Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Padres free agent outfielder Tommy Pham is “willing to play first base if needed” for a team if that’s what it takes to get a contract after the lockout concludes. MLB Trade Rumors said in their article that Pham is specifically willing to play first for the Rays. With this said, I’d assume he’s also willing to play first for another contender if that means he gets more playing time.
However, playing first base for the Padres is not likely because Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth, Wil Myers, Jorge Alfaro, and Austin Nola can all play the position already and are all on the roster at the moment. Shoot, even Victor Caratini can play a little first.
Pham is obviously an outfielder and if this news is true, then he probably is getting some sort of indication that teams don’t want to give him a major league contract to play the outfield in 2022. Because if teams wanted Pham to be an outfielder for them, I don’t see why it would be out there right now that he’s willing to play first base.
Pham came into the offseason expecting a one-year deal after spending the last two seasons in San Diego and was willing to come back to the Padres, according to an interview he did with the great Annie Heilbrunn last season.
The only questions now for Padres fans is how much money is the front office willing to offer Pham and how high of a priority is Pham to the Padres coming out of the lockout. I’d guess he’s not that high on their list of priorities because their first priorities will be to get a designated hitter and a power hitting outfielder who can hit 25-40 home runs a year. Pham would likely slot in as a fourth outfielder if he indeed returns to the Padres in 2022.