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Jankowski among 6 arbitration-eligible Padres

Club likely to offer contracts to all as non-tender deadline approaches
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have already spent the first month of the offseason trimming their roster.

The club unloaded Alex Dickerson and outrighted Kazuhisa Makita when it needed to reinstate players from the disabled list. San Diego cut ties with Cory Spangenberg, Colin Rea and Christian Villanueva on Nov. 20, clearing space to add prospects to the 40-man roster. The Padres traded Rowan Wick, Colten Brewer and Walker Lockett for three players who didn't need to be rostered.

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have already spent the first month of the offseason trimming their roster.

The club unloaded Alex Dickerson and outrighted Kazuhisa Makita when it needed to reinstate players from the disabled list. San Diego cut ties with Cory Spangenberg, Colin Rea and Christian Villanueva on Nov. 20, clearing space to add prospects to the 40-man roster. The Padres traded Rowan Wick, Colten Brewer and Walker Lockett for three players who didn't need to be rostered.

Those moves serve to make Friday's non-tender deadline somewhat less interesting than it's been in previous years. By 5 p.m. PT, the Padres need to decide which arbitration-eligible players will receive a contract for 2019.

Six players are eligible:

• Righty Kirby Yates and lefty Robbie Erlin are in their second arbitration year.

• Righty Bryan Mitchell and infielder Greg Garcia are in their first arbitration year.

• Catcher Austin Hedges and outfielder Travis Jankowski are in their first arbitration year, but they have the Super Two designation, meaning they'll have four seasons of arbitration-eligibility, instead of the usual three.

It's very likely the Padres tender a contract to all six. That means the club and the player would submit a proposed salary, and the two sides would negotiate from there. If no agreement is reached, an independent arbiter would pick between the two proposals.

Any player who isn't tendered a contract will instantly become a free agent. But the Padres probably aren't willing to lose a worthwhile contributor for nothing.

Of the group, Mitchell is the only question mark. But he almost certainly did enough during the final month of the 2018 season to earn a chance to compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training. (Mitchell made the league minimum last season, and he logged a 5.42 ERA and a 6.11 FIP in 2018. Whatever raise he gets in arbitration, it isn't going to break the bank.)

The Padres have already cut ties with Dickerson and Spangenberg -- their two real non-tender candidates entering the offseason. Any further movement on Friday would qualify as a surprise.

But there's one worthwhile note from the non-tender deadline: The Padres don't have a single player entering his final year of arbitration-eligibility. Among their players under contract, only Clayton Richard and Craig Stammen are up after 2019.

In short: There are a huge contingent of in-house pieces slated to be in San Diego for a long time. Those pieces are about to be complemented with prospects from the deepest farm system in baseball.

The Padres are almost certainly going to have some tricky roster decisions in 2019. And that's just fine -- they're the types of decisions good teams have to make.

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

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