You can be sure that the San Diego Padres will fill their 2017 roster with some late invites to camp.
There will be plenty of non-roster invitees and some players signed to minor league contracts as well.
A.J. Preller is exploring every avenue when looking for talent and he will surely strike on the free agent market when the time is right. Presently, we are about one month away from the start of spring camp, and players and their agents are surely getting anxious if they are not signed yet.
The Padres infield and catching situation is pretty much wrapped up at the moment, but the team is surely not against bringing in players to take a look at. You can never have enough depth on your team.
With Austin Hedges and Christian Bethancourt entrenched as the backstop tandem for the Friars, there is no reason to bring in a veteran at this point. Especially if you take into consideration that Hector Sanchez was retained this winter after being removed from the 40-man roster.
First base has some interesting options presently, but the Padres are surely happy with Wil Myers at the position. They could look for a backup if a trade were to happen and Alex Dickerson was moved for pitching help. Myers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, after signing the biggest deal in franchise history.
Second base and third base are positions of strength right now for the Padres as they have Yangervis Solarte, Ryan Schimpf, Cory Spangenberg, and Carlos Asuaje who are all able to play both positions. The team is not presently looking for help at either position, unless they receive a major upgrade. With Solarte signed long-term, a chance of a deal seems very unlikely.
The only real need in the infield is shortstop, where Luis Sardinas looks to be the only option at short to begin the 2017 season. The young switch hitter looked impressive in short spurts last season, but it remains to be seen what he brings to the table on an everyday basis.
Let’s take a look at the available free agent players and then determine which, if any, are a fit for the Padres’ upcoming season.
This former Friar had a productive year in Colorado for the Rockies, but that is to be expected when you play half your games in the hitters paradise which is Coors Field. Hundley hit 10 bombs last year and maintained a .260 batting average in 83 games for the Rockies. At the age of 33, he will be looking for a backup job anywhere he can find it.
The 33-year-old backstop is coming off a down year where he barely eclipsed the .200 mark with a .207 average in 101 games. The switch-hitting catcher spent last season between the Toronto Blue Jays and the White Sox. His numbers have dipped in four consecutive seasons, so the end might be near for this longtime backstop. He will have a hard time finding a backup job in the majors, but he is a switch hitter, and with a decent spring, he could easily find another year of service time with someone.
This is the cream of the catching crop, but the Padres have no use for him. The Orioles’ longtime catcher should find a spot fairly soon. He will be given a shot to start everyday behind the dish as he has proven to be an offensive weapon. At the age of 31, Wieters could still have some left in the tank. He is now two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, so his defense is no longer a huge concern. He will get paid.
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