The San Diego Padres have released Cory Spangenberg.
Just days after Cory Spangenberg was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for one of seven prospects the San Diego Padres protected, the organization has released the 27-year-old utility player.
A first-round pick of the Padres in back in 2011 (10th overall), Spangenberg struggled in 2018, taking a big step backward from his productive 2017 campaign. The left-handed infielder and part-time outfielder is now free to sign with any team.
Spangenberg appeared in 116 games this season with the Padres, hitting .235 with a .298 on-base percentage and a 33% strikeout rate. Both his batting average and on-base percentage took nearly 30 point drops, while his strikeout rate increased by more than 6%. His wRC+ (83) and fWAR (0.6) were the lowest marks of his career, among his three seasons of 100+ games with the Padres.
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With names like Carlos Asuaje still on the roster, his DFA and now release are a slight surprise, however, this is a very small point in the grand scheme of things. Looking down the road to 2020 and beyond, it’s clear that Spangenberg has no role with the organization moving forward.
With age on his side, ability to play multiple positions on the field, and a decent bat against right-handed pitching (.261 BA, .332 OBP against RHP/ .141 BA, .167 OBP against LHP in 2018), Spangenberg will surely catch on somewhere as a platoon option for one of the 29 other franchises in the league.
The addition of high OBP-infielder Greg Garcia, addition of Ty France to the 40-man roster, and trade for infielder Esteban Quiroz from the Boston Red Sox, the Padres have plenty of options to fill-in for Spangenberg as the team waits for top infield prospects to reach the majors and/or the team can land a big name starting shortstop or third baseman.
Spangenberg finished his 2018 season with seven home runs, nine doubles, four triples, 25 runs driven in, 35 runs scored, and six stolen bases.