PEORIA, Ariz. — Now that San Diego’s first base position is in Eric Hosmer‘s $144 million hands, it seems as if there are 144 million candidates for the one remaining starting spot in the Padres’ outfield.
Wil Myers will move to one of the corner spots after playing first base the previous two seasons, manager Andy Green said, and Manuel Margot remains a fixture in center field after a notable rookie season in 2017.
That leaves the other seven holdovers who made at least 20 starts in the Padres’ outfield last year — including power bat and 2013 first-round draft pick Hunter Renfoe — in the mix for final starting position and the reserve roles.
“He’s right in the thick of that competition,” manager Andy Green said of Renfroe, adding, “we didn’t have to have a (roster) move to cause that to happen.”
Renfroe slashed .231/.284/.457 with 26 homers last season but was optioned to Triple-A El Paso in mid-August to work on his ability to get on base. He drew 17 walks in his first 54 games but had only four walks in 130 plate appearances between June 29 and his demotion.
Renfroe, who made all of his 117 outfield starts in right, again showed power when he returned. He had six homers, including a three-homer game against Arizona on Sept. 20, but walked only once in 44 plate appearances.
“There were definitely some positive signs, things we were encouraged by,” Green said of what he saw when Renfroe came back.
“Just like every young player, there is stuff to learn and continue to grow,” he said.
New hitting coach Matt Stairs, assistant hitting coach Johnny Washington and new first base coach Skip Schumaker should help in the development, Green said.
“They are going to serve him very well,” Green said. “Skip Schumaker, the one thing I will tell you about him, he will be all over everybody to do it the way that is right. He was raised in that environment, coming up with Tony La Russa teams.”
Myers, who played center field with the Padres in 2015, has begun taking flyballs in the outfield and has said he is all-in about moving back. He is under contract through 2022 after signing a six-year, $83 million deal last year.
“We see him as a guy who can play the corners ably at both positions,” Green said.
“I’d say probably the majority of reps between those positions would be leaning toward right. We’ll give him exposure to both and kind of watch and see. Listen to him, too. How he is seeing the ball in both places. Naturally he is probably a little bit more comfortable in right, but we are going to have to see about the roster composition, too,” he said.
Margot, a prized piece of the deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston in November 2015, slashed .267/.323/.426 with 13 homers and 13 stolen bases primarily from the leadoff spot last year.
“My expectation is that he competes to win a Gold Glove in center field … and anchors the outfield and continues to go about his work with a 100-runs-scored mentality,” Green said.
Dickerson missed all of last season, undergoing back surgery in June after rehab was ineffective. He had 10 homers in 84 games as a rookie in 2016.
Cordero was the most valuable player and rookie of the year in the Dominican winter league after hitting .323 with 25 RBI in 50 games with Escogido.
Jankowski missed much of last season with a fractured foot after stealing 30 bases in 131 games in 2016.
Szczur played on the Cubs’ 2016 World Series team. Pierla hit .288 with 25 doubles in 83 games after a midseason promotion last year.
Toronto Blue Jays address bullpen issues by acquiring closer Brad Hand from Washington Nationals
Hand is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 21 saves this season.
Hand signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Nats this past offseason. He was coming off another solid season as the closer for the Cleveland Indians in 2020, leading the major leagues with 16 saves, but was a victim of the team’s salary purge heading into 2021.
The Blue Jays have had a multitude of injuries in their bullpen, beginning with the team losing Kirby Yates to Tommy John surgery to start the season.
Adams, 25, is considered the best power hitter in Toronto’s system according to Baseball America. He joins the Nationals after hitting .239 with seven homers, 17 RBIs in 35 games for Triple-A East Buffalo.
Aaron Boone says Joey Gallo will be with New York Yankees on Friday
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo‘s trade to the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers was completed Thursday, giving the heavily right-handed Yankees a much-needed powerful lefty bat.
Manager Aaron Boone said he spoke with Gallo on Thursday and “welcomed him to the team.”
“I think we’re a lot better today,” Boone said before the Yankees played Tampa Bay.
Boone said that Gallo will be with the Yankees for Friday’s series opener against the Marlins in Miami.
While he has played right field for Texas, Boone envisions Gallo playing a lot in left for the Yankees, who have Aaron Judge as their regular right fielder.
“We’re excited to add an All-Star,” Boone said.
The Rangers received right-hander Glenn Otto, second baseman Ezequiel Duran, shortstop Josh Smith and second baseman/outfielder Trevor Hauver from New York. Texas also sent pitcher Joely Rodriguez to New York.
New York’s left-handed hitters have struggled this season, ranking last in the majors in average (.197), 28th in home runs (22) and OPS (.633) and 29th in hard-hit rate (33%).
A two-time All-Star, Gallo ranks sixth in the AL this season with 25 home runs, to go with 55 RBIs and a .223 average. He had struggled mightily at the plate since the All-Star break, with no home runs and a .067 average in the 10 games following, before breaking out Tuesday with a three-run shot against the Diamondbacks.
Gallo, 27, is among just eight rostered major leaguers with multiple career 40-homer seasons (2017, 2018).
Gallo is owed $2.2 million from his $6.2 million salary. He is eligible for arbitration next winter and can become a free agent after the 2022 season.
The Yankees began the day 8½ games behind Boston in the AL East and trail Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle in the wild-card race for two spots.
Rodriguez, 29, is 1-3 with one save and a 5.93 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season, holding left-handed batters to a .176 average. He is 2-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 81 relief appearances over four seasons with Philadelphia (2016-17) and Texas (2020-21), and he was 3-7 with a 1.85 ERA over 90 relief appearances in 2018-19 for the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.
Duran, 22, hit .290 with 15 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 48 RBIs this season in 67 games with High-A Hudson Valley.
Hauver, 22, made his professional debut this season with Low-A Tampa, hitting .288 with 17 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs in 66 games.
Otto, 25, was 7-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
Smith, 23, hit .324 with 12 doubles, nine homers, 24 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 39 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Chicago White Sox acquire 2B Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland Indians
The White Sox have been in the market for a second baseman, and they get one in Hernandez, 31, who is hitting .231/.307/.431 with 18 homers in his second year with the Indians, who trail the White Sox by 8½ games.
“César Hernández provides our club with a valuable combination of a power bat in the middle infield and Gold Glove quality defense,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “Adding a player like César gives [manager] Tony [La Russa] a strong and proven option at second base for the stretch run of the season and hopefully into October.”
The White Sox lost Nick Madrigal for the season in June after he had surgery to repair tendon tears in his right hamstring.
The trading deadline is Friday, when Cleveland opens a three-game series in Chicago.
Hernandez hit a two-run homer in Cleveland’s 7-2 win over St. Louis on Wednesday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report
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