While the current MLB lockout prohibits the Padres from making any big league roster moves, general manager A.J. Preller is busy signing players to minor league deals to improve the Padres’ depth, according to Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America.
Among the position players signed is 26-year-old outfielder and former top prospect Nomar Mazara, who is coming off of an abysmal 2021 with the Detroit Tigers. Domingo Leyba, a 25-year-old infielder who has struggled in his brief MLB time, has a promising bat and posted a .912 OPS in 218 Triple-A plate appearances in 2021. First baseman Aderlin Rodriguez, who is returning to the organization after leaving following the 2019 season, had a fantastic year in Triple-A, where he hit for a .927 OPS and 29 home runs in 483 plate appearances.
Today in Chihuahuas History: August 27, 2019— El Paso Chihuahuas (@epchihuahuas) August 27, 2020
Aderlin Rodriguez launches a rocket 481 Feet into the El Paso Night pic.twitter.com/AP9kOMiJR4
26-year-old infielder C.J. Hinojosa will also join the team’s depth at Triple-A after hitting .316 with an .831 OPS in 443 plate appearances at the Astros Triple-A affiliate in 2021. 27-year-old outfielder Thomas Milone will provide the Padres with much-needed centerfield depth after putting up an .824 OPS in 361 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in the Yankees organization. 30-year-old catcher Webster Rivas was another name rejoining the organization after seeing some MLB playing time for the Padres during the 2021 season.
The most notable pitcher signed by the Padres is 26-year-old reliever Jose Castillo, who is returning to the organization following three straight seasons of injuries. During his 2018 MLB campaign, the left-hander flashed dominance with a 3.29 ERA, 0.913 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 in 38.1 innings.
27-year-old starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer, who struggled with a 6.18 ERA in 83.0 Triple-A innings in 2021, joined the organization to provide starting pitching depth. 32-year-old starting pitcher Luke Westphal rejoined the organization after posting a 5.84 ERA in 49.1 Triple-A innings in 2021. 31-year-old reliever Matt Swilley joined the organization after being out of professional baseball since 2015. Swilley’s career BB/9 and K/9 both sit at 6.7, making him a very intriguing signing. Hard-throwing 24-year-old reliever Angel Felipe may be another outside candidate for a bullpen spot after posting a 2.59 ERA in 62.2 innings between High A and Double-A in the Rays organization in 2021.
Next for the Padres will be signing international free agents starting on Saturday, January 15th. Hard-throwing pitcher Jarlin Susana and infielders Yendry Rojas and Rosman Verdugo are the most prominent names expected to be signed by the Padres.