Last week I wrote about the Dodgers’ impressive pitching depth, noting that their sixth starter likely headed to the bullpen, Vicente Padilla, could be the third starter on a lot of teams.
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet and that depth may already have vanished, as Padilla has left Dodgers camp and returned to Los Angeles to undergo an MRI exam following elbow soreness that the team’s official Twitter feed describes as “similar pains as last year.”
Padilla missed about two months of last season with an elbow injury, heading to the disabled list in mid-April after beginning the season with a 6.65 ERA through four outings. He had a 3.31 ERA in 12 starts after returning in mid-June and then re-signed with the Dodgers for just $3 million in guaranteed money and the chance to earn twice that much in incentives.
The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.
Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.
Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.
This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.