Carlos Peguero, Michael Wilson won’t make difference for Mariners

Leave a comment

Change is good in this case, but the Mariners’ on-field product isn’t likely to be improved by the decision Monday to cut Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans and add Carlos Peguero and Michael Wilson.

The 24-year-old Peguero is big, strong and surprisingly fast, but he also struck out more than 170 times in high-A ball in 2009 and again in Double-A last year.  He had a 34/9 K/BB ratio to go along with his .282 average and four homers in 103 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this season.  During his brief major league stint last month, he went 2-for-11 with five strikeouts.

And while Peguero has the speed to play center, he’d be quite a downgrade from Michael Saunders defensively either there or in left after Franklin Gutierrez returns.  He’s also a very poor basestealer, having gotten thrown out on 13 of his 28 attempts since the beginning of 2009.

Wilson has a knack for hitting homers in bunches, as he showed by clobbering eight in the Cactus League for the Mariners in 2009, but he’s 28 and he’s another player with contact issues.   While it’s nice to see him getting rewarded with a callup in his 10th season in the Mariners’ minor league system, his only chance of sticking for the long haul is as a platoon starter against lefties.  In three seasons in the PCL, he’s hit a modest .255/.341/.463 with 26 homers and a 133/58 K/BB ratio in 566 at-bats.

My guess is that Peguero returns to Triple-A when Gutierrez comes off the DL, with Wilson staying and forming a platoon with Saunders in left field.  Peguero isn’t completely hopeless as a possible long-term regular, but he’s not ready to take on major league breaking balls right now.

Padres acquire Phil Hughes from Twins

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.

Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.

Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.

The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.