The San Diego Padres finished a busy day by protecting seven prospects from the Rule-5 draft.
We all knew it was a safe bet that the San Diego Padres would protect the likes of Chris Paddack, Anderson Espinoza, and Austin Allen, however, general manager A.J. Preller took it four steps further, protecting seven players in all from this year’s Rule-5 draft, set to take place at the December winter meetings.
The Padres have officially added Paddack, Espinoza, Allen, Edward Olivares, Pedro Avila, Ty France, and Gerardo Reyes to the 40-man roster. To make room on the 40-man, Colten Brewer (Boston Red Sox), Walker Lockett (Cleveland Indians), and Rowan Wick (Chicago Cubs) were all traded for minor league pieces, while IF Cory Spangenberg, 3B Christian Villanueva, RHP Colin Rea, and SS Allen Cordoba were all designated for assignment.
Of the seven prospects added to the roster, France and Reyes are the only ones not ranked in the top 30, but are very intriguing pieces who could contribute at the major league level in 2019. France is coming off a season in which he hit 30 doubles and 22 home runs between San Antonio and El Paso while hitting .267 with a .355 on-base percentage. With Villanueva potentially heading to Japan and Wil Myers involved in trade talks, France could very well find himself backing up whoever the Padres bring in to man third base.
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Reyes split his time between Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, striking out 69 hitters in 55 innings and holding hitters to a .216 average. He is spending his offseason playing in Mexico and has yet to surrender a run in 13 innings of work.
Other than the developing story with Villanueva, none of the other three players designated for assignment come as a shock. Cordoba struggled to stay above the Mendoza-Line in Lake Elsinore and the Padres already have Javy Guerra, a glove-first shortstop on the active roster. Spangenberg hit just .235 and failed to reach a .300 OBP in 116 games.
The Padres 40-man roster remains full at 40 names, meaning if A.J Preller signs any free agent, he will have to find someone to remove. Two names that are surprisingly still on the 40-man roster include Carlos Asuaje and Jose Pirela. Asuaje spent much of the end of the year in the minors, while Pirela rode the bench for a long stretch, before injuries to Villanueva and Luis Urias forced Andy Green to give Pirela playing time. If the Padres believe any of their newly acquired players or a guy like Ty France are capable of producing at the major league level, expect both Asuaje and Pirela to become expendable at some point this offseason.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, Padres fans. There was a lot to digest from today with plenty more to come.