SAN DIEGO -- It's officially roster-crunch month for the Padres, and the first dominoes fell on Friday.The club had four players who needed to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and only two roster places available. So the Padres designated right-hander Kazuhisa Makita for assignment, and they outrighted outfielder
SAN DIEGO -- It's officially roster-crunch month for the Padres, and the first dominoes fell on Friday.
The club had four players who needed to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and only two roster places available. So the Padres designated right-hander Kazuhisa Makita for assignment, and they outrighted outfielder Alex Dickerson, who has elected free agency.
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
Makita posted a 5.40 ERA over 35 big league innings in 2018, his first season in the Majors after spending seven in Japan. The Padres signed the submarine-style right-hander to a two-year deal last offseason. Given that he still has $1.9 million remaining on that contract, it's unlikely that an opposing team would claim him.
Dickerson, meanwhile, showed plenty of promise during his rookie 2016 campaign when he batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 homers. But his career has been completely derailed by injuries. He missed the '17 campaign after back surgery, and he missed the '18 season because of Tommy John surgery.
San Diego needed to reinstate Dickerson and three others from the 60-day DL on Friday, prompting the two cuts. Franchy Cordero (right elbow surgery), Clayton Richard (knee surgeries) and Dinelson Lamet (Tommy John surgery) all were activated off the 60-day DL.
The Padres -- who traded catcher Raffy Lopez to Atlanta, then claimed infielder Greg Garcia from St. Louis on Thursday -- still have a full 40-man roster. Only A.J. Ellis and Freddy Galvis became free agents after the World Series.
Friday's moves were the first in what figures to be an eventful month for the makeup of the Padres' roster. Two more November deadlines loom.
A handful of prospects must be added to the 40-man this offseason, and if they aren't selected for the roster by Nov. 20, they'll be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft at December's Winter Meetings.
Among the team's Top 30 Prospects, right-handers Chris Paddack (No. 5) and Anderson Espinoza (No. 12), along with catcher Austin Allen (No. 25), are locks to be added. Outfielder Edward Olivares (No. 28) and righty Pedro Avila (No. 29) could join them, and there are three or four unranked prospects in the mix as well.
The Padres might need to clear a half-dozen roster places before Nov. 20 in order to make room for those youngsters. Then on Nov. 30, they'll hit the non-tender deadline.
On a team that won 66 games last season, there are more than a few non-tender candidates, and trimming the roster should be a relatively straightforward exercise, given the on-field struggles. But it's still critically important the Padres don't miss on these forthcoming decisions. Doing so would allow a potentially useful piece to leave for nothing in return.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.