The San Diego Padres are certainly not being shy when it comes to spending their money.
The team is not signing and spending on big time, major league free agents, but they have been putting in the effort on the international market at a record level. The team has spent over 70 million dollars since the market opened up on July 2, and they could easily spend more. They are subject to penalties during the next period, and now is the time to strike, even if that means paying double for any player they now sign. The team is subject to a 100 percent tax on any player they ink in the international market from this point until June, when the market closes.
A recent name that has come out is left-handed pitcher, Osvaldo Hernandez. The southpaw just turned 18, and is reportedly hitting 92-94 MPH on the radar gun, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.
A.J. Preller is certainly busy when it comes to scouting and evaluating talent. He surely is aware of who Hernandez is, even though he does not appear on any of the early top international prospects lists. The left-handed pitcher from Cuba will still be in high demand.
He is now eligible to sign with any team, though each team does have certain restrictions for what they can spend. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs, for instance, may not spend over $300,000 on a single player, as they violated their spending limit in the last international signing period from 2015-16.
Not much is known about Hernandez as of yet, though teaming him with fellow Cuban left-handed pitcher Adrian Morejon would be nice. Morejon signed with the Padres this period for $11 million dollars. He is a high ceiling prospect, and having a countryman around his same age could help him with his transition to the United States and professional baseball.
Stay tuned as A.J. Preller will surely be active on the market up until the end. It would not surprise me if the team nears the $100 million mark on money spent when all is said and done. If Luis Robert is declared a free agent, the team could be major players. I wrote about it here. The outfielder is a stud and is waiting for approval to be declared a free agent.
Oswaldo Hernandez is a young, left-handed pitcher who tops out in the low to mid 90’s. He will have no trouble finding a job, and his demands could easily exceed one million dollars. With the restrictions the Padres have, they will be players, but do not expect them to be the top bidders for the hurler. More on this pitcher should be out soon, and we will surely keep you posted.