After 11 seasons, and the only organization he’s ever known, San Diego Padres’ relief pitcher Tim Stauffer could be experiencing his final days in a Friars’ uniform. Stauffer, whose contract is up at the end of this season, is the longest tenured member of the big club, and with new GM A.J. Preller now running the show, and a plethora of young bullpen arms, he could find himself pitching for a different team once the 2015 season begins. Stauffer recently spoke to Corey Brock of MLB.com about his possible departure:
"“I don’t think it’s quite hit home yet. We’ll see how things shake out but there’s a pretty good chance I may be somewhere else. I’ll try to save these last days if they are the last days. Whatever happens, I’ll always have good memories of here. I can only say good things about the Padres. They stuck with me through some tough times.”(h/t, Corey Brock, MLB.com)"
Stauffer to some, might not have lived up to expectations, although he’s remained with the team that drafted him fourth overall in the 2003 First Year Player’s Draft. He made his big league debut two seasons later in 2005, and has been a key cog for the Padres ever since. He has served in the role of swingman, spot starting when needed, and working out of the bullpen most of the time. Over his 11 seasons in the show with San Diego, he missed most of two non-consecutive seasons after both should and elbow surgeries sidelined him. He had to sign a minor league deal in 2013 to remain with the organization.
"“I still feel, physically, as good if not better than I did when I was in my mid-20s. Getting that opportunity [to start] would be nice. I just want to pitch. But I’m pretty open to different roles.”~Tim Stauffer"
Not know what the Padres’ off-season plans will be this coming winter, tonight could be Tim Stauffer’s final appearance in a Padres’ uniform. He’s soaking it all in, enjoying each moment. There will be no fanfare, not farewell ceremony, just personal memories and special moments with teammates and fans that have come to know Tim Stauffer as the Padres’ Ol’ Reliable.