In what was one of the more quieter weeks of the offseason for the Padres, there was a bit of news that came out that involved the club. It was reported last week that the Padres have interest in Cuban infielder Hector Olivera. The Padres are strongly pursuing Olivera and San Diego could be the most likely landing spot, Ben Badler of BaseballAmerica.com reports. General Manager A.J. Preller and international scouting director Chris Kemp were in attendance for Olivera’s showcase.

1. Hector Olivera

  • Olivera has a potential to play third base or second base.
  • Preller was the only general manager in attendence at Olivera’s showcase, tweets Ben Badler.

Assuming the Padres do land Olivera, how does that effect those who are already on the team? Let’s look at some scenories:

  • Olivera plays second base, moving Jedd Gyorko to third base. Will Middlebrooks can platoon with Yonder Alonso at first base and Tommy Medica would become depth at the Triple-A level.
  • Olivera plays third base, moving Middlebrooks to first base. Corey Spangenberg or Yangervis Solarte would become the odd man out in this scenario.
  • Gyorko becomes a trade piece, though I find this to be the most unlikely option. He’s under team control through 2019 with an option for 2020. It’s seems to be a bit too soon to give up on Gyorko, as he seems like a logical candidate to have a bounce back year after all the offensive pieces the club has added this off-season.

Olivera has had an injury history while playing in Cuba and he’s not a lock to become an everyday player, but scouts told Badler that he looked good during his showcase for teams. He showed steady defense, but was not flashy at second base. On the offensive side, he showed above average power. Badler notes he has a chance to sign before Opening Day. Private workouts for teams is the next step in the process.

2. Non Roster Spring Training Invites

The club also announced this week 18 non-roster Spring Training invites to players. Of the notables that had not been previously mentioned:

  • Infielder Ramiro Pena enters his 11th professional season in baseball. Last year he was apart of the Braves organization, hitting  .245/.304/.347 with three home runs and nine RBI in 2014. Previously, he had played in the Yankees organization.
  • Pitcher Jay Jackson enters his 8th professional season in baseball. He has been in multiple organizations – including the Cubs, Marlins, Pirates, and Brewers. He has a career 4.49 ERA in the minor leagues. In fact, Baseball America ranked him the 98th best prospect in baseball prior to the 2010 season while he was in the Cubs organization.

 Padres Quick Hits

  • The Padres, Red Sox, and Royals have all indicated that they aren’t likely in the hunt for free-agent pitcher James Shields, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. However, the longer Shields stays on the open market, the more appealing he may become to a clubs like the Padres.
  • The Major League Baseball Players Association announced that that Padres front office executive Omar Miniya has left the organization to join the MLBPA as a senior advisor.
  • The 2015 PECOTA projections were revealed this week. The Padres are projected to finish 83-79 (third in the National League West) while making the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

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