There are roster decisions that need to be made for the San Diego Padres this winter. Who on the team is in jeopardy of losing their space on the 40-man roster in the coming weeks? The Padres have prospects that need to be protected, so there could very well be some casualties.
It has already been reported multiple times that the Padres have Rule 5 Draft issues coming this winter.
Well. Issues are probably being dramatic about the situation, as there are some pretty simple ways for the team to keep their viable prospects while protecting the integrity of the 40-man roster. They have multiple players that need to be added to the 40-man roster in the coming months. That is true. Chris Paddack and Anderson Espinoza are certainly going to be added. That’s a no-brainer. Austin Allen, Michael Gettys, Ty France, Pedro Avila, Edward Olivares, Jerry Keel, Brad Zunica, Hansel Rodriguez, Travis Radke, Gerardo Reyes are all in need of protection as well, however, each will not necessarily need to be protected as teams will surely not claim them all.
Of that group, Allen will probably need to be protected as a left-handed hitting catcher with a solid bat is intriguing. Avila, France, Olivares, Reyes, and Gettys are also really close to being considered. It really comes down to evaluation and if these players fit a need for a prospective club.
Then there are the names like Fernando Tatis Jr., Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen that will require a roster spot very soon. This foursome might not make the team out of the spring, but they will require a roster spot at some point in 2019. Each player is already showing the ability to be major leaguers. It is only a matter of time.
Some roster maneuvering will need to be done by the Padres before the Rule 5 Draft and then again into the 2019 season.
It is important to note that a couple of players will be free agents at the end of the 2018 season. Freddy Galvis and A.J. Ellis will both be allowed to walk away after the year. Galvis might be a possibility to return (depending on cost), but Ellis is all but gone.
Here are some other names currently on the 40-man that might be released in the next month or so. Keep an eye on the situation.
The left-handed catcher proved to be useful in 2018, but there is no room for him presently with the Padres. With the addition of Francisco Mejia, he became obsolete to the team. The Padres would probably love to keep him for depth purposes, but his 40-man spot could prove to be too valuable. Lopez could earn a backup job somewhere and the Padres will surely not hold him back from that.
It is only a matter of time before the Padres release this once promising young pitcher. He is serving a 100 game suspension for domestic violence and there is no room for someone like that on the team. He can only be released by the Padres (per MLB rules) after serving his complete suspension. Even though he is still only 25 and left-handed, the team will move on from him as they should.
Another pitcher who could be released is this right-hander. He has not been impressive and could easily pass through waivers if he were DFA’d. The Padres have plenty of right-handed relievers in the minors and could also sign a minor league free agent or two to fill the void. Brewer has the ceiling of a middle reliever and that really is not all that appealing.
Injuries have derailed this San Diego prep product. The former Poway High School outfielder has power from the left side, but two straight years of injuries could be the end for him in a Padres uniform. Dickerson is currently on the 60-day DL but could be released as the team has so much outfield depth. Even if he were healthy, he would have a hard time making the team. That is just the cruel reality of the situation.
This veteran infielder/outfielder had plenty of opportunities to play at the beginning of 2018. He failed to do anything with that and is now considered nothing more than a backup or utility player. He has some value, but there are other players on the roster that can play multiple positions. His 40-man spot is in real jeopardy. It is not known if he has value to be traded, but one would not expect to get much for him.
The Padres have not gotten much out of Mitchell, whom they acquired from the Yankees at the cost of eating $13-million dollars (Chase Headley‘s contract cost for 2018). He has an ability, but the team probably needs to focus on him out of the bullpen. His last start of the year gave some hope to him for 2019, but he ultimately could be viewed as a bullpen piece. The team is invested in him and he does have a decent arm.
The fact that Lockett was not given an opportunity to start at the end of the year, indicates that they might be done with their evaluation of him. He has size and is serviceable, but the problem is he is surrounded by prospects with higher ceilings who are also younger. The Padres would love to retain him so that he could provide depth for the Triple-A team. We will see how they approach this situation.
It was probably a mistake to give Makita a two-year deal. He has trickery to his motion and delivery but lacks real velocity to get away with missed locations. He needs to be extremely accurate with his location, or he gets hit very hard by professional hitters in the major leagues. The team is obligated to pay him in 2018, so that could be his saving grace to remain on the team for 2019.
Another pitcher who was brought in on a minor league deal is this right-hander. He has good stuff but was not given much of an opportunity to pitch for the major league team. He could be a victim of the roster crunch as the Padres bring in younger relief pitchers to fill the void.
Players of Note
After Tommy John surgery sidelined him for 18 months, Erlin entered 2018 with a determination. The left-hander started off slow working out of the pen but proved to be very useful for the team in the rotation. He is on this list as the team could try to shop him this winter. Erlin’s main issue is that the youth around will eventually push him out.
He was not recalled after the Chihuahuas season was over and that was a real surprise. Luis Urias is the team’s second baseman and the team has plenty of players who could be viewed as utility options. Asuaje is far back on the depth chart at this point and could be DFA’d to create a roster spot for a free agent or a young player.