Padres Editorial: What Free Agent First Baseman Should Padres Target?

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Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy commits a fielding error on a ball hit by Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (not pictured) in the 8th inning in game four of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agents Padres Should Avoid

Let’s just start off by eliminating a few names.

Corey Hart and Jeff Baker each hit the free agent market. Neither of them is particularly useful. Hart seems to have lost his ability to live up to the league average. Also having disappeared is his durability. Hart has failed to play 80 games since 2012. Baker is great against left-handed pitching. But he’s ultimately a supplemental player. The Padres have enough of those filling the roster.

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Daniel Murphy is also an option at first base, especially considering he isn’t good defensively at second base. Despite a great postseason, Murphy’s highest career OPS+ is 126 back in 2011. He is certainly above the league average, but not worth a four-year $50 million-plus. He is not enough of an improvement.

The Padres Could Pursue…

Steve Pearce. Pearce finished 2013 strongly enough to merit a larger role on the 2014 Baltimore Orioles. He had a breakout .293/.373/.556/.930 slashline in 102 games.

By 2015, he had forced his way into the everyday lineup. But this year, he hit .218/.289/.442/.711. Decent power with a poor on-base. Despite being above average defensively, Pearce is not the player the Padres should get to play first base everyday. He would come pretty cheap. But the team is right-handed enough.

Still, Pearce is an interesting option who should be lightly considered if the market is low enough.

For the big names, go to the next page.