There are some decent options still available for a team looking to do some bargain hunting on the free agent market. If you need help at virtually every infield position, you can find someone to help your team for the 2016 season. At this point the top players are all but gone, but there are some bargains out there.
San Diego Padres fans cannot be naive and they must realize that the team is looking to fill holes in areas with players at a bargain rate. Signing David Price, Jason Heyward or Chris Davis was really just not a reality.
Well at least not at this point at least. The team is looking to change the culture of its franchise and by doing so they are in the process of rebuilding their farm system while still trying to compete at the major league level. The team will compete, but still has needs in certain areas.
Wil Myers is penciled in to start at first base, while second base is to be Cory Spangenberg‘s to lose. Alexei Ramirez will play short and Yangervis Solarte is coming off a great year, so he should be at third base. The team also acquired some middle infielders this offseason. Jose Pirela, Brett Wallace, Adam Rosales, Jemile Weeks and Carlos Asuaje could also be in the infield mix. There is also Alexi Amarista on the roster too. The infield has a bunch of bodies, so the team might not exactly be looking in this area. However if a great deal comes about, A.J. Preller is not the type to walk away from it.
The following players are the best of the bunch at each infield position. The Padres don’t necessarily need any of them, but it is interesting knowing exactly what is out there on the open market.
A.J. Preller and his staff are doing their homework and are surely eyeballing some of the players on the list. If the price drops low enough, the team could easily add a few veterans to the team. A.J. Preller has the ability to make moves too at the drop of a hat, so the Padres could suddenly be players in an area you thought the team was well-off in. With him at the helm there are many different directions the team may go in.
This slugging left-handed first baseman is a seemingly perfect fit for the Padres lineup. The team needs a legit power threat and that is exactly what Alvarez is. He does have some defensive issues and has turned from a third baseman, to a first baseman, to a likely DH in three consecutive years. He has been linked to many American League teams and will surely land on a A.L. teams squad as a designated hitter and left-handed hitting spot starter at first. The Padres already have Brett Wallace who fits Alvarez’ mold but is a more polished hitter.
Another left-handed hitting option is the former 2014 National League batting title winner. Morneau had a horrible injury plagued 2015 season in which he only played 49 games. He did hit .310 while he was able to get in the lineup but he too is a DH at this point in his career. To expect Morneau to play more than a handful of games a week on the field is too much to ask. He could be a great pinch hitter off the bench for someone or a quality DH option for an American League team. A right fit for the Padres, but he comes with much risk.
This is a quality second baseman. He knows how to play the game and he goes about it in the correct manner. To me its shocking that he has failed to find a major league job. Kendrick is 32, but is an excellent hitting and fielding second baseman. The Padres could really use a player like him in their lineup, but the team is invested in Cory Spangenberg and in the end Kendrick should get a decent payday from someone. He has been flirting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, but nothing has come together.
The former Padre, who was dealt for Jim Edmonds has had some very clutch hits in his career. He has unfortunately struggled to stay healthy and his numbers have been on a decline. He did hit 14 home runs last season and does own a .344 career on base percentage. He had a great year in 2012 when he was an all-star. Freese hit .293 that season with 20 homers and 79 RBIs while amassing a .372 on base percentage. The 33-year-old is the best third base option and will find a job somewhere. He will have to battle and show he’s healthy if he wants to play though. The common opinion of him is he is injury prone, so he will have to work to break that stigma. The Padres interest could be minimal at best.
The biggest name on this list was a possibility for the Padres, but in the end the team decided to go with a cheaper alternative. Alexei Ramirez was not only cheaper in terms of price but he did not cost the Padres a draft selection like Desmond would have. The pick attached to signing Desmond has hurt his value some, but his bat and production are the real culprit. There are rumors he could play third base or left field for the right team, but his true value lies as a shortstop. It will be interesting who he signs with. The Padres are surely out on him.
The former National League MVP is in the end of his career and is trying to find work somewhere. It’s humorous that the Dodger starting middle infield from last season is still available on the open market. Kendrick and Rollins were supposed to be the saving grace for the team, but each are now looking for a job. Rollins still might have something left in the gas tank. There are whispers that he could be moved to second base if a team signs him. He should find a job somewhere eventually. The Padres have no use for Rollins at this point.