Restoring the rosters: No. 28 – San Diego

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This is part of a series articles examining what every team’s roster would look like if given only the players it originally signed. I’m compiling the rosters, ranking them and presenting them in a countdown from Nos. 30 to 1.
No. 30 – Cincinnati
No. 29 – Kansas City
While most of the other teams at the bottom of these rankings would also find themselves rankings among baseball’s worst franchises of the last five years, the Padres had a pair of first-place finishes in 2005 and ’06, flanked by an 87-win season in 2004 and an 89-win season in 2007. That they’ve collapsed since shouldn’t be a huge surprise given the team’s track record when it comes to developing players.
Rotation
Jake Peavy
Oliver Perez
Mat Latos
Rodrigo Lopez
Tim Stauffer
Bullpen
Doug Brocail
Greg Burke
Clay Condrey
Shawn Camp
Justin Germano
Leo Rosales
Wade LeBlanc
One elite pitcher, one guy who is being paid like a pretty elite pitcher and not much else. At least Latos is providing hope for the future, and Stauffer’s sudden reemergence makes the end of the rotation look a little less disastrous.
The bullpen is a problem. The Padres’ ability to turn scrap-heap relievers into legitimate setup men has prevented them from developing many bullpen guys themselves. Joakim Soria would make things look a whole lot better, but he was actually a Dodger originally before being released, catching on with the Padres and later being plucked in the Rule 5 draft by the Royals.
Lineup
SS Jason Bartlett
CF Will Venable
1B Derrek Lee
RF Xavier Nady
LF Chase Headley
3B Khalil Greene
2B Josh Barfield
C Nick Hundley
Bench
1B-OF Kyle Blanks
OF Gary Matthews Jr.
C George Kottaras
3B David Freese
1B/OF Paul McAnulty
The Padres do have some depth on offense. Instead of going with this configuration, they could also put Headley at third and Blanks in left field. When the bullpen needs help holding a late-inning lead, Matthews can go play center, with Venable moving to left. Greene’s ability to play shortstop should lessen the need for a true utilityman — and there aren’t any good choices anyway — so Freese and McAnulty are kept to provide additional firepower off the bench.
Barfield may be a problem at second base, but it’s hard to know for sure given the way the Indians have used him. He’s worthy of one more chance in another organization. Ideally, Matt Antonelli would have overtaken him by now, but the 2006 first-round pick followed up a disastrous 2008 with an injury-ruined 2009.
Summary
Besides their decent track record, the other thing that differentiates the Padres from the other teams at the bottom of the rankings is that they’ve had the same general manager for 14 years. Kevin Towers has put together some quality teams with shrewd pickups, but he’s made more bad trades than good ones and he’s presided over one of the game’s weakest farm systems for several seasons. With the Padres having a new CEO in place in Jeff Moorad and another last-place finish likely on the way, Towers’ days may well be numbered.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”

Report: Orioles close to acquiring Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 30:  Vidal Nuno #38 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.

Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.

Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.

Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.