San Diego Padres: Team adds two infielders, Anderson Espinoza on IL

The San Diego Padres added both Breyvic Valera and Gordon Beckham while Anderson Espinoza landed on the 60-day IL again.

On Wednesday, the San Diego Padres made a series of moves, claiming Breyvic Valera off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and signing Gordon Beckham. They also placed Anderson Espinoza on the 60-day injured list as he recovers from his second straight Tommy John Surgery.

Espinoza, 21, was the prized prospect in the Drew Pomeranz trade before the deadline in the 2016 season but has struggled to remain healthy. The former top-25 prospect in the game has not pitched in a game since the 2016 season, posting a combined 4.49 ERA in 24 starts with 100 strikeouts in 108.1 innings that year.

And while he’s still 21-years-old, the recent news has an unsettling feeling going forward about his ability to become part of the future Padres’ rotation. There is not a timetable for his return yet, but at this point, he will gladly take throwing a baseball again.

Valera, 28, is a bit of a journeyman who has a small sample size of at-bats in his brief professional career. Last year alone, he spent the year with the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays’ organizations. He had just 52 plate appearances in the big leagues in 2019, slashing .234/.308/.383 with one home run and six RBI.

He generally performed well at the Triple-A level, posting an .870 OPS with 14 home runs and 56 RBI and is hoping for an opportunity to latch on in some capacity with the Padres. His versatility makes him an attractive asset, but he is likely best served as a pinch-hitter.

Gordon Beckham agreed to a minor-league deal with the team earlier this week and is hoping to break camp with the team. The former eighth overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft was a highly-touted prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization but failed to materialize into the player he was projected to be.

Outside of his rookie year in 2009, Beckham has never posted an OPS higher than .800. And while his sample size was limited to just 26 games in 2014, he experienced a tremendous amount of success with the Los Angeles Angels, slashing .268/.328/.429 with two home runs and eight RBI.

Next: 3 biggest questions for Padres during spring training

Beckham’s chances of making the team in Spring Training would appear to be slim, but hopefully, he can at least push some of the other players to emerge from the pack.

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