Jul 11, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres center fielder Chris Denorfia (13) slides safely into third base during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Denorfia will make $2.25 million in 2014, and he is worth every penny for the Padres. Denorfia put together another good season batting .279 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. He saw substantial time in the outfield this year because of injuries to Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin. Denorfia is entering the final year of his contract in 2014, giving him added incentive to continue being an effective player for the Padres.
The best at-bat of the 2013 season was a game-winning pinch-hit home run by Denorfia off Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds on July 29th. Dino’s at-bat was the number one play of our Top Five plays of 2013. This play exemplifies Denorfia’s competitive nature and willingness to do what it takes to help his team win. His stats do not blow you away, but he is a tough out for opposing pitchers and plays good defense in the outfield. Number 13 warrants your attention as a versatile player who can be dangerous in the top of the batting order or in the eighth spot.
The impending showdown in the outfield for the Padres has the potential to seep into the team’s offseason trade talks. San Diego has too many outfielders, and they may be able to get a relief pitcher and/or prospects in return for Denorfia or Maybin. I would prefer keeping Denorfia and Maybin so they can battle for the starting spot, and Bud Black can accurately assess who is the best fit. Denorfia deserves a chance to start, and Maybin needs to prove he is healthy and ready to contribute to the offense. It should be an exciting spring training in the outfield, but also look for trade talks to include one of the players if the front office believes a trade will add value to the pen or the farm system.
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