Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And Then There Were Two

Padres had 11 arbitration-eligible players unsigned on Monday.  As of Tuesday, all but 2 are signed.  Only Clayton Richard and Dustin Moseley remain.

If the depth chart is to believed, both pitchers are expected to be members of the 2012 rotation, along with Tim Stauffer, Cory Luebke, and Edison Volquez.  With Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc traded, San Diego doesn't have many fall-back options should they not sign either or both. Of the non-roster invitees, only Matt Palmer has major-league starting experience, which amounts to 20 starts over 4 years.  He's also only thrown 49 innings in the majors since the end of the 2009 season.  Not much of a stop-gap option.

Casey Kelly and Joe Wieland are the long-term solutions (as well as possibly Anthony Bass), but the former 2 are at least a year away and the latter one is slotted for more bullpen experience.  Many have argued Bass is not yet ready to be a full-time starter.  As time permits I hope to take a look at that.

If nothing else, the good news is Padres payroll is headed up.  They had the third-lowest payroll on Opening Day 2011 and likely will be in the bottom quarter of all teams this season.  They still have a ways to go to be competitive, but at least the team is trending in the right direction.