By outrighting Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley on Friday, the Padres dropped two-fifths of their planned 2012 rotation from the 40-man roster. Both have opted for free agency, the Union-Tribune reports.
Stauffer had a 1.85 ERA in seven starts and 25 relief appearances for the Padres in 2010 and a 3.73 ERA in 31 starts in 2011, but he made just one appearance in 2012 before going down with an elbow injury. Season-ending surgery to repair his flexor tendon followed.
Moseley, likewise, made just one start this year. He underwent labrum surgery on his shoulder in April, and he probably won’t be ready for the start of 2013. The 3o-year-old made 20 starts for the Padres in 2011 and went 3-10 with a 3.30 ERA.
One imagines the Padres will try to re-sign Stauffer at a lesser salary than the $3.2 million he made this year. Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard are their only veteran returning starters, and the team will surely listen to offers to both this winter. Andrew Cashner also figures to have a spot in the rotation if healthy, but the Padres will need to add depth, and pitchers might not be quite as eager to sign with the team now that the fences at Petco are coming in a bit.
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.