Yes, the MLB lockout is in full force, but the San Diego Padres have made an addition to their squad.
On Thursday, the Padres agreed to a minor-league deal with former Texas Rangers outfield Nomar Mazara, according to Chris Cotillo.
Nomar Mazara has a minor-league deal with the Padres that includes an invite to big-league camp.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 16, 2021
Once again, general manager A.J. Preller dips into his pile of former Rangers players and brings Mazara aboard. The deal with Mazara includes an invite to Major League camp.
Although the MLB lockout has frozen most players and teams from negotiating, Mazara was an exemption due to him not finishing the season on a 40-man roster.
Mazara last played for the Detroit Tigers, appearing in just 50 games and hitting three home runs in 165 at-bats. He was released and has been bouncing around ever since.
Before his stop in Detroit, Mazara spent one season with the Chicago White Sox during the COVID-19 2020 campaign and didn’t play too well.
His best seasons came with the Rangers, including hitting 20 home runs in each of his first three reasons and posting 101 RBIs in 2017 in a Texas uniform.
Mazara definitely has pop, even if it has been missing the past couple of seasons.
Nomar Mazara has legit raw power — this was the only 500-foot homer in the bigs in 2019. pic.twitter.com/Bk2HZEowvy
— Jon Schaeffer (@jonschaeffer) December 16, 2021
There is a path for Mazara to crack the Opening Day roster, especially with uncertainty around Tommy Pham and if he will return or not. Furthermore, Wil Myers’ name has popped up in trade talks, although no trades are happening until the lockout is resolved.
Mazara’s age is a plus at just 26 years old and, if he can get back to his Rangers form, he can be quite the steal for the Padres. This is a low-risk reward, and it will be interesting to see which version of Mazara appears once camp rolls around in the spring.
It isn’t the splashy deal Padres fans were hoping for, but it could have some benefits if Mazara can find his way back to being a productive hitter.
For now, this is the best we will get, especially with the MLB lockout nowhere close to ending.