Tim Stauffer has been part of the Padres organization since August 11, 2003 when he signed his first contract with the club. That makes him the longest tenured player in the organization. To me, he is a fan favorite. That first contract came at a financial cost to himself as he admitted to the Padres, after being drafted 3rd overall that year and with no college eligibility remaining, that he was injured. His debut came on May 11, 2005 for a playoff contending Padres team that needed pitching help. He gave them 6 innings, giving up 2 earned runs and got the win.
Despite that early success he had to bounced between the majors and minors throughout 2006 and 2007. Then he missed the entire 2008 season due to a labrum tear in his shoulder, a difficult injury to come back from. In 2009, he finally made his way back and showed that he belonged. He was instrumental to the team's winning ways in 2010, first from the bullpen where he was lights out and then as a starter where he allowed 1 earned run or less in 5 of his 6 starts. That included the penultimate game of the season where the team was in a win or go home situation.
He 2011 he established himself as a stalwart of the rotation. He was on track to become the team's opening day starter in 2012, but the injury bug bit him again. He would miss almost all of the season. At this time last year the team had to non-tender him in order to keep from spending millions on a pitcher who might not be able to pitch in 2013. However, once again he wanted to fight his back as a Padre and signed a minor league deal with a clause that would force the Padres to call him up during the season or make him a free agent. The team did call him up and he returned to the swingman reliever role he succeeded at in 2010.
For the 2014 season, he will reprise that role having signed a 1 year, $1.6 million contract. That comes in at $400K more than what MLBTradeRumors.com projected. A modest (in baseball terms), but well deserved bonus. We can all look forward to seeing this decade long Friar making some f%@&ing pitches in 2014.