Padres Points: Blash, Lincecum, Liriano

With less than a month until pitchers and catchers report, the 2016 baseball season is closing in. The Padres have acquired many under the radar names that could play significant roles this year.

Jabari Blash 

2015 season (Double-A/Triple-A, Mariners): .271/.370/.576, 24 2B, 2 3B, 32 HR, 81 RBI 

The 6’5, 225 pound power hitting right fielder was acquired in the Rule 5 draft from the Mariners, Blash is a position player that could win not only a bench job on the team, but could win significant playing time in left field, a need the Padres have yet to address this offseason.

An article by Chris Mitchell of Fangraphs.com back in August 2015 breaks down Blash, who is 26 and older than the average prospect. A tremendous power hitter in the minors, his lack of contact is a major concern for his chances of sticking in the major leagues for a long period of time.

Blash and the Padres seem like a perfect match, at least on paper. The club opted not to pursue power hitters on the free agent or trade markets this offseason. He’s a source of cheap power that will potentially help the team, especially with the subtractions of Justin Upton and Jedd Gyorko.

If Blash has a good Spring Training, he has a decent chance of making the roster just because of his power hitting ability. If he proves himself, it would not be surprising if he rises to be a significant contributor on the team, at least at the beginning of the season. He would likely be in a platoon situation with someone like Jon Jay.

Blash might have a short window to produce as one of the team’s top position prospects, Hunter Renfroe, will likely begin at Triple-A. Renfroe has a realistic possibility of getting a June or July call up. If the team is out of contention and Blash is struggling, a scenario of his rights being returned to the Mariners is very possible.

Blash has a unique opportunity to make a statement in Spring Training and perhaps this season if he remains on the twenty five man roster. He may only have less than a three month window to prove he’s a part of the Padres plans long term.

Friar Notes

  • The Padres are among the many teams interested in former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Coming off injury, he’s looking to sign an incentive based deal that would be low risk for the acquiring team. He would be a nice fit for a club he’s no-hit twice in his career, as either a back-end starter or reliever.
  • The Padres are among three clubs that are expected to break their international bonus pool next season, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. For the average fan this might not mean much, but it is important to the success of the organization in the future. According to Badler, the team is expected to come away with several of the most talented Cuban players available. When A.J. Preller was brought in as the general manager, there was an emphasis on adding international talent. The club will look to do that this year.

Friar Moves

  • The club announced one minor trade this week, sending once highly touted prospect Rymer Liriano (signed out of the Dominican Republic, 2007) to the Brewers in exchange for left handed pitcher Trevor Seidenberger (12th round, Brewers, 2013). Seidenberger pitched 48.2 innings between Advanced A and Double A, giving up 22 earned runs while striking out 48.

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