The Padres entered the offseason in dire need of infield help. They landed some -- in a move that certainly qualifies as a surprise.San Diego signed free-agent second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract with a club option for 2021, the team announced on Thursday. The deal is reportedly worth
The Padres entered the offseason in dire need of infield help. They landed some -- in a move that certainly qualifies as a surprise.
San Diego signed free-agent second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract with a club option for 2021, the team announced on Thursday. The deal is reportedly worth $8 million.
To make room for Kinsler on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.
For the most part, the Padres' infield openings revolved around the left side, with both shortstop and third base available. Even though Kinsler is a lifelong second baseman, his signing might help address both of those needs.
Luis Urias, the presumed second baseman of the future, is now the favorite to open the season at shortstop. He's played there plenty in the Minors, and has been mostly solid defensively.
When No. 1 prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. arrives at short -- potentially as early as May -- Urias will slide to second base, and Kinsler would serve as a utility option who could also play third. Still, a team source said the Friars are still looking to add at third base.
Kinsler, a four-time All-Star and reigning American League Gold Glove Award winner at second base, struggled at the plate last season, batting .240/.301/.380 with 14 homers. He was dealt from the Angels to the Red Sox midseason and played a useful role in their run to the World Series title.
Team sources made it explicitly clear that the Kinsler deal does not mean Urias is going anywhere in a trade. Quite the contrary, in fact. The Padres wanted a veteran with big-game experience to help guide their young infield.
They feel as though they've gotten that in the 36-year-old Kinsler.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.