The San Diego Padres on Thursday made the first of several offseason moves.
With 51 men on the 40-man roster and a Monday deadline to trim the roster, 11 men will soon find themselves either outrighted off the roster and sent to the minors or outright released.
On Halloween, the Padres made the first of these moves to clear space on their roster by outrighting, releasing, or trading five players.
Getting outrighted off the roster was Brett Kennedy and Robert Stock, with the latter getting claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies while the former will head to Triple-A El Paso. Robbie Erlin was outrighted off the roster and declared free agency while San Diego declined the option of both Adam Warren and Aaron Loup, making them a free agent. Travis Jankowski, on the other hand, will be shipped off to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for international bonus money.
Gone for free agency is veteran reliever, Craig Stammen. The 35-year-old made $4.5 million over his final two seasons as a Padre after initially signing a minor-league deal with the Padres in 2017.
The #Padres made the following roster moves:
– Robert Stock claimed off waivers from the Phillies.
– Acquired international slot money from the Reds in exchange for Travis Jankowski.
– Outrighted Brett Kennedy to El Paso.
– Robbie Erlin cleared waivers and elected free agency.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) October 31, 2019
Stammen was consistently one of the most reliable options out of the bullpen during his tenure as a Padre, pitching to a collective 3.05 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP throughout three seasons. His 2019 campaign saw him post a 3.29 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP, 4.12 FIP, and a 3.85 xFIP in 82 innings. However, his strikeout rate dropped from 10.03 in 2018 to 8.01 in 2019, while his HR/9 jumped from 0.34 in 2018 to 1.34 in 2019. Nonetheless, the Padres would no doubt benefit from resigning Stammen to bolster their 2020 bullpen.
For the 25-year-old Kennedy, he will be returning to El Paso so he can continue the rehabilitation of the lat strain he suffered in May. After posting a 10-0 record with a sterling 2.73 ERA and 80:23 K: BB ratio, he was promoted to the Major League squad to make his debut on August 8th. However, he struggled in The Show, pitching to a 1-2 record with a 6.75 ERA in 26.2 innings thrown before going down with an injury. He attempted a rehab stint, but only pitched one inning in the Arizona League.
Erlin was one of the longest-tenured Padres on the current roster as he was acquired in 2011 along with Joe Wieland as part of the Mike Adams trade. Erlin served as a left-handed specialist in both the rotation and the bullpen but went down in 2016 due to a partially torn UCL that required Tommy John. He wouldn’t return until 2018 and struggled in 2019, posting a 5.37 ERA in 55.1 innings. However, his 3.61 FIP and 4.17 xFIP put him in a better light. He is still 29-years-old, so there will still be some interest in his services.
After a promising 2018 which saw him pitch to a 2.50 ERA, 2.71 FIP, and a 3.92 xFIP, the flamethrowing Stock was seen as a fixture of the Padres bullpen until 2019. However, an inability to harness his upper-nineties fastball as well as struggling to find the plate meant that he only pitched 10.2 innings for the Padres. He was sent to Triple-A El Paso, where he finished his season after a biceps injury put him on the 60-Day IL. If he can regain command over his fastball, he still has the potential to be a serviceable reliever, which is most likely what led to the Phillies plucking him off the waiver wire.
Both Loup and Warren were brought in to bring veteran stability to a young San Diego bullpen, but both ran into early problems in the season. Loup lasted only 3.1 innings until an elbow injury sidelined him for what became the entire season. Warren got hammered to the tune of a 5.34 ERA and an even uglier 6.91 FIP in 28.2 innings until he too went down with an injury, ultimately getting Tommy John surgery in September. The Padres will be paying buyouts of $200K and $500K to Loup and Warren, respectively.
Jankowski was a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 and made his major league debut in 2015. Jankowski fit the bill as a glove-first speedster who played every position in the outfield. After collecting a .259/.332/.346 season and stealing 24 bags in 2018, Jankowski was expected to compete with Manuel Margot for the starting job in center field. Still, a broken wrist he suffered during Spring Training limited him to just 25 games and 24 plate appearances. As a Super Two player, Jankowski is in the second of four arbitration years but was projected to make only $1.2 million.