Recapping the flurry of moves made by the San Diego Padres in response to Friday night’s deadline to secure arbitration-eligible players.
The San Diego Padres were faced with more decisions than any other team in baseball on Friday, as they had ten players to either secure for 2017 or allow to hit free agency.
At the end of what was a very active day, the team kept control of six contracts, non-tendered five, and traded one. However, the trade and just one of these non-tenders is what made headlines.
While trading Derek Norris to the Washington Nationals and deciding not to secure Tyson Ross dominated the news, other important moves happened. Everything the Padres did on Friday will have an impact on the club both for 2017 and beyond.
For fans who may have missed the rest of the news, we will get you caught up here. This, in a nutshell, is everything the team did before the arbitration deadline.
- Wil Myers – Myers is San Diego’s future, so this move was beyond obvious. While a trade of Myers is not completely out of the question, there was no way Preller was going to let him become a free agent.
- Christian Friedrich – With Ross gone, Friedrich could become the ace in 2017. Since Edwin Jackson and Clayton Richard are also free agents, it was a no-brainer to secure Friedrich.
- Yangervis Solarte – Solarte is the wild card of Padres’ players this offseason. There is a good chance he could be traded, as the team doesn’t necessarily need him at third. But there was no chance that they would let him go through the arbitration process, as he is worth too much to the Padres whether he stays or goes.
- Brandon Maurer – Maurer, who is expected to be the closer, was not surprisingly tendered. For a team that needs more pitching depth, keeping what they already have on the roster in key roles is a good start.
- Brad Hand – As one of the only southpaws on the pitching staff, Hand could be critical in a league where matchups are increasingly important. With the emergence of super relievers such as Cleveland’s Andrew Miller, the Padres do not want to throw away a possible key pitcher in 2017.
- Carter Capps – Capps will definitely have a role in the bullpen in 2017. As thin as this unit is for San Diego, making sure one of their matchup arms didn’t go anywhere is a good move.
- Tyson Ross – As mentioned earlier, 2016’s Opening Day starter was the surprise move of the day. However, Preller told the media that “the door is open” when it comes to possibly re-signing Ross. More about this peculiar transaction can be found here.
- Alexi Amarista – The longest tenured player on the roster is now a free agent. This is not a huge surprise, as he is a utility infielder the team probably doesn’t need.
- Hector Sanchez – Sanchez, a young catcher, is the other catcher removed from San Diego’s roster on Friday. As a result, the Padres will probably either re-sign him, or be in search of another catcher.
- Jon Edwards – There was really no place for the 28-year-old right-hander in the Padres’ bullpen. This move furthers the idea that if a player isn’t going to be in it for the long run, he’ll no longer be on the roster.
- Erik Johnson – Johnson really struggled in 2016, and will miss all of 2017 after surgery. No shock here.
- Jose Pirela – Pirela played little for the Padres in 2016, recording just 41 plate appearances. For what it’s worth, he hit .154. San Diego has an abundance of second basemen, making the 27-year-old an unneeded piece.
The Norris factor
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Trading Norris was less about Norris himself than it was about roster depth. While many fans were excited about getting rid of a struggling player with a $6 million+ contract, the real reasoning for this was beyond clearing out roster space.
Getting Pedro Avila was is exciting for fans, as he is just 19 years old with plenty of upside. This was certainly a better deal for San Diego than merely allowing Norris to go through the arbitration process.
However, it was somewhat strange that the Padres non-tendered Sanchez, given that he was the only other catcher on the roster other than Austin Hedges. Now, the Padres will be checking out free agent catchers.
Hopefully, this organized recap of each move that was made Friday helps close the book on what was somewhat of a chaotic day for the Padres. Now, the team can look forward to the Winter Meetings, Rule 5 Draft, and free agency. These are the next critical periods for the organization as they look to continue to build on their young core.