On Thursday, general manager A.J. Preller acquired four players from the Rule 5 draft. They acquired pitchers Luis Perdomo, Josh Martin, Blake Smith and outfielder Jabari Blash.
The Padres were 20th in the majors with a 4.09 ERA. They were fourth in strikeouts on a positive side.
Offensively, they were eighth in runs scored and 19th in home runs.
Perdomo, 22, had a 3.98 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) in the St. Louis Cardinals Class A system. He also pitched in the Futures Game in July.
“Perdomo is a really good body, good athlete, throws in the mid-90’s. We’ve seen him start. He has a really good arm. It’s going to be a jump, but he’s got talent and that’s a good place to start from,” said Preller as reported by Corey Brock.
Martin, 26, was 8-1 with 2.27 ERA in the Cleveland Indians Double-A system this past season. In 67 1/3 innings, he had 80 strikeouts and allowed only 47 hits. Opposing batters only hit .192 against him.
Smith, 28, had an ERA of 2.89 in the Chicago White Sox minor league system. He struck out 64 batters in 53 innings. He was also an outfielder in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
Blash, 26, hit a combined 32 home runs in Double-A and Triple-A and batted .271.
“Jabari is a guy who was regarded as one of the big power threats in the Draft five years ago,” Preller said. “I think that power is playing out in games. We were looking to replace a little right-handed power. Hopefully he can provide that for us.”
Will the Padres have all four for the entire season?
“I think that would be a fun thing to see,” Preller said. “It’s not easy to do. We’re not going to give out any scholarships. They’ve got to earn their way.”
Overall, Preller is satisfied with the Rule 5 draft.
“I think this continues with finding a way to add talent. With spots on the roster we cleared up, we looked at it as a chance to add four guys who can make the Major League club,” Preller said. “I think at the end, they were four guys we liked. They’ll come to Spring Training with a chance to compete.”
With the winter league meetings now over, it will be very interesting to see what Preller and the Padres do the rest of the offseason.