I saw this last night, but then it kind of fell through the cracks when details about the trade that sent Logan Forsythe, Brad Boxberger, and a handful of minor leaguers to St. Petersburg started dribbling out one by one and buried it
Some new #Padres uniform numbers: Benoit No. 56, Smith No. 12, Johnson No. 55. Thayer No. 33 from 55. ~ Team store closes at 5.— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) January 21, 2014
I've always been a nerd about uniforms and uniform numbers in specific, so this is the kind of stuff that grabs my attention. I knew about the Padres giving Josh Johnson his familiar 55, since it was on the jersey he put on at the official press conference. Before that it had been being worn by Dale Thayer, who now takes over the 33 last worn by Clayton Richard.
Seth Smith being assigned the number 12 that Yasmani Grandal wore the past two seasons is a less straightforward case. Smith wore 15 with Oakland for the past two seasons, and that would have been fair game since Jesus Guzman got traded to Houston, but Smith's ties to 12 go back much farther. Not only did he wear it during his seven-game September debut with the Rockies in 2007, but he wore it even earlier during his days as Eli Manning's backup at Ole Miss. I'm still not sure if Smith traded Grandal anything for the number ala Mitch Williams and John Kruk, but if I had to guess I'd say the team just gave it to him the way they snatched John Baker's 21 that he wore as a tribute to Roberto Clemente away because Jason Marquis wanted it.
As for San Diego's newest acquisition, Alex Torres wore 54 with Tampa Bay last season. That number was worn by Tommy Medica at the end of last season, but it really is more of a reliever's number than a first baseman's number, so don't be surprised to see a switch there as well.