This means that the four men will all be on the 40-man roster come the start of the 2022 season.
This prevents the group from being available in the Rule 5 Draft. On the day, the Padres also outrighted OF Jorge Oña and RHP Reggie Lawson to Triple-A El Paso, but did not move them to the 40-man roster.
The final change to the Padres’ organization was that RHP Shaun Anderson was claimed off of waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Selected Contracts
LHP MacKenzie Gore
MacKenzie Gore, who was drafted with the third pick in the 2017 draft, has been ranked as a top 30 prospect in the game by Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, and Major League Baseball ever since he was drafted. However, he’s yet to perform exceptionally well at the higher levels of the minor leagues, which has lowered his stock. He’s 22, and he’s still yet to make his big league debut, but he’ll almost certainly be given a chance to fight for a spot on the roster in spring training. The Padres have said Gore will only be called up if he can stay up, but if Gore can get back on track, he’ll be a talented part of the Padres’ rotation for years to come.
INF Eguy Rosario
While Eguy Rosario is also 22, he’s taken a very different path to get to this point than Gore. He’s the 15th ranked prospect in the Padres system, and he was signed out of the Dominican Republic when he was just 15 years old. Rosario played 114 games at Double-A San Antonio and produced above-average numbers, including an OPS over .800, 30 stolen bases, and a .281 batting average. Rosario can play all over the infield. While he certainly won’t threaten any of the established Padres starters, he’ll have an opportunity to earn a spot as a utility man in spring training.
RHP Efrain Contreras
Efrain Contreras is a 21-year-old, and he’s ranked 23rd in the Padres organization. Contreras got his start in Mexico before being signed by the Padres in 2017. He did post solid numbers in 2019 at A+ Fort Wayne, but after requiring Tommy John after throwing his arm out in November of 2019, he’s yet to pitch in a professional capacity. Contreras has a fantastic curveball and solid command, but he’ll have to show that he can stay healthy. He’s got a lot of upside, and the Padres showed a lot of faith in him by selecting his contract. Contreras’ selection also prevented him from being eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft, something the Padres had to do as he hadn’t played above the A+ level.
RHP Steven Wilson
Wilson is by far the oldest player the Padres selected for contract, as he’s 27. He’s ranked 21st in the Padres organization and was taken in the 8th round of the 2018 MLB draft. Wilson spent six years at Santa Clara, which is why he’s so old, but his age also made the Padres push him up the ranks quicker. He spent time at Triple-A El Paso in 2019 before throwing 40 innings at El Paso again in 2021. He’s certainly going to be a bullpen pitcher, but his unique pitching style has worked so far, as he had a 3.43 ERA in El Paso. His upside isn’t as high as players like Gore and Contreras, but his usage as a bullpen arm gives him a good chance to contribute to the Padres in 2021.
The Triple-A Assignments
OF Jorge Oña
Jorge Oña, who’s the first Padre on this list to have played a game in San Diego, spent a five-game stint with the club in 2020, hitting a home run in 12 at-bats. He struggled with injuries in 2021, as a bone spur kept him out of action until late in the season, limiting him to just five games. He’s fallen all the way to 26th in the Padres prospect rankings, but he’ll have the opportunity to earn his way back to the 40-man roster in El Paso. He’s got massive amounts of power, but his strikeout rate (28.9% for his minor league career) has proven to be an issue in the past.
RHP Reggie Lawson
The 24-year-old Reggie Lawson is ranked 11th in the Padres system, as he’s viewed to have a lot of upside. His fastball-curveball combination is said to be spectacular, but he’s struggled with the command of the curve in the past. He’s yet to really put it together yet, as he’s never posted a minor league season with an ERA under 4.50, but his great stuff has seen him progress up the system. Lawson will be given a sink or swim season in El Paso, as the Padres hope he can realize his great potential.