Five newly released players who could fit with Padres

Mar 12, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Luke Voit (45) trots around the bases after a home run in the second inning during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This time of year, there are so many moving parts. Teams have to finalize their Opening Day rosters, and many don’t make the cut.

The saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Referring to a big league ballplayer who was recently cut from a team as “trash” seems callous and mean. There are useful players to be found on MLB’s proverbial “scrap heap.”

With less than $14 million left in payroll before the first tax threshold hits and the team likely preferring some wiggle room at the trade deadline, it might be dumpster-diving season.

Just because a player is released or placed on waivers by one team doesn’t mean he can’t fill a need with another. Perhaps that team had one too many catchers while another is desperate for any catcher with a pulse.

Six-time All-Star J.D. Martinez was once a lowly roster crunch casualty of the Astros in 2014. The Dodgers picked up Max Muncy off the scrap heap after the Athletics released him in 2017.

We don’t need to preach to Padres fans about the value of a waiver wire pickup. Just last season, Gary Sanchez got put on waivers by the Mets before the Padres claimed him. He went on to be basically the best hitting catcher the Padres have had since Mike Piazza.

Now, on the eve of the 2024 season, the Padres still have a host of needs. Left field is a question mark, with Jurickson Profar and Jose Azocar the only ones manning it. What happens to designated hitter when Manny Machado returns to the field? Or if that is a longer stay, what about third base? The options are slim, to say the least.

Pitching is always a need. Perhaps the Padres take a lotto ticket on a discarded arm and try to catch lightning in a bottle with their pairing of Ruben Niebla.

According to, the Padres’ 40-man roster is at 39. They have one more spot open to possibly sign an outsider.

Here are five players who have been recently released within the last week or so who could possibly find a role in San Diego.

Luke Voit, 1B/DH

Old friend alert. Voit was something of a fan favorite in San Diego during his brief stint with the club in 2022. He hit 13 homers in 82 games, with a .733 OPS and 111 OPS+. At the trade deadline, he fell victim to the megadeal that brought Juan Soto to the Padres. Of course, that was after Eric Hosmer exercised his no-trade clause to veto his inclusion. Voit was a loss to the clubhouse vibes.

To be frank, he has been fairly lackluster since leaving San Diego. He posted a lowly .676 OPS during his brief stint with the Nationals to finish 2022. In 2023, things got worse with the Brewers, with a .548 OPS and microscopic 53 OPS+.

Bringing Voit in would be a hope he bounces back returning to the San Diego clubhouse. Plus, he is a great option for designated hitter. Once Machado returns to third, the Padres are looking at options like Eguy Rosario, Graham Pauley, Brett Sullivan, or Tyler Wade at DH.

Voit has 95 career homers with a lifetime .807 OPS. He would bring experience that the Padres simply don’t have in-house for a bench role.

Brian Anderson, 3B/OF/DH

Anderson is one of the more versatile players who have recently hit the open market. He played right field and third base for the Brewers last season. If the Padres were to take a flier on him, he could be a bench option and spell Machado at third on occasion or even play some left field and spell Profar against lefties.

Anderson certainly has had his struggles at the plate, with a .231 average and 88 OPS+ over parts of the last three seasons. However, he would add some versatility and experience to a bench that lacks in both.

Perhaps there is still some juice somewhere in his bat. He did have an .811 OPS and 114 OPS+ in 185 games between 2019 and 2020.

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Mike Moustakas, 1B/3B/DH

This will be the biggest name on this list as far as recognizability. “Moose” is a three-time All-Star that helped the Kansas City Royals win the 2015 World Series. Obviously, those days are long gone.

The Padres have a need for another left-handed bat off the bench, especially with some pop. For the Rockies and Angels last season, he played some first base, third base, and was a designated hitter on occasion. He would fill a big need as a lefty corner infielder and bench piece. Obviously, he would not be asked to shoulder a huge load barring injury. He would just be a valuable veteran option off the bench who could step in at third or first base from time to time.

Moustakas showed his bat still has a little life left in it last year, with 12 homers and 15 doubles in 112 games.

Mike Ford, 1B/DH

Ford might just be a left-handed Luke Voit. Frankly, that might be even more valuable for the Padres in need of more lefty pop. In 2023, for the Mariners, Ford had something of a breakout season, hitting 16 homers with a solid 122 OPS+ in 83 games. He is the prototypical power hitter with giant holes in his swing, leading to the strikeouts piling up.

If he were to come to San Diego, it likely would be in a strict platoon role against right-handers.

He joined the Reds in camp this spring and slugged his way to a .455/.486/.727 slash line with three home runs before they released him. The Padres could acquire him at very little cost and use him as a DH or power bat off the bench against a tough righty late in the game.

Julio Teheran, RH SP

We end with another old friend. Teheran was in camp with the Padres last season but never threw an official pitch in San Diego in the regular season. After the Padres released him in May, he caught on with the Brewers, where he pitched admirably. In 14 appearances (11 starts), he logged a 4.40 ERA and 98 ERA+ in 71 2/3 innings. Basically, he was nearly perfectly league-average after the Brewers plucked him.

In camp for the Orioles this year, he posted a 3.38 ERA in just over 13 innings. The Padres certainly could use another veteran arm hovering around league average to bolster the depth of the rotation and even as a long relief option.

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