The Padres have acqured Luis Sardinas from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. He was DFA-ed by Seattle on 8/10.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) August 15, 2016
Sardinas was signed by the Texas Rangers as an international free agent in 2009. Yup, he was one of A.J. Preller’s signings. He has since been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers and then to the Mariners and now to the Padres. Having seen time all around the infield, he’s been used primarily at shortstop and can be presumed to be the front-runner for the job going forward. Given the history with Preller, Sardinas’ name has come up several times over the past two years as a potential trade target.
Early in his career, he drew high praise, even being called the “Best SS You’ve Never Heard Of”. He’s consistently showed superior defensive skills with a contact-heavy approach at the plate and decent speed. A more recent look likened him to a poor man’s Alcides Escobar. The defense has played well at the MLB level while the bat hasn’t come along. If he can get his OBP up closer to the .329 mark he carried through the minors, he can be a useful player on offense while being a defensive asset. Still only 23, there’s plenty of time for the switch hitter to mature at the plate.
His excellent range, fast transfer, and cannon arm did this to us earlier this year:
Oh, and like Alexi Amarista, he can do this:
In a corresponding roster move, Erik Johnson was moved to the 60-day disabled list, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for Sardinas, who is under full team control through 2021 (arbitration eligible in 2019), but will have no options remaining after 2016. Considering that the Padres picked him up for basically nothing, this is a low-risk, high-upside move that may fill an immediate need for the foreseeable future. Whether supplanting Alexei Ramirez as the starting SS or Alexi Amarista as the backup infielder, he seems to be an upgrade right away with plenty of room to improve.