With Tuesday as the deadline to set their 40-man roster prior to MLB’s December 13 Rule 5 Draft, the San Diego Padres will surely make a few moves in the next 24 hours. Who will the team add to their roster and how will they make room for them? It’s looking more and more like the Padres will need to designate some players for assignment. Let’s take a look at the situation.
Tuesday is the deadline to set the major league roster at 40 men, prior to December’s Rule 5 draft, which will be held in Las Vegas this season during the annual winter meetings.
There will be moves made by the Padres in the next day or so. That, you can be sure of.
A.J. Preller will need to protect some of his young prospects, while at the same time reducing unwanted players from the roster. There are players who could be DFA’s in the next few days and there are some players who could be traded by the team for cash, future considerations, or young prospects. Anything can happen.
Here is a look at those who need protection and those who are on the roster bubble currently for the Padres:
Those who need to be added to the 40-man roster
A lock to be added to the roster, Paddack is surely a valued prospect. He will be a member of the 40-man roster very soon and should pitch at Petco Park at some point in 2019. He has one of the best changeups in all of minor league baseball.
Another lock to be added to the roster is this talented Venezuelan youngster, who should be at full strength this spring. Espinoza could really be a special pitcher, but the team will ease him back to pitching as he has missed two seasons with an elbow injury.
Allen is probably the third lock to be added to the roster. Catchers are at a premium right now and the left-handed hitter has a plus bat. He should start the year in El Paso and could be added to the 25-man roster in 2019, depending on what the major league team does at the position.
This Venezuelan outfielder has put on a lot of weight and muscle since being added to the franchise in a trade from the Blue Jays last year. He is starting to swing a good bat, but has still never played above High Single-A baseball.
Another interesting player is Pedro Avila, who is currently pitching well in Venezuela this winter. He has not thrown at a higher level than Lake Elsinore, but is armed with a plus fastball/curve combination that looks like it will play at the higher levels.
Others eligible for Rule 5 draft:
Those who are candidates to be released by Padres
The 26-year-old right-hander did not show much in 2018, recording a 5.59 ERA in nine innings. His ERA was 3.75 in El Paso in over 48 innings, but he could pass through waivers if released by the club. The Padres have depth in the relief pitcher department. Brewer could be a victim of that.
Lockett made his debut last season for the Padres, but was not very impressive. He allowed 16 runs in 15 innings and looked very shaky in each outing. The 24-year-old does have youth on his side, but more prized prospects are coming and his time to develop is over. He probably could pass through waivers.
Padres Twitter will rejoice when the move is finally made. Pirela should not survive this 40-man roster purging. He is just surrounded by young, more talented players who need to step up in 2019. Expect Pirela to be DFA’d as there should be no trade suitors for his services.
The 26-year-old right-hander got a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2018, earning a 6.58 ERA in eight appearances. He is serviceable, but with the Padres’ current relief depth, Wick could be exposed to the waiver process.
DFA’ing Clayton Richard would be a tough move, but it might need to be done, depending on his health. If his knees are not doing well, the club could choose to just cut their losses with the left-hander. The Padres have plenty of youth on the team and rotation spots will be valuable.
Acquired from the Yankees at the cost of Chase Headley and his $13 million deal, Mitchell was supposed to be a solid contributor in the rotation. He flopped big time early in the season, but showed some promise in September. Question is- which Mitchell is the real one?