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Padres news: Francisco Cervelli hired as coach, plus Jorge Alfaro & Luís Garcia rumors

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Veteran reliever and Colombian catcher are amongst the players linked to the Padres

San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres have reportedly hired Francisco Cervelli to replace Rod Barajas as team’s catching instructor, per Dennis Lin at The Athletic.

Joe Musgrove was probably the best AJ Preller acquisition, so the fact they worked together may be one positive point. If Cervelli can help develop guys like Luis Campusano and occasionally turn the Musgrove/Campusano’s relationship to something like Yu Darvish/Victor Caratini, that would be great good news for the Padres.

Rumors

National League Wild Card Game: St. Louis Cardinals v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

According to Robert Murray of FanSided, free-agent reliever Luis Garcia is in serious talks on a deal with the Padres. Garcia posted a 3.24 ERA in 34 appearances with the Cardinals last season, with strong strikeout (25.2 percent), walk (5.9 percent), and ground-ball rates (45.7 percent). Another old reliever who may be filling Mark Melancon’s spot, Garcia in the final month of 2021 mostly worked eighth and ninth innings, arguably the Padres’ greatest area of need.

Bullpen isn’t something the Padres need to pay a lot for this offseason, as they already have some good arms, as long as Emilio Pagán, Craig Stammen and Drew Pomeranz are healthy. Pomeranz underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in August and is expected to be ready for spring training. Within the last year, Mike Clevinger, Adrián Morejón, Jose Castillo, Keone Kela, Michel Baez, and Dan Altavilla have all undergone Tommy John surgeries, while Javy Guerra didn’t pitch this season due to a sprained UCL.

In Garcia they would be getting a reliever that can help now, not someone who needs a couple of years to develop, like left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr, who was acquired in Adam Frazier’s trade. Kerr, 27, went 2–1 with five saves and a 3.18 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, .184 opponents average and 60 strikeouts (13.61 strikeouts per nine innings) in 36 appearances between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma last season.

San Diego is also reportedly acquiring catcher Jorge Alfaro from the Marlins for a player to be named later, per multiple reports.

Alfaro’s first season with Miami in 2019 was very good offensively, he had a .262 batting average with 18 home runs in 130 games, but his numbers dropped significantly the last two years. He still has good numbers for a catcher and has positional flexibility, having played 21 games in left field and three at first base last year. But even with this flexibility, Alfaro had some defensive issues, having bad moments in left field and first base.

The fact that the Padres still have Austin Nola and Caratini, it doesn’t make much sense to acquire Alfaro, unless Preller is thinking about dealing one of Nola or Caratini. If not, Alfaro is totally unnecessary.