These three Padres players are legitimate non-tender candidates.
The non-tender deadline for all Major League clubs is December 2. Once the World Series is wrapped up, all teams will be forced to shift their attention to their arbitration-eligible players and if they are worth tendering another contract. Last offseason, I was certain the Padres weren’t going to offer Austin Hedges a contract.
Time had run out for the former 2011 second-round pick to prove himself to be more than a defensive catcher. Thankfully, the Cleveland Indians took care of that when he was included in the Mike Clevinger blockbuster trade at the deadline.
A quick look at the Padres’ financials, the club has $124,500 committed with approximately half of that allocated to the infield in large contracts from Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. None of the moves below would free up much of anything, but it’s time to cut the cord.
Here are three players that are non-tender candidates this offseason.
1. Luis Perdomo
It’s unfortunate timing for Luis Perdomo not to be offered a new contract, as the 27-year-old recently underwent Tommy John surgery. But the former Rule 5 draft pick has been with San Diego since the 2016 season.
Pitching from the rotation didn’t go well for him, and the Padres have better options in the bullpen. And while he’s projected to receive between $1.1M and $1.2M, that money can better be spent elsewhere.
Perdomo’s best season with the Padres came in 2019 when he posted a 4.00 ERA in 47 appearances, including 1 starts, striking out 55 batters in 72.0 innings. He’s young enough that he can recover from Tommy John surgery and latch on with another ballclub-in what capacity remains to be determined.
2. Greg Garcia
If Jorge Mateo weren’t on the roster and under team control for another three years, Greg Garcia would be on the 2021 roster. As it stands, next year will be his last under contract with the Padres. The Cardinals’ former seventh-round pick spent the last two years in San Diego, hitting a combined .240 with 4 HR and 42 RBI.
He was a fine backup at second base, but the Padres have so many infielders right now that Garcia is expendable. The 31-year-old is projected to fetch $1.8M in arbitration, but Mateo’s speed gives him the upper hand on the 2021 roster. Plus the Padres have said they’d like to re-sign one of Trevor Rosenthal, Jurickson Profar, or Kirby Yates, with Profar needing time at second as well, if retained.
3. Javy Guerra
As a former shortstop and top prospect at the position for the Padres, Javy Guerra turned his attention to the mound with a crowded infield. He made 8 appearances in 2019 to the tune of a 5.19 ERA, fanning 6 in 8.2 innings. Over a much larger sample size in 2020, the 25-year-old posted a 10.13 ERA in 14 appearances.
The Padres bullpen is overcrowded, and the reports suggest that GM AJ Preller may look to add additional arms, especially given Perdomo’s injury. Guerra is a nice story, and he throws hard, but the Padres need reliable arms in their window of contention right now.
Of the three here, he’s most likely to return next year because he’ll come at such a team-friendly cost in arbitration. That said, he needs to show vast improvement.