The San Diego Padres have signed Brian O’Grady to a major league contract. What does he bring to the table?
The San Diego Padres have brought in another former Tampa Bay Rays player, signing outfielder Brian O’Grady, recently designated for assignment by the Rays, to a major league contract, according to MLB.com. So, what does O’Grady bring to the table for the Padres?
O’Grady, 28, comes with limited major league experience. The Cincinnati Reds drafted him out of Rutgers in the eighth round of the 2014 amateur draft. For several years, he slowly worked his way through their minor league system.
In 2019, he got into 28 games with the Reds. In that time, he batted 8-for-42 (.190) with two home runs. The Reds traded him to the Rays following the 2019 season. Last year, he spent much of the season at Tampa Bay’s alternate site and got into two big league games, batting 2-for-5 with a double.
O’Grady bats left-handed and figures to add some needed outfield and bench help to the Padres (though they likely aren’t done adding to their bench). He has the ability to play all three outfield positions, which will be good for an organization that has traded away Josh Naylor, Taylor Trammell, and Franchy Cordero. However, O’Grady can also play first and third base.
This signing may not seem like a big deal at first, yet it will be interesting to see whether anything comes of it. He won’t be guaranteed a roster spot, but perhaps he can earn a spot with a good spring. One interesting stat from his minor league days: In 2019, with the Louisville Bats (AAA), he posted a .980 OPS against left-handed pitchers. That’s pretty good for a left-handed hitter (though he wasn’t as strong against right-handers).
We will see whether O’Grady does anything with the big league club next year, but in the meantime, this appears to be a decent low-risk move. He does have options left, so they could send him back to the minors if necessary. It figures to be the first of what could be several moves this offseason to solidify the Padres’ bench.