Ahead of Kansas City Royals free agency, let’s take a look at the San Diego Padres’ upcoming free agents and decide whether the team should pursue any.
Welcome to the final installment of our “Kansas City Royals: Making the case” series for free agency. After a 66-win season, the San Diego Padres made a splash by signing Manny Machado to a lengthy, lucrative contract in hopes that it would lead to more wins in 2019. It did… kind of. San Diego posted a 70-92 record this past season, and Fernando Tatis Jr. was the team’s best player by bWAR.
Heading into 2020, San Diego will look to trend in a clearly positive direction. With one of the best duos in the league in the infield and a relatively easy set of decisions to make via in-house free agency, the pieces are there to improve. Below is a list of the Padres’ major free agents, per Spotrac’s official list. Are any of the names worth pursuing for the Royals? Let’s find out.
Adam Warren, P
Warren had arguably his worst season to date in 2019, posting a 5.34 ERA in 28.2 innings. A 6.91 FIP indicates things could have gotten even worse. Prior to that, though, the 32-year-old righty reliever had back-to-back above-average seasons by ERA+ standards. Because he’s coming off a rough season, he’ll be cheap. He wouldn’t make sense on a long-term deal but if Dayton Moore can snag him for a year, Warren may be worth looking into.
Speaking of right-handed relief pitchers, Stammen hits the market after back-to-back-to-back solid seasons with San Diego. He’s a high-usage pitcher, tossing an average of 80 innings per season over that stretch. With that said, he’s 35 years old. That’s about the only reason Moore would have for not at least thinking about signing Stammen. Other than that, he’d make a great addition for 2020.
Robbie Erlin, P
A left-hander, Erlin has spent his entire career with the Padres. In his six years of service, the former third-round pick has posted an ERA+ of at least 100 just once. At 29 years old, he likely is what he is at this point — and that’s a below-average reliever. The Royals don’t need one of those.
Aaron Loup, P
Loup is the definition of a player who peaked early in his career. Coming out of the gate to pitch very solid baseball for three seasons in a row, the 31-year-old has yet to replicate that level of success in the five years since. He was limited to just 3.1 innings pitched last season and wasn’t very good in 2018. The Royals can probably keep it moving here.
Mitchell spent the 2019 season in the minor leagues and had an 8.68 ERA. Before that, is 2018 and 2017 seasons saw little success, posting ERA+ totals of 71 and 79, respectively. It’s probably a bit too late for him to change how he is at this point, as he’ll turn 29 early in the 2020 season.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this series! It has been a blast learning about each team’s free agent class and deciding whether or not the Royals would benefit from signing anyone. As Dayton Moore begins making moves, be sure to reference our articles and use them to help you form your own opinions on the next group of Kansas City Royals!