A few former San Diego Padres have found new homes for the 2019 season.
Happy Saturday morning, San Diego Padres fans. Well, after clamoring for the team to make moves during the winter meetings, fans got their wish on Friday afternoon, one day after the conclusion of the winter meetings. The team made a noteworthy addition to the roster on Friday, signing 36-year-old second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year deal.
The move caused a bit of stir online as Padres fans tried to make sense of the move. Adding Kinsler to the fold now means the Gold Glove winner will start the season at second base, while top second base prospect Luis Urias is set to start 2019 at shortstop. As multiple Padres beat writers noted after the signing, the team is still in play for a third baseman. We’ll see how that materializes down the road.
There were also updates on a few former Friars who will now be playing elsewhere in 2019. After playing in 57 games for San Diego last season, outfielder Matt Szczur has joined forces with a divisional foe, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Szczur signed a minor league deal with the organization and will look to catch on with the now-rebuilding organization.
Szczur hit .187 with one home run and three doubles in San Diego, reaching base in just 27% of his plate appearances. The 29-year-old struck out in 29% of his at-bats.
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In more notable news, former Padres utility man Carlos Asuaje isn’t going to play for the Texas Rangers after all. The Rangers claimed Asuaje off waivers after San Diego designated him for assignment to make room for starting pitcher Garrett Richards.
Asuaje is nearing a deal to play baseball in South Korea, joining Christian Villanueva (now playing in Japan) in a long move across the Pacific ocean. A former top prospect, Asuaje has shown very little in his brief time in the big leagues and stands to make much more overseas, so good for him. With his capability of playing a decent second base and average ability to hit right-handed hitters, there is a role out there somewhere for Asuaje at the major league level, if he finds his groove in Korea and decides to return to the States down the road.