As the Rule 5 Draft deadline was approaching, the San Diego Padres wisely moved four of their most promising prospects to the 40-man roster in order to protect them.
The Rule 5 Draft isn’t until December 8th, but the deadline to set the 40-man roster prior to it was Friday evening. For the San Diego Padres, this meant that they needed to make some roster moves.
Javier Guerra, Walker Lockett, Jose Ruiz, and Franchy Cordero were each protected from the upcoming draft. This is a very clear indication of which minor league players the organization envision as their future core.
Guerra is the biggest name to be protected, the team’s seventh ranked prospect. Despite struggling a little since coming to the organization as a result of the Craig Kimbrel trade, Guerra is a flashy shortstop that the Padres do not wish to risk losing.
Protecting Lockett is another move which comes as no surprise to fans. The tall right-hander is the most major league ready of the four, and is expected to begin 2017 in AAA.
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Cordero and Ruiz are slightly more of surprises to fans, especially Ruiz. As a converted pitcher who has bounced around, the 22-year-old has gotten only as high as High-A. With Ruiz being multiple seasons away, it seems slightly peculiar to make protecting him a priority. However, some indication that the native of Venezuela may be selected in the rule 5 draft must have propelled the Padres into action.
Cordero is another minor league player with little experience. It wouldn’t seem like another team would want to take a chance on the versatile outfielder, but San Diego wanted to be sure.
Opting to move four players to the 40-man roster, the Padres were forced to make three additional roster changes to avoid exceeding the limit. The designated Oswaldo Arcia for assignment, outrighted Brett Wallace to AAA, and placed Leonel Campos on waivers. Only Arcia however remains in the organization. Wallace chose free agency instead of his minor league assignment, and Campos was quickly claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays.