According to Jeff Sanders of the North County Times, the Padres have requested unconditional release waivers on shortstop Jason Bartlett.
The Padres signed Bartlett to a two-year, $11 million contract with an option for 2013 in December of 2010 after acquiring him from the Rays, but he ended up being quite the disappointment, batting just .245/.308/.307 with a .607 OPS last year and .133 (11-for-83) in 29 games this year prior to hitting the disabled list in mid-May with a strained right knee. He hasn’t played a game since.
Bartlett’s $5.5 million option for 2013 would have become guaranteed if he reached 432 plate appearances this year. While the Padres were fortunate that didn’t happen, they’ll still be on the hook for a $1.5 million buyout to turn the page.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”