AJ Preller might not be able to make a blockbuster trade at the moment, but he's surely not done trying to put the finishing touches on the San Diego Padres' 2023 roster. How about another pitcher and depth outfielder with top-notch defense?
Within an hour on Friday, the Padres signed former Tampa Bay Rays top prospect Brent Honeywell and former Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel a big league contracts. As for Honeywell, the right-hander's career was derailed by Tommy John surgery after the 2017 season (and three other surgeries before pitching again). He didn't pitch at all from 2018-2020. And when he returned in 2021, he wasn't exactly impressive.
That offseason, Honeywell was traded to the Oakland Athletics for cash considerations and was limited to just 13 games in 2022. It's unclear what the Pads see at this moment, but Honeywell is expected to compete for a roster spot and could be a back-end reliever or a swingman out of the bullpen.
Now entering his age-28 season, this is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Padres, who will pay Honeywell $750K if he makes the MLB roster or $200K if he's stashed in the minor leagues.
For as many capable pitchers the Padres have on the roster at the moment, much help is still needed and a bounce back from Honeywell could be advantageous for all parties involved.
The Padres signed Brent Honeywell and Adam Engel to MLB contracts
Next up, Adam Engel! The veteran outfielder will join a new organization for the first time since being drafted back in 2013. Outside of an impressive 39-game stint in 2021, Engel's bat isn't of much value. He's a career .225 hitter and owns a .631 OPS and 72 OPS+ across 523 games.
The Pads don't necessarily need much more offensive firepower, though. Engel will likely serve as a defensive reinforcement off the bench. He owns a career 2.9 dWAR and has recorded 21 Defensive Runs Saved across nearly 3,700 innings in the outfield (mostly center field, but decent experience at the corner spots).
With Jurickson Profar likely on the move, the Padres needed some depth behind whatever their starting outfield is supposed to look like (Trent Grisham, Juan Soto and Jose Azocar?), especially since Matt Carpenter likely isn't the defensive presence they're looking for.
Consider this insurance-esque housekeeping as the trade market continues to materialize.
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