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Padres claim outfielder Socrates Brito

26-year-old left-handed hitter was placed on waivers by D-backs
@AJCassavell
March 27, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Add another name to the Padres' crowded outfield mix. Sócrates Brito will be in San Diego for Thursday's season opener against the Giants. The Padres claimed Brito off waivers from the D-backs on Wednesday with the intention of adding him to their Opening Day roster. Fellow outfielder

SAN DIEGO -- Add another name to the Padres' crowded outfield mix. Sócrates Brito will be in San Diego for Thursday's season opener against the Giants.

The Padres claimed Brito off waivers from the D-backs on Wednesday with the intention of adding him to their Opening Day roster. Fellow outfielder Travis Jankowski, who is out three months with a broken bone in his left wrist, was placed on the 60-day injured list to clear space on the roster.

In parts of three seasons with the D-backs, Brito hit .202/.229/.351, while playing all three outfield spots. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter is out of option years, meaning the Padres can't send him to the Minors without first placing him on waivers.

Brito's presence complicates things a bit in an already-deep outfield. The Padres' current group features three righty-hitting corner options in Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes. Manuel Margot is the expected starter in center field, with Franchy Cordero serving as the only left-handed hitter in that mix.

Like Brito, Cordero is capable of playing all three outfield spots. Brito's presence could eventually mean a trip to Triple-A for Cordero, who slumped to a .691 OPS this spring with a team-high 18 strikeouts.

For now, however, it seems likely the club carries six outfielders on Opening Day. Brito provides a left-handed bench bat on a roster full of righty power hitters. Eventually, when the Padres need to promote a pitcher to start Saturday's game, they'll pare down their outfield mix to five.

Of course, there's still a chance general manager A.J. Preller looks to move one of his three righty-hitting corner options. With Myers, Renfroe and Reyes, there's a bit of redundancy in the Padres' outfield, and Preller has been active in trade talks for much of the offseason. Those discussions never bore fruit.

Barring a trade, Brito's arrival probably puts the roster place of Jose Pirela into some jeopardy. Greg Garcia is expected to win the job as utility infielder.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.