Padres Rumor Mill: 3/27/15
The Search for a Back-up Catcher
With the loss of Tim Federowicz for 3-6 months, it is unclear who the Padres plan to back-up starting catcher Derek Norris. 11-year veteran Wil Nieves seems to be the lead candidate for the spot, especially now that catching prospect Austin Hedges has been optioned to minor-league camp. However, earlier this week, George King III of the New York Post mentioned in an article that the Padres have developed interest in catcher Austin Romine. Romine is battling for the Yankees back-up catcher position and is out of minor league options, so he wouldn’t cost a team much to acquire. He’s struggled with the bat (.204/.247/.281) in parts of three major-league seasons, but is considered a solid defender. As a back-up catcher, offense is nice, but defense, and how well you work with the pitching staff is most important.
Post Olivera Sweepstakes
The Padres are now officially out of the running for Cuban 2B/3B/SS/OF Hector Olivera along with every other team not named the Los Angeles Dodgers. Earlier in the week, LA agreed to terms with Olivera on a 6-year $62.5 million. With Olivera now behind them, what other moves might the Padres pursue before Opening Day? A back-up catcher seems to be at the top of the list, as previously mentioned. Finding trade partners for outfielders Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin is likely also up there. What about shortstop, though? Still need a long-term option there. With less than two weeks until Opening Day, I’d expect the team to be pretty similar to the way it is now, but I’ve learned over and over again not to put anything past Rock Star GM, A.J. Preller.
Pads Get Hard-throwing Right-hander
On Thursday, the Padres claimed 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Gustave was a Rule 5 draft pick of the Boston Red Sox this past December, who drafted him away from the Houston Astros organization. The Royals then claimed Gustave off waivers from the Sox. Since Gustave is a Rule 5 Draft pick, he must remain on the Padres 25-man roster for the entire 2015 season, otherwise, the Astros can claim him back. It’s possible the Padres could work out a trade for Gustave so they can option him to the minors without him being claimed by a team. The guy can reach 100 MPH on the radar gun. For now, he’s on the 40-man roster after the Pads made room for him by moving Federowicz to the 60-day DL.