The Padre player profile

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MLB.com’s Corey Brock does a Q&A — apparently with himself, about the state of the Padres. The most interesting one comes when he asks “what kind of player” new GM Jed Hoyer wants to bring to San Diego. The answer Brock gives, presumably based on conversations he’s had with Padre people:

There’s not one type of player Hoyer likes or covets, though he has
talked about finding players who fit this ballpark, PETCO Park. After
all, the Padres do play 81 games here. That player is an athletic one,
has doubles-power, someone who can run … if it’s an outfielder,
someone who can go get a ball, someone who won’t clog the bases.
Granted, you need thumpers in the lineup, but ones who are undeterred
by the spacious dimensions of the ballpark.

This seems a bit strange to me. I mean, it’s not just teams who play in big ballparks who should want good defensive outfielders. Everyone should want them. By the same token, teams that play in big ballparks shouldn’t be eschewing home run hitters. You’re not going to completely give up on home runs, are you? You gotta play in Los Angeles too, right?

Based on everything we know about how the Boston front office thinks, and based on Hoyer’s apprenticeship in the Boston front office, I’d be shocked if he would actually say that he was looking for something specific like a doubles hitter. If he were really asked what kind of players he wants, wouldn’t his answer be “good players. The best players we can find that we can afford.”  Maybe they do fit that specific profile. But maybe they don’t, and if they don’t, he’s not going to turn them away.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.