The Padres received some unfortunate news on Friday, learning that back-up catcher Tim Federowicz suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and will miss the next three to six months. The injury significantly boosted the chances that Wil Nieves, a non-roster invitee with the Padres, makes the 25-man roster out of spring training.
Nieves, 37, posted a meager .614 OPS in 128 plate appearances as the back-up catcher for the Phillies last season, but says he wants to play into his 40’s as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Times reports. Nieves says he arrived to Padres’ camp in “the best shape of my career.” (Editor’s Note: After a brief review, the judges have decided that this counts as a BSOML claim.)
MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom reports that Padres catcher Tim Federowicz will miss the next three to six months with a complete tear of the meniscus in his right knee. The initial diagnosis had been a small tear in his lateral meniscus, which would have required arthroscopic surgery.
The Padres had acquired the 27-year-old Federowicz along with outfielder Matt Kemp in the December trade that sent Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and pitching prospect Zach Eflin to the Dodgers.
With Federowicz out of the picture, veteran Wil Nieves will back up Derek Norris behind the plate. Nieves, 37, hit .254/.270/.344 with one home run and seven RBI in 128 plate appearances as Carlos Ruiz’s back-up in Philadelphia last season.
Journeyman catcher Wil Nieves has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Padres, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Nieves spent last season backing up Carlos Ruiz with the Phillies, hitting .254 with one homer and a .614 OPS in 36 games. He has a .598 career OPS and has topped a .700 OPS just once, in 2012, so at age 37 expectations should be very modest.
He’ll compete with Tim Federowicz to back up Derek Norris in San Diego.
In addition to trading Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz to the Padres last week in exchange for Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and Zach Eflin, the Dodgers agreed to pay $32 million of the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press has a breakdown of the payments involved:
2015 – $18 million
2016 – $3.5 million
2017 – $3.5 million
2018 – $3.5 million
2019 – $3.5 million
This means the Padres will only have to pay Kemp $3 million next season, which makes Justin Upton’s $14.5 million salary a bit easier to follow. In fact, with the $18 million coming over from the Dodgers in 2015, you could almost say that they are paying for Upton, too. However, the Padres will pay Kemp $18 million per season from 2016-2019.
UPDATE: The trade is finally official. Matt Kemp is a Padre.
10:52 p.m. ET: While there was some drama with Matt Kemp’s physical this week, including a report today that he has arthritis in both of his hips, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports hears that the Dodgers and Padres have worked through the lingering issues and that the trade is “all but done.” FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that the Padres asked the Dodgers to cover more of Kemp’s salary, presumably after questions were raised in the physical, but they were rebuffed. The original terms of the trade will remain.
Here’s the breakdown the trade:
The Padres get: Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz, and $32 million of the $107 remaining on his Kemp’s contract.
The Dodgers get: Catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-hander Joe Wieland, and prospect right-hander Zach Eflin.
Once the deal between the Padres and Dodgers is official, Eflin is expected to be sent to the Phillies along with prospect left-hander Tom Windle for Jimmy Rollins.