As teams make their final cuts around the league, some noteworthy players are finding themselves looking for work. As I was browsing the MLBTradeRumors.com stories, I saw two familiar names: Alex Torres and Rene Rivera.
Alex Torres is probably best known for being the lone professional to wear the protective headgear approved by MLB.com for use by pitchers. To Padres fans, we know him as the lefty who could rack up some K's, but unfortunately walked way too many players. He came to the Padres along with Jesse Hahn in the deal that sent Brad Boxberger, Logan Forsythe, and others to the Rays. Sent to the Mets for Cory Mazzoni in 2015, he struggled in New York and was granted free agency after the season. The Braves picked him up in January, but apparently they didn't like what they saw.
Signed as a free agent in 2012, Rene Rivera had a breakout season with the Padres in 2014, both with the glove and the bat. Considered a defensive specialist, the 116 OPS+ suddenly made him a wanted commodity. The Padres included him in the three-team, eleven-player deal that brought Wil Myers to the team. A .178/.213/.275 triple-slash underimpressed the Rays, and now he's on the soup line with Torres.
The returns for Torres and Rivera still have yet to bear fruit. Mazzoni struggled in 2015, and 2016 should be his final option year, so he needs to perform and show the potential that interested Padres management. Myers is poised to have a breakout season in the middle of the Padres lineup as long as he can remain healthy after finally having a fragile wrist surgically repaired. Regardless, these are two cases where Preller flipped players at relatively high points, with positive value remaining in the organization, while the players traded away are now looking for work.