilding team’s point of view. Unfortunately for the Padres, however, the 27-year-old Mitchell hasn’t been a worthwhile pickup to this point. Mitchell has been among the worst pitchers in the majors during the first month-plus of the season, in fact, having recorded 37 2/3 innings (eight appearances, seven starts) of 6.21 ERA/6.66 FIP ball and posted disastrous strikeout and walk rates (4.3 K/9, 6.93 BB/9).

    A turnaround could perhaps still be in the offing for Mitchell, but it doesn’t appear one will come for Headley in a Padres uniform. Unless the Padres are able to deal him elsewhere for another team’s unwanted salary within the next week, it seems likely Headley will clear waivers and become a free agent. At that point, a club would be able to add a potentially helpful piece for the prorated league minimum.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expect To Trade Matt Harvey]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121823 2018-05-08T21:22:27Z 2018-05-08T21:22:35Z May 8: The Mets have been trying to add a catcher in return for Harvey, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). Puma adds that the Padres are also in the mix for Harvey.

    May 7: The Mets are “confident” they will strike a deal involving righty Matt Harvey, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, says Rosenthal, there are “four to five teams interested” in taking a chance on the former ace.

    Harvey was formally designated for assignment on May 5th, meaning his situation will be resolved one way or another by Saturday the 12th. If he’s not traded, Harvey would need to go onto waivers; if he were then to pass through unclaimed, he’d hit the open market (whether by release or by rejecting an outright assignment).

    We checked in earlier today on some teams with varying degrees of interest in Harvey. The Giants seem clearly to be involved, though their interest level isn’t clear. (Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets there’s “very strong” interest, while MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter) that it’s much more tepid, with some significant roadblocks to a swap.) Martino adds the Reds as a possibility, joining the previously reported Mariners in that regard. And Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that the White Sox are also in the mix. There’s some uncertainty about the status of the Orioles, but they are among the organizations that would make some degree of sense on paper.

    Of course, we’ve also seen plenty of reports of other teams that will not be in on the 29-year-old. It appears the Rangers have decided against pursuing Harvey in a trade scenario despite giving it serious consideration. Otherwise, the RaysTigersRed Sox, and Yankees are said not to be involved.

    If a deal does, in fact, get done, Rosenthal says not to expect the Mets to shave away much salary. With something on the order of $4.5MM still owed to Harvey for the rest of the season, the New York organization anticipates paying the “vast majority” in hopes of securing “something in return” in a deal.

    Reading the tea leaves, then, the Mets aren’t really looking for a MLB asset back that might offset some of the Harvey commitment. It’s possible the team will be able to find another organization willing to give a bit of young talent, but it’ll take deft work for GM Sandy Alderson to achieve significant value.

    Harvey, after all, has managed only a 5.93 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his 212 1/3 innings since the start of the 2016 season. His velocity has continued to trail off as the arm injuries have mounted. As outstanding as he was before a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey has struggled badly ever since.

    Clearly, some front offices around the game still think that Harvey can at least deliver some useful innings from the back of a rotation. Just what they’ll give up to find out remains to be seen.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres Move Bryan Mitchell To Bullpen, Option Kazuhisa Makita]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121830 2018-05-08T13:04:14Z 2018-05-08T13:04:14Z The Padres will shift righty Bryan Mitchell to the bullpen, as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Recent signee Kazuhisa Makita, meanwhile, has been optioned to Triple-A.

    To account for the decision on Mitchell, the club has moved fellow righty Jordan Lyles into the rotation for at least one start, veteran Padres writer Bill Center tweets. Meanwhile, lefty Matt Strahm was activated from the DL to step in for Makita.

    These moves reflect the disappointing initial showings of two of the Padres’ most significant offseason pitching additions. Mitchell was the key piece acquired in a trade in which the Friars agreed to take over the remaining $13MM owed to Chase Headley, while Makita signed for $3.8MM over two years (plus a $500K posting fee).

    In the case of Mitchell, who is out of options, the results have been awful thus far. He’s carrying a 6.47 ERA with 4.5 K/9 against 7.3 BB/9 in 32 frames over seven starts. His swinging-strike rate, which has never been very compelling in the majors, is down to just 5.0%.

    Though Acee writes that the organization still believes in Mitchell and even thinks he could yet be a big-league starter, he’ll need to show something to earn another opportunity. For now, it’ll be Lyles who gets another crack at working from the rotation, though it’s unclear whether he’ll receive an extended shot. He’s still just 27 years of age and broke into the majors as a starter, but has not yet shown that he can hold down a job working every fifth day.

    As for the 33-year-old Makita, a veteran of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball but a MLB rookie, he’s shown both some good and bad to open the year. He’s sporting a healthy 15.4% swinging-strike rate and 9.6 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 over his 16 innings. While a 6.75 ERA is never a good sign, in this case the damage is mostly isolated to a pair of rough outing and is surely a reflection in some part of a 58.5% strand rate that likely will go down. Makita needs to pare back the long balls (1.69 HR/9, 20.0% HR/FB) as well, but generally his unique, soft-tossing pitch mix has shown a fair bit of promise of playing in the majors.

    Strahm, meanwhile, will look to make good on his long-observed talent. He was part of the interesting swap swung last year between the Padres and Royals. Strahm, who did not debut with the San Diego organization until 2018, has impressed in 14 1/3 innings this year at Double-A, allowing four earned runs while running a 22:4 K/BB ratio. Though he was knocked around in his debut outing last night, he figures to get a real chance to stick in the bigs.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Emmanuel Clase From Padres]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121817 2018-05-07T23:33:00Z 2018-05-07T23:33:00Z The Rangers have acquired righty Emmanuel Clase from the Padres, per club announcements. He’ll represent the player to be named later from the recent deal that sent catcher Brett Nicholas to San Diego.

    Clase, 20, has yet to appear in the present campaign. He has pitched in several different rookie leagues over the past three seasons. In 118 total innings, Clase carries a 3.74 ERA with 9.0 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9. (Oddly, he has allowed a whopping 34 unearned runs in addition to the 49 earned runs that have crossed the plate against him in his career.)

    As for Nicholas, he has yet to see the majors with San Diego. But he’s certainly making a case for a promotion. In 117 plate appearances at Triple-A, Nicholas carries a .314/.393/.627 slash with eight long balls.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Bryan Mitchell Could Lose Rotation Spot]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121717 2018-05-06T21:30:31Z 2018-05-06T21:30:34Z
  • Padres righty Bryan Mitchell could lose his starting job before he’s scheduled to take the hill again on Thursday, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com relays. “Going forward, we’ll sit down and talk about it,” Padres manager Andy Green said Saturday after Mitchell allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. Although Mitchell’s ERA is now up to 6.47 across 32 frames, during which he has logged 4.5 K/9 against 7.31 BB/9, it doesn’t seem as if those struggles will cost him his roster spot. Rather, the Padres would move the out-of-options 27-year-old to the bullpen, Cassavell suggests. Mitchell’s output this year clearly isn’t what San Diego had in mind when it acquired him and third baseman Chase Headley (and $12.5MM of his $13MM salary) from the Yankees for outfielder Jabari Blash over the winter.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Andy Green Frustrated With Padres' Strikeout-Happy Offense]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121655 2018-05-06T00:04:43Z 2018-05-06T00:04:28Z Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler has pitched his way into the club’s rotation for the foreseeable future, manager Dave Roberts told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register and other reporters Saturday (Twitter link). Although Buehler is a past Tommy John surgery recipient who hasn’t yet thrown 100 innings in a professional season, his workload isn’t the Dodgers’ primary concern at the moment. “Right now we need to win games,” Roberts said of a potential innings limit for Buehler, who has combined for 29 between the majors and minors in 2018. The 23-year-old Buehler is regarded as one of the game’s elite pitching prospects, and he has lived up to the hype during his first three major league starts this season. Not only has Buehler tossed 16 innings of 1.13 ERA ball with 10.69 K/9 and 3.94 BB/9, but he was on the hill for the first six frames of the Dodgers’ combined no-hitter against the Padres on Saturday. His emergence has been especially timely for an LA team that just lost starter Hyun-Jin Ryu until the second half of the season.

    • Buehler and three relievers combined to fan 13 hitters Saturday, thus contributing to the Padres’ league-high strikeout rate (27.3 percent) and second-worst swinging-strike percentage (12.6). Padres manager Andy Green has seen just about enough, as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune relays. “It’s well-known that we’ve punched out way too much,” Green said. “We’re at a point in time with hitters here where your opportunity will pass you by if you don’t make an adjustment and start putting the ball in play. The opportunity will start going to somebody else. We’ll continue to churn if we can’t get the job done.” Thanks in part to their swing-and-miss ways, the Padres are off to an 11-22 start – their worst since 2012, notes Acee, who suggests they could soon promote high-end middle infield prospect Luis Urias. The 20-year-old Urias, who has slashed .298/.416/.417 in 101 Triple-A plate appearances this season, would perhaps give San Diego’s offense a much-needed jolt.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[NL Notes: Harvey, Braves, Rendon, Hedges, Lamb, Reyes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121604 2018-05-05T03:54:01Z 2018-05-05T03:54:01Z After deciding to designate Matt Harvey for assignment, the Mets are now sorting out exactly how his tenure with the organization will come to an end. Initial trade discussions seem not to be generating much traction, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), who says that the team is offering to “eat a significant amount” of the remainder of Harvey’s salary in hopes of securing something in return. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the response from rival officials has to this point been that they’d prefer simply to pursue Harvey if he passes through waivers. If that occurs, he’ll surely either be released or decline an outright assignment, at which point he’d be a free agent who could sign for a pro-rated version of the league minimum, leaving the Mets on the hook for the balance of the $5.6MM he’s owed.

    More from the National League:

    • New Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos has been discussing his team’s promising start with quite a few outlets of late as excitement has mounted. He largely credited the prior regime with “outstanding” work in accumulating and developing talent in a chat with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Anthopoulos also says he’ll be “open-minded to do things” if the team is in position to push for the postseason at the trade deadline, though he notes there’s still quite a lot of baseball to be played before making any final assessments of where the 2018 roster may be headed. In comments to MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (via Twitter), Anthopoulos did note that payroll constraints and an ongoing focus on the future would continue to weigh significantly in the team’s decisionmaking.
    • Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon acknowledged after his rehab appearance today that he has a hairline fracture in his injured toe, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweets. That explains his somewhat extended absence after fouling a ball off of his foot. The important thing for the Nats, though, is that Rendon seems to be ready to be activated as the club attempts to extend a six-game winning streak.
    • The Padres have a plan in place for assessing the balky elbow of catcher Austin Hedges, as Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports on Twitter. He’ll be given a week or ten days of rest before it’s decided whether he needs to undergo an MRI. Hedges hit the DL recently with a bout of tendinitis. It seems the hope remains that the issue will resolve itself with some down time. Hedges has struggled at the plate in 2018, hitting at a .173/.235/.293 clip to open the season.
    • Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb received an MRI and cortisone shot after reporting continued discomfort in his injured left shoulder, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (Twitter links). That said, the belief is that this will not constitute a significant setback. It’s still disappointing to hear that Lamb is not yet back to health, as the club no doubt hoped he’d already be nearing a return at this point. Given his extended absence, it stands to reason that he’ll require some rehab time once he is cleared for game action. Fortunately for the Snakes, Daniel Descalso has filled in admirably.
    • Prized Cardinals righty Alex Reyes is prepared to begin a rehab assignment next week, as MLB.com’s Joe Trezza writes. As he works back from Tommy John surgery, the high-octane hurler is said to be working in the upper nineties and looking good. That’s great news for the Cards, though the team is expected to handle Reyes with care as he ramps up fully. It’s still not clear how the organization will deploy the 23-year-old, who showed ample promise in his 2016 debut, once he is ready to return. But he’s building up as a starter and figures to be a valuable addition to the MLB roster in any role when he is activated.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Put Hedges On Disabled List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121342 2018-05-01T23:12:04Z 2018-05-01T23:12:04Z
  • Catcher Austin Hedges has been placed on the 10-day DL with tendinitis in his right elbow, per a club announcement from the Padres, with Rafael Lopez coming up from Triple-A El Paso to fill his roster spot. The defensively sound Hedges has had another slow start to the season with the bat, hitting at just a .173/.235/.293 pace through 81 trips to the plate thus far. Veteran receiver A.J. Ellis figures to step up as San Diego’s primary backstop in Hedges’ absence. Lopez, 30, hit .222/.306/.463 in a career-high 63 PAs for the Blue Jays last season and is hitting .300/.372/.657 with a whopping seven homers through just 79 Triple-A PAs. He hit 12 homers in Triple-A last year through 223 PAs.
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    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Fowler, Guerrero, Staumont, Stewart, Urias]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121271 2018-05-01T22:54:40Z 2018-05-01T22:20:53Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.  

    Dustin Fowler, CF, Athletics (Triple-A Nashville) | Athletics Depth Chart

    Despite a devastating leg injury that occurred during the first inning of his MLB debut last June, many still expected Fowler to be the starting center fielder on Opening Day. While health did not appear to be a major factor—he had 47 plate appearances in 19 games this spring—the 23-year-old was understandably rusty at the plate. He hit just .222 with two walks and 13 strikeouts in the Cactus League. As a result, his Oakland A’s debut would have to wait until he began to show the form that catapulted him up prospect lists with the Yankees last season (.871 OPS, 13 HR, 19 2B, 8 3B, 13 SB in 70 Triple-A games). If the last seven games are any indication, he is getting close.

    With 14 hits in his past 33 at-bats, including his first two homers of the season, a trio of three-hit games, three doubles and a pair of triples, Fowler has boosted his batting average over the .300 mark. He also has six stolen bases, which is a good indication that he’s recovered from his injury. The versatile Mark Canha has been productive while getting the majority of starts in center field as of late, but he’ll move back into a part-time role once Fowler arrives.

    Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire) | Blue Jays Depth Chart

    A 19-year-old with only a few weeks of Double-A experience has no business being on this list. Or being this good, even if his father is a Hall of Famer. But Vladimir Jr., after just 96 plate appearances, is making it clear that he has no business being at this level for much longer. The right-handed hitting third baseman is slashing .380/.442/.582 with two homers, eight doubles, 10 walks and 10 strikeouts in his first 20 games. He was also 7-for-13 in MLB camp during an impressive spring that he capped off with a walk-off homer in an exhibition game in Montreal.

    The only question for now is whether he makes a stop in Triple-A before he begins his MLB career. Once he’s in the Majors, he’ll be in the lineup on a regular basis. With Josh Donaldson expected back soon from the disabled list after missing time with shoulder discomfort, it’s possible that Guerrero spells him at third base a few days per week and serves as the designated hitter on other days. The odd man out would be Kendrys Morales, who is hitless in his last 21 at-bats and is 8-for-50 on the season.

    Josh Staumont, RP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha) | Royals Depth Chart

    Entering 2017 as one of the Royals’ best prospects, Staumont flopped in his first full season in the upper minors with a 5.56 ERA and 7.0 BB/9 in 124 2/3 innings between Triple-A and Double-A. A move to the bullpen has him back on track so far in 2018.

    While the walks are still an issue—he’s walked seven in 10 1/3 Triple-A innings—he’s allowed just one earned run and hasn’t walked more than one batter in seven of his eight appearances. The 24-year-old right-hander has also struck out 22 batters, including 10 over his past two outings (3 2/3 IP). Coincidentally, the Royals have one of the worst bullpens in the Majors. Their closer, Kelvin Herrera, isn’t part of the problem, but he’s expected to be traded to a contender by July 31st and probably sooner than that. Staumont should get a chance to prove that he can be a part of the team’s late-inning, post-Herrera relief crew.

    Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo) | Tigers Depth Chart

    The Tigers had a fairly uneventful offseason, which wasn’t totally unexpected as they moved toward a rebuild. But with several free agents available at a discounted rate—Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez and Jon Jay are just a few examples—it was a bit surprising that they took a hard pass and began the season with Mikie Mahtook and Leonys Martin in their starting outfield. While it’s not clear whether the Stewart factored in to the decision—he hit 28 homers in Double-A in 2017, but also struck out 138 times—he could soon get the chance to show that he can be a part of the solution.

    Not only has the 24-year-old left fielder continued to mash in the upper minors—he’s slashing .311/.404/.568 with four homers, five doubles and 11 walks in his first 89 Triple-A plate appearances—he’s also striking out at a much lower rate than in year’s past (24 % in ’17; 15 % in ’18). Playing alongside Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez should only help to continue that trend.

    Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (Triple-A El Paso) | Padres Depth Chart

    Padres hitters continue to rack up strikeouts at a record pace. They lead the league with 309 whiffs in 1135 plate appearances and are on their way to surpassing the MLB single-season record of 1571. As a comparison, Urias has struck out 150 times in 1618 plate appearances in the minors. He also has 166 walks. The 20-year-old won’t be their savior in 2018, but he can certainly help this bunch.

    Over his first 19 games in Triple-A, Urias is slashing .307/.416/.440 with two homers, four doubles, 13 walks and 15 strikeouts. He has nine hits, six walks and one strikeout over his last 22 plate appearances. The Padres moved quickly to fill two rotation spots with prospects—Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer both debuted in April—and now it’s becoming increasingly possible that Urias joins them to replace the struggling Carlos Asuaje (.576 OPS) as the starting second baseman.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Place Wil Myers On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121115 2018-04-29T17:01:04Z 2018-04-29T17:00:29Z The Padres have placed outfielder Wil Myers on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. His roster spot will go to outfielder Travis Jankowski, whom the team recalled from Triple-A.

    This is already the second DL placement of the year for Myers, who previously went on the shelf with a right arm injury. Myers missed roughly two weeks then, and oblique strains often require absences of at least that long. Clearly, then, Myers is on his way to a significantly shorter season than expected after appearing in at least 155 games in each of the previous two campaigns.

    Without Myers, who has hit .300/.300/.450 in 40 plate appearances, the Padres’ outfield setup figures to mostly consist of Manuel Margot, potential breakout player Franchy Cordero and Jose Pirela. Jankowski and Matt Szczur are on hand as bench options for San Diego, which lost outfielder Hunter Renfroe to the DL earlier this month on account of elbow inflammation.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Wil Myers Suffers Strained Oblique]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121060 2018-04-29T17:01:45Z 2018-04-29T04:12:39Z Padres outfielder Wil Myers exited the team’s game against the Mets on Saturday with a left oblique strain, according to an announcement from San Diego. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, but oblique strains often require stints on the disabled list. Myers was already on the DL earlier this month (with a right arm injury), thereby limiting him to 40 plate appearances thus far in 2018. The Padres had a crowded outfield on their hands prior to Saturday’s game, as AJ Cassavell of MLB.com detailed at the time, with Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero and Jose Pirela among their options. Pirela had been slated to see more time at second base as a result, but if Myers joins fellow Friars outfielder Hunter Renfroe on the DL, that plan could change.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Claim Buddy Baumann]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120974 2018-04-27T21:50:32Z 2018-04-27T21:45:21Z The Mets have claimed lefty Buddy Baumann off waivers from the Padres, per an announcement from the San Diego organization. He’ll switch between the organizations as they prepare to square off tonight, though Baumann will not be on the active roster for the series.

    There are a few other moving parts for the Mets. Opening a 40-man spot was accomplished by shifting David Wright to the 60-day DL, which was more or less inevitable to occur at some point. The club will also bring up Jacob Rhame while optioning Corey Oswalt, a swap of relief arms for the weekend.

    The 30-year-old Baumann could give the Mets another southpaw option in the bullpen, though he’ll have to show himself worthy of an opportunity first. He performed well in 17 2/3 MLB innings last year, allowing just four earned runs on 11 hits and seven walks while striking out 21 batters. And he turned in 6 2/3 scoreless innings this year at Triple-A, though he also allowed five walks in that span and was drubbed in his lone MLB appearance.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Designate Buddy Baumann For Assignment, Select Contract Of Eric Lauer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120748 2018-04-24T21:59:19Z 2018-04-24T21:40:18Z 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 MLB.com 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.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Padres Place Hunter Renfroe On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120527 2018-04-22T01:00:40Z 2018-04-22T01:00:12Z
  • 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 MLB.com 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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