The SF Giants were busy on Tuesday night as Kervin Castro was recalled while Zack Littell was placed on the injured list and they even swung a trade. They acquired a right-handed-hitting corner infielder in exchange for cash from the Seattle Mariners.
SF Giants swing a trade with the Seattle Mariners to acquire corner infielder
Kevin Padlo is heading to the Giants organization after being designated for assignment by the Mariners a couple of days ago. Padlo will take up a spot on the 40-man roster, but no corresponding roster move has been announced yet.
The Colorado Rockies originally drafted Padlo in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, California. Two years later, he was shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays along with Corey Dickerson in a move that sent German Marquez and Jake McGee to the Rockies.
He was claimed off of waivers by the Marinerw in August of 2021. As a high school draftee, the right-handed bat moved deliberately up the minor league ladder, reaching the majors at the beginning of the 2021 season.
In eight minor league seasons, Padlo has slashed .239/.350/.469 with a 13.6 percent walk rate against a 25.3 percent strikeout rate. As he has matured, the 25-year-old infielder has displayed good power, eclipsing the 20-home run threshold in consecutive minor league seasons beginning in 2019.
He only has limited major league experience as he has registered just one hit in 13 combined at-bats between the Rays and the Mariners in 2021. Ben Clemens of Fangraphs likes Padlo and believes that he can carve out a role as a platoon hitter:
""Padlo strikes out too much, but he absolutely mashes the ball, enough that it’s easy to picture him as a capable big leaguer tomorrow. Doing enough to ensure a major league career doesn’t only mean playing a slick second base and dumping singles into the opposite field power alley. I think that Padlo could probably credibly play in the majors today as a second-division platoon bat...""- Ben Clemens
Of course, this is the type of bat that the Giants target on the waiver wire. They are not necessarily looking for an everyday player, but rather they seek players who can capably contribute in a specific role.
Given that the Giants have posted a .625 OPS as a team in 2022, there is a lot of room for improvement. As a right-handed bat who has experience at first base and third base, there is a potential role for him on the Giants.
It helps that Padlo has one minor league option remaining, and the Giants are going to exercise that flexibility by assigning him to Triple-A. There has been no corresponding roster move announced yet, but the acquisition of Padlo adds to a soft spot on the 40-man roster.