SAN DIEGO -- Amid William Myers trade rumors, Christian Villanueva's departure for Japan and decisions to part with some roster mainstays, the Padres quietly added three promising pieces to the organization a week ago.Last Tuesday was an extremely busy day, of course, meaning three minor trades were somewhat overlooked. But
SAN DIEGO -- Amid William Myers trade rumors, Christian Villanueva's departure for Japan and decisions to part with some roster mainstays, the Padres quietly added three promising pieces to the organization a week ago.
Last Tuesday was an extremely busy day, of course, meaning three minor trades were somewhat overlooked. But all three of those deals could ultimately pay dividends in different ways.
To recap: The Padres found themselves with something of a roster crunch as they looked to protect seven prospects from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. With an already-deep bullpen, general manager A.J. Preller traded three right-handers -- Rowan Wick, Walker Lockett and Colten Brewer -- to three different clubs. They netted three Minor Leaguers, none of whom was added to the 40-man squad.
Just like that, three roster spots had opened. Yet, by all accounts, the Padres managed to get themselves a decent return for those three players. Here's a look at that return.
The second baseman, who arrived from Boston in exchange for Brewer, is still something of an enigma at 26 years old. He's played just one season in the Minors after spending his first seven years playing professional ball in Mexico.
There's clearly a lot to like, particularly for an organization emphasizing the importance of on-base percentage. He posted a .283/.406/.547 slash line in the Minors last season -- mostly at Double-A. His OBP jumped to .452 against quality competition in the Arizona Fall League.
"He just hits," Preller said. "He hits everywhere he's been. We had a lot of eyes on him in the Fall League, a lot of people that saw him there. He was a guy that's continued to perform, and it's hard to find left-handed bats at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues that can take a walk and do damage."
Clearly there's value to a lefty-hitting middle-infield piece with both patience and power. Quiroz is likely to receive an invite to big league Spring Training, though he'll probably start the year with Triple-A El Paso.
Best-case scenario? Quiroz's patience continues to play, and he becomes a useful utility man. The middle of the Padres' infield is presumably set going forward, with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias. But some lefty pop from a backup wouldn't hurt.
The Padres' decision to trade Wick for Vosler made plenty of sense. The lefty-hitting third baseman slugged 23 homers between Double-A and Triple-A in the Cubs' organization last season, and he's one of the best players who isn't currently on a 40-man roster.
"It's another upper-level left-handed bat, someone with some potential at third base," Preller said. "We've got really good makeup reports on him."
Thing is, adding Vosler didn't do much to alleviate the roster crunch. He, too, is eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft, and he's now been left unprotected. Come Dec, 13 at the Winter Meetings, all 30 clubs will have the opportunity to add Vosler, if they're willing to keep him on their roster for the entire season.
Should Vosler pass through the Rule 5 Draft unscathed, he'll have a serious chance to compete for a big league job in Spring Training. Said one Padres official: "He's done enough in the Minors, we want to see him in big league camp, see how he performs."
There's a glaring hole right now at third base, with Villanueva's departure (and Myers' likely shift back to the outfield). The Padres aren't going to let Vosler and Ty France compete for the job without bringing in a more proven candidate. But don't be shocked if Vosler is viewed as a legit Opening Day roster option.
Of the three, the 19-year-old right-hander is clearly the biggest question mark. The Padres are gambling on his upside, and why not? He was acquired in exchange for Lockett, who was the only lock to be designated for assignment. (It's possible they'd have kept Brewer and Wick, if they couldn't move them.)
Any production from Feliz should be viewed as something from nothing. That's kind of how his brief career has gone so far. Feliz was an afterthought in the Indians' international class of 2016. But he's shown promise in rookie ball, having posted a 3.00 ERA in 10 starts, while whiffing 54 and walking 14.
To be fair, the right-hander has a long way to go before he makes an impact on the big league club. But the Padres have stockpiled arms at the lower levels of the deepest system in baseball. If only a few of those arms pan out, it will have been worth the investment. (And, in this case, it wasn't really an investment at all.)
"We have time with him in our system to develop and grow and give him a chance to perform," Preller said. "We have a lot of faith he'll be another guy that will start to climb up the ladder of the organization for us."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.