NEWS Check out the Padres’ rotation picks

Check out the Padres' rotation picks

In recent years, the Padres have been very active in all aspects, from signing free agents to trading stars to expanding their own players. This has brought their budgets to record heights, with Roster Resource currently estimating their salaries at $250MM. They barely broke the $100 mark until a few years ago, jumping to $17.4 billion in 2021 and $211 last year, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Despite all this aggression, they enter the season with an uncertain rotation, both in the short and long term.They should have a strong top three this year chomers grove, Yudarwish and blake snell. This leaves two question marks after the Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaya Get free agency and sign elsewhere. Both Darvish and Snell will be free agents after this year, with more openings to come. Mackenzie Gorethe inclusion of Juan Soto Trade has also dampened future prospects. So who do they have on hand who can step up and take these jobs? Let’s look at the candidates.

Nick Martinez

Martinez, 32, spent four seasons in Japan and signed him to a four-year deal with the Padres through 2022 that allows him to opt out after each season. Last year was a mixed bag for Martinez, who went for 106 1/3 innings with a 3.47 ERA. Overall, that’s solid production, but it comes in the form of a 4.30 ERA in 52 1/3 innings as a starter and a 2.67 mark in 54 innings as a backup.

Martinez opted out and re-signed another contract with the club, this time on a three-year deal. The details are insanely complicated, as there are many incentives, and a dual club/player option structure. Whether he can do better as a starter this time around remains to be seen. It’s certainly a risk for Friars, but at least it looks like he’s here to help the bullpen.

If Martinez does become a starter, the club will be able to keep him. Martinez will receive a base salary of 10mm this year, and then the team will have to decide whether to trigger two 16mm club options for 2024 and 2025, essentially a two-year 32mm extension. That gives them more control over his future than he had previously opted out of. However, if Martinez doesn’t have a successful campaign and they decline that option, he’ll decide whether to trigger two player options worth 8MM, essentially a two-year 16MM extension. This gives Friars both upside and downside potential in the protocol. Those dollar figures could also reportedly change based on incentives, though details are unclear.

Seth Lugo

The 33-year-old Lugo is somewhat similar to Martinez in that he could be in the rotation or on the bench. He made 23 starts in 2017-18 but has made just seven since, mostly as a substitute. The move was at least partially due to a “minor” tear discovered in 2017 in his right ulnar collateral ligament.

Regardless, Lugo has been an effective backup since then, posting a 3.56 ERA over the past two years and hopefully his five-pitch combination can help him transition back into the rotation. It was another risky move the Padres were willing to take, giving Lugo two years and $15MM, and Lugo could opt out after the first. He hasn’t surpassed 80 innings in a season since 2018, and it’s hard to know how smooth the transition will be.

If all goes well, the club won’t have any long-term upside, as Lugo makes $7.50 in salary but has the option to exit that same figure in 2024. If the experiment works, he’ll likely return to free agency and find even bigger guarantees. If it fails, the Padres will still be in trouble next season.

Adrian Morejon

Morejon, who turned 24 in February, has long been one of the most exciting pitchers in the league. Beginning in 2017, Baseball America ranked him in the top 100 for five consecutive years. Various injuries have slowed him down on his way to the big leagues, and he hasn’t even thrown 70 official games in any season of his career, major league or minor league or combined. Contest.

April 2021 Tommy John surgery ruined most of that season. He returns to fitness in 2022, but with relief. The club still reportedly sees him as a starter, but he could face workload issues this year. Between the majors and minors last year, he logged 47 1/3 frames. Now that he’s out of surgery, he should be able to push it up, but it’s going to be a lot to ask for a full starting workload. He has just over three years of MLB service now, and if he stays healthy and a good prospect going into 2023, he has the ability to provide some long-term help to the club’s rotation.


Groom, 24, was the 12th overall pick by the Red Sox in 2016. He was once a highly touted prospect, but hit various speed bumps. Tommy John’s surgery ruined most of his 2018 and 2019 years before the 2020 pandemic canceled the minors. He’s since returned to health and has produced solid results, but some of the prospect’s shine has faded.

2022, which includes a trade with the Padres Eric Hosmer In the trade, he pitched 144 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The 3.44 ERA is decent, but his 22.8 percent strikeout rate is close to average, while his 10.4 percent walk rate is a concern. He’s yet to reach the majors and, arguably, has the best chance of providing future value to the club with six seasons in control and a remaining option year.

Brent Honeywell Jr.

Honeywell, who turned 28 in March, is also a former top prospect. As a rookie for the Rays, he finished in the BA’s top 100 for five straight seasons from 2016-20. Similar to Morej√≥n and Groome, injuries have prevented him from reaching his potential so far. Tommy John had surgery in 2018 that put him on hold, and he’s been dealing with various setbacks since then. He’s healthy enough to pitch 86 innings between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham in 2021 before the club trades him to Oakland. However, more injury setbacks kept the A’s in just 20 1/3 minor league innings last year.

Honeywell appears to be healthy for now, as he threw 28 innings in the Dominican Winter League. His 0.96 ERA seemed to be enough to impress the Padres at the time, as they signed him to the 40-man roster last week. If he ends up pulling it all together, it’ll be a terrific bounce-back story, but it’s hard to count on him after barely pitching the past five years. He has less than a year left in his service, which would do the Padres a lot of good if all goes well, but Honeywell doesn’t have an option either, and he’ll have to immediately produce in the majors to keep him. list position.

risquenell/pedro avila/Ryan Weathers

All three are on the 40-man roster and worth mentioning, though they’re unlikely to be drafted except in an emergency. All three of them have gotten some major league time in recent seasons, with fairly brief stints in swing roles. Weathers may have the most potential of the trio, as he’s only 23 years old, while the others are entering their respective age-26 seasons. Weathers is considered a top-100 player heading into 2021, but he has a 5.49 ERA in the majors so far and a 6.73 ERA in 123 Triple-A innings last year, as the season progressed. , he was knocked out of the bullpen.

wilmer font

Font of May 33 is a true wild card. He’s been a major league journeyman for years, but heads to South Korea for the KBO in 2021. He has been pitching for the SSG Landers for the past two years. He posted 25 starts with a 3.46 ERA in 2021 and then 28 starts last year with a 2.69 ERA. In the latter season, he struck out 23.3 percent of the time he faced hitters with a walk rate of just 4.7 percent, and he got grounders on 51.6 percent of his games.

Overseas success doesn’t always translate to major league success, but Font isn’t the first pitcher to come back after underperforming in North America but breaking out elsewhere, Miles Michaelas and Merrill Kelly Some recent examples. Fonte is not currently on the 40-man roster and will have to work his way back into the lineup, but he will be an interesting one to watch.

julio tehran/aaron brooks

The two veterans were also brought up in minor league deals. Tehran spends 2022 in the Indo-Global and Mexican leagues, posting some decent numbers in 13 games between the different clubs. He then traveled to the Dominican Republic for the Winter Ball, where he played in eight games with a 3.49 ERA. He was outstanding with the Warriors early in his career, but ignited in 2020 with a 10.05 ERA and then spent most of 2021 injured.

Brooks has been strong in the 2020 and 2021 KBOs, posting a 2.79 ERA in 36 starts over that span. However, his attempt to return to the big leagues did not go well. He had five appearances for the Cardinals with a 7.71 ERA and went straight to the minors. He has started 13 of 15 Triple-A games and has a 5.56 ERA.

All in all, the Padres have a lot of options here, but all of them have question marks. There are some dim prospects who still need to put injury concerns in the rearview mirror, and some veteran swingmen who may end up better off the bench than in the rotation. Musgrove-Darvish-Snell gave them a strong top three, which means the Padres only need a few of them to step up. On the other hand, they’re only one damage away from the guy who pops up at position #3 in this group.

The Padres can always add to their staff between now and Opening Day, but recent reports suggest they have no more cap room to work with. If they want to go the trade route, there are options of course, e.g. the Marlin has plenty of weapons available, and the Brewer is probably on a similar ship.

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