To make room for the additions of Craig Stammen and Hector Sanchez to the 40-man roster, the Padres designated LH RP Keith Hessler and RH SP Cesar Vargas for assignment. Today they both successfully cleared waivers and were given their assignments.
Keith Hessler and Cesar Vargas both cleared waivers and were outrighted to the Minors. Hessler to El Paso, Vargas to San Antonio.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 5, 2017
Keith Hessler was acquired by the Padres last May as a waiver claim from the Diamondbacks. He spent most of 2016 in El Paso but appeared in 18 games for the Padres, working out of the bullpen and producing a not-bad 3.38 ERA and a not-good 1.607 WHIP. Four earned runs in 5-1/3 innings pitched this spring didn’t do him any favors, so now he’s heading back to AAA. At age 28 there isn’t much upside left in the lefty but he’s an experienced bullpen arm who might get another shot this year.
Cesar Vargas is working his way back from an elbow injury but has a long way to go before he’ll be ready to be considered for a rotation spot. He looked good in limited time this spring and all indications are that he’s healthy, so now he needs to ramp his strength back up, and an assignment to AA should allow him all the time he needs to get there. At age 25, Vargas could be a solid piece of the Padres’ pitching staff for the near future.