With the Winter Meetings in Nashville just days away, A.J. Preller is in the middle of some heavy duty roster shuffling. After dealing Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski to Oakland, the Padres non-tendered Will Middlebrooks, Rocky Gale, and Frank Garces.
Middlebrooks is the only one of the three who saw serious playing time in San Diego, but his disappointing bat got him sent to the minors in late July. He was acquired from the Red Sox this past offseason, who got Ryan Hanigan in return (Hanigan in turn came to the Padres briefly as part of the Wil Myers deal). The third baseman had a strong rookie year in Boston, but his 2013 and 2014 campaigns both came up short. The hope was that a change of scenery would help, and the team was without a sure-fire starter in the hot corner since Chase Headley was sent to New York. It didn't work. After a middling April and May, Middlebrooks cratered in June, putting together a .187/.203/.307 line. Yangervis Solarte took over and put together the best season of his career.
Rocky Gale was a 24th round pick by the Friars in 2010, and he toiled in the farm system for six seasons before finally getting called up this past September. He never had a bat worth noting, and there were always more talented catchers ahead of him, so it was nice that he got one major league hit in his ten at bats with the big league club.
Frank Garces was signed as a free agent in 2011, and spent a few years on the farm before making his big league debut in 2014. As a LOOGY, he only got 9 innings in 15 games, but he put up a 2.00 ERA. But small sample sizes don't mean much, and that showed last season when his ERA skyrocketed to 5.21 in 38 innings of work.
For right now, these three are no longer Padres, but Preller said he's open to resigning all of them to minor league deals.