As first reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Padres have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with first baseman Brett Wallace. The deal comes with an invitation to the major league side of Padres spring training, where the former top prospect will try to earn himself an Opening Day roster spot.
Wallace was the 13th overall pick in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft and rose quickly up prospect rankings after a couple highly-productive seasons in the minor leagues. But he wasn’t able to stick at third base due to defensive issues and the 28-year-old has batted just .242/.313/.391 in 311 major league games.
Brett Wallace, who ranked as one of Baseball America‘s top 40 prospects in back-to-back seasons as a minor leaguer, has been released by the Astros after hitting just .242 with a .704 OPS in 311 games through age 26.
At one point Wallace looked like a good-hitting third baseman, but his defense required a shift to first base and his bat simply never developed enough for him to be an asset there. As a prospect he was a major piece in three big trades–including being the centerpiece of the Cardinals-A’s deal for Matt Holliday–but when exposed to the waiver wire by the Astros recently he passed through after going unclaimed by all 29 other teams.
Wallace could latch on somewhere as a bench player, but if not he’ll sign a minor-league deal and head back to Triple-A for a sixth season after hitting .308 with an .875 OPS in 375 games already.
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that first baseman Brett Wallace has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He will be in Astros camp this spring as a non-roster invitee, hoping to earn back his 40-man roster spot.
Wallace was designated for assignment by the Houston front office last week to make room for newly-signed starting pitcher Jerome Williams.
Wallace was selected 13th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft and was the centerpiece of a trade for Matt Holliday one year later, but he’s a .242/.313/.391 career hitter in 1,077 major league plate appearances and will turn 28 years old this summer. Hope is running out.