On Tuesday, the Padres acquired the speedy Jorge Mateo from the Oakland Athletics. How might he be used on Jayce Tingler’s squad?
Leave no stone unturned when it comes to Padres general manager AJ Preller. Give him a chance to make a trade before the season, and he’ll do exactly that, acquiring Jorge Mateo from the Athletics on Tuesday.
Mateo, 25, came up through the Yankees minor league system as an international free agent signing in January 2012. He was part of the Sonny Gray trade that sent him to Oakland.
Last year, Mateo had a breakout campaign, posting a .289/.330/.504 slash line with 29 doubles, 14 triples, 19 home runs, 78 RBI, and 24 stolen bases in 119 games for Triple-A Las Vegas.
His 14 triples and 24 stolen bases were tops and seventh-best, respectively, in the Pacific Coast League last year. We also have the full scouting report on how fast this kid is.
On a serious note, this is a sneaky trade that could be pay dividends for the Padres in the upcoming season. Not only can he play second base, shortstop, and the outfield, but with the extra-innings rules of a runner starting on second base, Mateo could be a valuable asset to have as that guy starting on second base.
The Padres went 5-7 in extra innings last year, and with a 60-game schedule, every game is going to matter. So Mateo’s presence and speed on the basepaths could mean the difference of a game or two in extras.
This adds some ambiguity to how the Padres may potentially use Brian Dozier, if at all, this year. If you recall, he was omitted from the initial 52-man roster. With Mateo added and third-round pick Cole Wilcox, the roster is starting to get full.