The fallout from Friday’s Yasmani Grandal promotion has come: the Padres designated Jeff Suppan for assignment prior to their game against the Diamondbacks.
The 37-year-old Suppan started off with two surprisingly strong starts for the Padres, but he was 0-3 in four outings since. Plus, the appearances were getting worse. From first start to last, here’s his earned run count: 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6.
Suppan also managed just seven strikeouts in his 30 2/3 innings for San Diego. Even in Petco Park, that’s not going to cut it. He averaged 2.05 strikeouts per nine innings this season. For comparison’s sake, Jamie Moyer was averaging 6.03 K/9 IP for the Rockies before he was cut this week.
Suppan will probably clear waivers, and he could opt to stay with the Padres and report to Triple-A. He’d have a better shot of returning to the majors with them than he would just about anywhere else, even though he’ll likely drop behind the newly signed Jason Marquis in the pecking order.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.