San Diego Padres Potential 40-Man Roster Cuts

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: (Bill Mitchell)

There are roster decisions that need to be made for the San Diego Padres this winter. Who on the team is in jeopardy of losing their space on the 40-man roster in the coming weeks? The Padres have prospects that need to be protected, so there could very well be some casualties.

It has already been reported multiple times that the Padres have Rule 5 Draft issues coming this winter.

Well. Issues are probably being dramatic about the situation, as there are some pretty simple ways for the team to keep their viable prospects while protecting the integrity of the 40-man roster. They have multiple players that need to be added to the 40-man roster in the coming months. That is true. Chris Paddack and Anderson Espinoza are certainly going to be added. That’s a no-brainer. Austin Allen, Michael Gettys, Ty France, Pedro Avila, Edward Olivares, Jerry Keel, Brad Zunica, Hansel Rodriguez, Travis Radke, Gerardo Reyes are all in need of protection as well, however, each will not necessarily need to be protected as teams will surely not claim them all.

Of that group, Allen will probably need to be protected as a left-handed hitting catcher with a solid bat is intriguing. Avila, France,  Olivares, Reyes, and Gettys are also really close to being considered. It really comes down to evaluation and if these players fit a need for a prospective club.

Then there are the names like Fernando Tatis Jr., Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen that will require a roster spot very soon. This foursome might not make the team out of the spring, but they will require a roster spot at some point in 2019. Each player is already showing the ability to be major leaguers. It is only a matter of time.

Some roster maneuvering will need to be done by the Padres before the Rule 5 Draft and then again into the 2019 season.

It is important to note that a couple of players will be free agents at the end of the 2018 season. Freddy Galvis and A.J. Ellis will both be allowed to walk away after the year. Galvis might be a possibility to return (depending on cost), but Ellis is all but gone.

Here are some other names currently on the 40-man that might be released in the next month or so. Keep an eye on the situation.


Rafael Lopez

The left-handed catcher proved to be useful in 2018, but there is no room for him presently with the Padres. With the addition of Francisco Mejia, he became obsolete to the team. The Padres would probably love to keep him for depth purposes, but his 40-man spot could prove to be too valuable. Lopez could earn a backup job somewhere and the Padres will surely not hold him back from that.

Jose Torres

It is only a matter of time before the Padres release this once promising young pitcher. He is serving a 100 game suspension for domestic violence and there is no room for someone like that on the team. He can only be released by the Padres (per MLB rules) after serving his complete suspension. Even though he is still only 25 and left-handed, the team will move on from him as they should.

Credit: Jake Roth/USA Today

Colten Brewer

Another pitcher who could be released is this right-hander. He has not been impressive and could easily pass through waivers if he were DFA’d. The Padres have plenty of right-handed relievers in the minors and could also sign a minor league free agent or two to fill the void. Brewer has the ceiling of a middle reliever and that really is not all that appealing.

Alex Dickerson

Injuries have derailed this San Diego prep product. The former Poway High School outfielder has power from the left side, but two straight years of injuries could be the end for him in a Padres uniform. Dickerson is currently on the 60-day DL but could be released as the team has so much outfield depth. Even if he were healthy, he would have a hard time making the team. That is just the cruel reality of the situation.


Jose Pirela

This veteran infielder/outfielder had plenty of opportunities to play at the beginning of 2018. He failed to do anything with that and is now considered nothing more than a backup or utility player. He has some value, but there are other players on the roster that can play multiple positions. His 40-man spot is in real jeopardy. It is not known if he has value to be traded, but one would not expect to get much for him.

Bryan Mitchell

The Padres have not gotten much out of Mitchell, whom they acquired from the Yankees at the cost of eating $13-million dollars (Chase Headley‘s contract cost for 2018). He has an ability, but the team probably needs to focus on him out of the bullpen. His last start of the year gave some hope to him for 2019, but he ultimately could be viewed as a bullpen piece. The team is invested in him and he does have a decent arm.

Walker Lockett

The fact that Lockett was not given an opportunity to start at the end of the year, indicates that they might be done with their evaluation of him. He has size and is serviceable, but the problem is he is surrounded by prospects with higher ceilings who are also younger. The Padres would love to retain him so that he could provide depth for the Triple-A team. We will see how they approach this situation.

Credit: AP Photo

Kazuhisa Makita

It was probably a mistake to give Makita a two-year deal. He has trickery to his motion and delivery but lacks real velocity to get away with missed locations. He needs to be extremely accurate with his location, or he gets hit very hard by professional hitters in the major leagues. The team is obligated to pay him in 2018, so that could be his saving grace to remain on the team for 2019.

Rowan Wick

Another pitcher who was brought in on a minor league deal is this right-hander. He has good stuff but was not given much of an opportunity to pitch for the major league team. He could be a victim of the roster crunch as the Padres bring in younger relief pitchers to fill the void.

Players of Note

Robbie Erlin

After Tommy John surgery sidelined him for 18 months, Erlin entered 2018 with a determination. The left-hander started off slow working out of the pen but proved to be very useful for the team in the rotation. He is on this list as the team could try to shop him this winter. Erlin’s main issue is that the youth around will eventually push him out.

Carlos Asuaje

He was not recalled after the Chihuahuas season was over and that was a real surprise. Luis Urias is the team’s second baseman and the team has plenty of players who could be viewed as utility options. Asuaje is far back on the depth chart at this point and could be DFA’d to create a roster spot for a free agent or a young player.

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17 thoughts on “San Diego Padres Potential 40-Man Roster Cuts

  1. Great piece James. I agree with everything except on Bryan Mitchell. I still think the Padres see him as a legit starter. At the beginning of this year he was anointed as a starter in spring before reaaally proving anything. He has the makeup they are looking for in. Balsley reclamation project (Hand & Yates) and they are going to need depth in the starting rotation due to injury and the young arms they are going to need to protect to keep a max on innings. What he has shown in this short stint in Sept has been a noteworthy turnaround in approach and effectiveness. Hopefully it continues.

  2. “Then there are the names like Fernando Tatis Jr., Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen that will require a roster spot very soon. This foursome might not make the team out of the spring, but they will require a roster spot at some point in 2018.”
    No they will not!!!!!!!!! None of them are Rule 5 eligible and they can all make the roster out of Spring Training next year as NRI’s if they deserve it.

    1. They can all be NRI for Spring Training. But to make the ML roster out of Spring Training, they will need to be on the 40 man roster. The only player of those 4, I see as most likely to not be on the Padres ML roster next year is Naylor. That can always change depending on what moves Preller makes.

      1. Roster spots can be cleared for them once the season starts by way of trades or 60-day DL placements. Way different then giving them roster spots during the offseason which forces the team to expose someone else to waivers/Rule 5. No GM in baseball adds non-Rule 5 eligible prospects to the 40-man roster during the offseason.

    2. Yes, I know they aren’t Rule 5 eligible. I was making the point that they will need 40-man roster spots at some point in 2019.

      1. You said “… but they will require a roster spot at some point in 2018.” If that was a typo then fine. But the Padres gain nothing by adding them to the 40-man roster before they decide to call them up.

        1. Huh? All I was writing was that the team will need to clear more 40-man roster spots eventually. Why would they add them to the roster before calling them up?

          1. They wouldn’t. That’s why I took issue with the statement “… but they will require a roster spot at some point in 2018.”

  3. A lot of these minor leaguers won’t be taken in the Rule 5 draft. Edward Olivares and Michael Gettys are simply not ready for the major leagues, and most teams aren’t going to stash them on their 25-man for an entire year. Preller tried this with Cordoba last year and it didn’t really work out. Ty France and Brad Zunica are basically minor league depth pieces, although France may be better than that (I would love to see France on the Padres). We have a ton of relief pitching prospects in the system, it is not worth protecting all of them.

  4. The following people are gone:
    Castillo, Mitchell, Kennedy, Lockett, Makita, Rea, Raffy Lopez, Javy Guerra, Pirela, Spangenberg & Dickerson
    You can likely throw Galvis/Ellis there because they won’t be resigned
    I also wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the Padres do move Yates and/or Stanmen & have got to be shopping Myers hard.

    Even without a trade that’s 11 roster spots gone, and two leaving in FA. And I didn’t even get rid of Asuaje who could be a UT guy (and I think better of than Spangy)

    1. Jose Castillo is definitely staying, and I think Mitchell, Makita and Spangy are staying. I also think the team will make a strong effort to resign Galvis. Yates and Stammen will be shopped, but teams probably won’t meet Preller’s demands (a top 100 prospect for one or both). I think Asuaje will be DFA’d.

    2. They can shop Myers as hard as they like, but the only likely trade scenarios are a) they pay most of his contract and take back zilch or b) bad contract swap. You’re talking a very league average player at what soon will be 4 times the league average price.

    3. Asuaje better than Spangy? Asuaje has nothing you want in a utility guy, he’s not fast, has no versatility, no pop to speak of, and rates negatively defensively. Spangy is statistically a better hitter(this season and historically), has great speed, can move around to almost all positions and play them at a serviceable level or better. I could see this opinion of Asuaje at the beginning of the season because of his status of a prospect and what could be, but we are past that now.

      If Galvis walks, as he should, the smart move would be to let Guerra and his defense play until the savior is ready to go.

    1. I agree, especially with Perdomo. There may be some trade value with him though. I thought there was rumors of the Cubs being interested before he got injured.

      Cordoba could serve as a place holder for short if they let Galvis walk and favor him over Guerra.

  5. Yep. Can’t argue with any of these choices. The cold truth is that the average players career is something like 4 years. It’s earn a place or be replaced, as there are younger guys lined up behind you. Move on from all of them.
    Especially Mitchell and Asuaje. Mitchell doesn’t strike out enough hitters to function out of the pen, and walks too many to be a starter (career WHIP of 1.68 – ugh). The weird thing is he might be tradeable. And Asuaje has had his chance, he turns 27 soon. With 2b belonging to Urias, the need is for an UT guy and that favors Spangenberg over Asuaje.

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