Continuing our Face of the MLB tournament, vote in the poll below to let us know who you think is the Face of the Padres.
The San Diego Padres have signed left-handed reliever Tony Sipp to a minor-league contract.
Sipp, 29, posted a 4.78 ERA last season with the Daimondbacks, as well as 10.0 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9. His WHIP was higher than it should have been, but he only pitched 37.2 innings.
The Diamondbacks designated Sipp for assignment in November. He spent the four seasons prior to 2013 with the Indians, and was sent to the Diamondbacks in the three-team trade involving Shin-Soo Choo.
In the times of rookies and stars, some underrated players may be ready to shine. Let’s take a look at the breakout candidates.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies- Highly touted as a prospect, Arenado was even better than expected as a rookie in 2013. He hit 10 homers, and put to rest any thoughts of moving to 1B. Becoming the 1st rookie in MLB history to win a 3B gold glove, he beat out perennial winners David Wright and Martin Prado. He also is underrated- most people selected Wright or Prado to play 3B in fantasy. This could be a great prospect to become the next Ryan Zimmerman.
Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres- As a power-hitting second baseman, Gyorko could follow the path of Dustin Pedroia. Gyorko had a slash line of .249/23/66 as a rookie last year, and that was with playing half of his games in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park. In the minors in 2012, he hit 30 homers and batted in 100 RBI’s. As Gyorko learns how to face major-league level pitchers, he could be among the likes of Jose Bautista and Chris Davis (in terms of power potential). Look for Gyorko to make a big statement this year.
A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks- Pollock was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft and has been a machine for getting on base and getting into scoring position. A bit underrated for a while, in college summer ball he was a bench player- and won the “10th man award”. With a slash line of .269/8/38 in 2013 as a utility player, he offered some promise. Enough to be given the starting CF job for 2014. Pollock stole 36 bases in 2011 and 21 in 2012 (in the minors). Not unlike Jason Kipnis, he gets on base and then gets into scoring position, which is invaluable to a team. All in all, Pollock may have the best potential of all of these players.
We’ve heard all about the Tanaka signing, the Cano signing, the Ellsbury signing, and the McCann signing… but is there a different free agent signing that will prove to be the deal/steal of the year?
If there is such a signing, my money is on Josh Johnson. Johnson had a very bad season last year in Toronto (pitching a meager 81.1 innings with an astronomical 6.20 ERA). The Blue Jays got very little production from the former ace during his tenure in Toronto, but will San Diego have better luck?
The Padres signed Johnson to a one year, $8 million deal. This is a rather low risk deal, considering Johnson is not necessarily going to be the Padres’ ace. In addition, the expectations for the San Diego Padres are far lower than the expectations fans had for the Blue Jays last year. So it is clear that Johnson will be under far less pressure in San Diego. In addition Johnson will be pitching a majority of his games in Petco Park, which is best known for its ability to bring former aces “back from the dead” so to speak. With these factors in consideration I believe the Josh Johnson deal could very possibly be the steal of the year, but tell us what you think in the comment section.