Gillies, 26, was a former top prospect in the Mariners’ system who went to the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade in December 2009. Gillies struggled with his new team, failing to live up to lofty expectations, suffering numerous injuries, and being involved in two off-the-field incidents. One, in which he was arrested for possession of cocaine, was eventually dropped. The other resulted in a team-issued indefinite suspension in 2012 as Gillies verbally berated the Double-A Reading Phillies’ bus driver. It was one of several reported incidents in which he was unable to control his emotions. In 414 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, Gillies has a .582 OPS.
Gillies, as a member of Canada’s World Baseball Classic team, was also memorably involved in a benches-clearing brawl against Mexico in March 2013. He threw pitcher Alfredo Aceves to the ground before jumping back in the middle of the fracas. Perhaps the Padres feel Gillies moving to a new location could help him turn his career around.