When the Padres announced the signing of Garrett Richards last week, the team designated Carlos Asuaje for assignment to clear the space on the 40-man roster. Today the Texas Rangers announced that they have acquired the infielder via a waiver claim. Neither team has officially announced the transaction but it appears to be a straight waiver claim with the Padres receiving nothing other than a waiver fee in return.
Carlos Asuaje came to the Padres along with Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and Logan Allen from the Red Sox in exchange for Craig Kimbrel in November 2015. Throughout his minor league career, Asuaje displayed excellent plate discipline and an ability to hit for average while providing reliable yet unspectacular defense at second base. This performance continued during his time in the Padres organization, peaking during his 2016 campaign where he hit .321/.378/.473 for an .851 OPS for an AAA El Paso team that won the Pacific Coast League, earning him the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
Asuaje would earn his first call up to MLB action in September 2016 and spent the majority of the 2017 season with the Padres. In his rookie campaign he hit a respectable .270/.334/.362 but an overall lack of power limited his playing time as he served as the understudy to Yangervis Solarte. He saw limited opportunities again in 2018, losing playing time to Jose Pirela, Cory Spangenberg, and heir apparent to the position Luis Urias. During his 2019 stay in El Paso the team gave him an extended look at third base but a lack of arm strength confirmed the prior notion that Asuaje is limited to second base outside of a third-string backup role.
With Luis Urias primed to be the Padres’ “second baseman of the future” starting on Opening Day 2019, switch-hitting utility infielder Greg Garcia backing up all around the infield, and newly acquired infielder Esteban Quiroz waiting just off the 40-man roster, there didn’t seem to be much room for an undersized slap-hitting second baseman on the Padres roster. His role with the Texas Rangers seems to be similarly hazy, but he has an option season remaining so the team may stash him in their newly minted AAA affiliate, the Nashville Sounds. On the bright side, Asuaje’s business venture into professional gaming seems to be rolling right along. Hopefully he’s just learned not to let his teammates air their grievances within earshot of a live microphone.