Padres signs right-handed player Anderson Espinoza reported Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune on his minor league contract. The Friars also agreed to sign off-line deals with the outfielder. Preston Tucker and relaxing Drew CarltonSanders reports (twitter link).
Espinoza returns to an organization where he spent half a decade. Purchased from Red Sox in 2016 deadline deal submitted Drew Pomeranz Heading to Boston, Espionza was seen as a possible rotation starter at the time. Baseball America named it the #1 possibility in the San Diego system the following winter. Unfortunately, a series of injuries prevented the 1’0″ shooter from getting a chance to deliver on this tremendous promise. Espinoza felt elbow pain at the start of the 2017 season and underwent Tommy John surgery. After two years of rehabilitation, another elbow injury requiring a second TJ procedure spent.
Successive surgeries cost him a staggering four years of action, as he didn’t shoot a single professional shot in 2017-20. Midway through the ’21 campaign, San Diego handed him out to the Cubs in exchange. Jake Marisnick. Espinoza closed the 2021 season in Double-A, but was briefly promoted to the majors for the first time this year.
With seven relief appearances, he made his first 18 1/3 MLB hits. It allowed for 11 runs in 14 innings and a staggering 16 walks, and it didn’t work very well in the juniors. Between two of Chicago’s best members, Espinoza climbed to a 7.55 ERA at 70 1/3 frames. He backed 24.6% of opponents as fans, but walked an enormous 13.9% of minor league hitters faced. At year’s end, the Cubs put him on the waiver. He was left unclaimed and qualified as a minor league free agent.
Espinoza is certainly no longer seen as an elite young talent, but there’s no harm in the Padres rolling the dice to see if he can better hone his batting ability as he moves away from his devastating injury string for another year. He has not yet turned 25, although he has been a recognized candidate for nearly ten years. The Venezuelan native averaged just under 94 MPH on his fastball during his MLB run with the Cubs and relied on a sub-80s breakout as his top secondary field.
Tucker, the older brother of the Astros star Kyle Tucker, he is also a former Astros outfielder. In 2015-18, Houston hit .222/.281/.403 in 221 MLB games with Atlanta and Cincinnati. After three seasons in South Korea, Tucker returned to the US in May with a minor league deal with the Braves. The 32-year-old did well with his best member in Gwinnett reaching .267/.347/.426 in 75 games.
Carlton, 27, has played nine comfortable games with the Tigers in the past two seasons. The right-handed player allowed six runs in 12 1/3 career strokes and outstripped eight with four walks. The State of Florida product doesn’t beat particularly hard, sitting in the under-90s with its fastball. Still, he showed excellent control throughout his tenure in the minor leagues, punching an above-average 27.3% of his opponents in 58 1/3 innings with Detroit’s biggest member in Toledo this year. With a 3.90 ERA in 110 2/3 innings at minor league level, he will likely be fighting for a bullpup spot in Spring Practice.