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Four Padres among MLB’s top free agents

Which of these guys will we see back in 2021?

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports recently put together behemoth list to showcase the top-60 free agents in the MLB this offseason, all of which officially became FAs on the first of the month.

Among the many players listed are four former Padres: reliever Trevor Rosenthal, outfielder Jurickson Profar, first baseman Mitch Moreland, and reliever Kirby Yates.

Rosenthal and Moreland were both qcquired at this year’s trade deadline from Kansas City and Boston, respectively. Rosenthal helped fill the void left by Yates who had season-ending elbow surgery after appearing in just six games in 2020. Moreland was acquired to hold things down at first base after Eric Hosmer missed a chunk of time with a hand injury.

In his first season with San Diego, Profar slashed .278/.343./.418 with an OPS of .771. He finished with 50 hits, seven home runs, 25 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in 56 games played. The 33-year Yates pitched just 4 13 innings before the aforementioned surgery. He recorded two saves in six games, allowing seven hits, one home run, four walks, and eight strikeouts.

Below you’ll find a blurb for each Padres free agent by Anderson, along with where he believes each free agent fits best.

38.) Reliever Trevor Rosenthal

“A year ago, it would’ve been fair to assume Rosenthal’s big-league career was nearing its conclusion. He had walked 26 batters in 15 innings, and had one of the more embarrassing stretches of pitching in recent memory, failing to record an out in his first four appearances of the season. Rosenthal had a remarkable turnaround in 2020, completing the year with a 1.90 ERA and issuing just eight walks in 23 innings. He relied primarily on a 98-mph fastball and a slider, both of which missed bats more than 36 percent of the time. There is some reason to be skeptical about him sustaining that level of performance: he is, after all, only a year removed from a disaster of a season; and he threw more than 11 percent of his pitches in the “meatball” zone, according to Statcast. You might reason that Rosenthal’s stuff is good enough to live there without being smoked, but his exit velocity ranked in the 14th percentile. Possible fits: Angels, Padres, Mets

41.) OF Jurickson Profar

Profar was once one of the top prospects in baseball. Injuries and wasted opportunities took their toll on his stock, however, and he’s been reduced to journeyman status in recent times, playing for a different team in each of the past three seasons. When he joins team No. 4 this winter, it’ll likely be as a utility type who can ping between left field and second base. He played more outfield than infield last year, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if that remains the case moving forward — especially if he experiences another bout of throwing problems, the way he did in 2019. Profar hits just enough to envision him starting most days. This isn’t what people used to envision from Profar’s career, but whatever keeps the direct deposits flowing. Possible fits: Cleveland, Tigers, Orioles

42.) 1B Mitch Moreland

“The Padres declined Moreland’s absurdly cheap ($3 million) option for next season, making him the last player to join the list. It wasn’t the low cost alone that made it a surprise move; he’s coming off a career-best season that saw him post a 139 OPS+ and hit 10 home runs in 42 games. Obviously Moreland isn’t going to repeat his 2020, but he’s a solid little second-division option who’ll reach base 32 percent of the time and swat 15-plus homers. There are worse ways to spend a couple million. Possible fits: Rockies, Nationals, Tigers”

48.) Reliever Kirby Yates

“You have to feel for Yates, who likely entered the year dreaming of signing a lucrative, multi-year contract this winter. Those dreams were dashed quickly, as he made just six appearances before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery to deal with some bone chips. When he’s been healthy, he’s been highly effective over the last three-plus seasons, compiling a 2.55 ERA and 14 strikeouts per nine innings as a member of the Padres. Yates will probably have to settle for a one-year deal, maybe with a player or vesting option attached, to prove that he’s back to good. Then, maybe, he can get the fat free-agent deal that his recent work merits. Possible fits: Red Sox, Phillies, Angels”