It’s still October, and the MLB Hot Stove has yet to get turned on, but two pitchers from the San Diego Padres have decided to test free agency.
Christian Friedrich and Jarred Cosart have both decided to become unrestricted free agents, as opposed to signing extensions with the Padres. Both players cleared waivers and were outrighted, the club announced on Oct. 30.
Cosart was eligible for arbitration, and was expected to make $1.3 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The 27-year-old right-hander has dealt with arm injuries, and the club isn’t willing to spend that much on him. Cosart had surgery on his elbow this past July. He had surgery on the same elbow last season, as well.
Cosart appeared in only 16 games for the Padres, after he was acquired from the Miami Marlins (via trade) during the 2016 season. He started in 15 of those 16 games. Cosart accumulated a 5.60 ERA while pitching for the Friars, and only pitched 61.1 innings over a season-plus.
Friedrich was also eligible for arbitration. The 30-year-old pitcher expected to make $1.79 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Friedrich was placed on the disabled list before the start of the 2017 season after being diagnosed with a lat strain. Three days after being placed on the DL, Friedrich began to experience problems with his left elbow.
In August, Friedrich underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery. He never pitched during the 2017 season.
Friedrich was with the club during the 2016 season. He made 26 starts, posting a 5-12 win-loss record with a 4.80 ERA. He recorded 100 strikeouts with a 1.92 K/BB ratio.
The Padres now have two spots to fill on their 40-man roster. With both the free agent signing period and the MLB Winter Meetings approaching, it will be interesting to see what general manager A.J. Preller does to fill those open slots. It has yet to be seen if Jhoulys Chacin will extend with the club or test free agency.
The Padres will have to look elsewhere to fill their rotation, and their bullpen, before the beginning of the 2018 MLB season.