Huston Street was originally expected to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow, but that won’t happen now after he had a setback with his strained left calf.
Street, who landed on the disabled list on August 12, was scratched from a rehab appearance with Triple-A Tucson last night after he still felt something in his calf while running. Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that he’s scheduled to rejoin the Padres on Monday in Los Angeles to be re-evaluated, so his return date is up in the air at the moment.
Street signed a two-year, $14 million extension with the Padres last month and holds an excellent 0.75 ERA and 45/8 K/BB ratio over 36 innings this season. He is a perfect 21-for-21 in save opportunities while his 0.53 WHIP is the lowest ever for a pitcher who has thrown at least 30 innings in a season. Seriously.
Street’s setback means that Luke Gregerson should continue to handle the closer role for now. He notched his third save of the season last night against the Rockies, despite giving up a solo homer to Andrew Brown.
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.