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Youth served as Padres set 40-man roster

Walker Lockett
Padres pitching prospect Walker Lockett allowed a run in 6 1/3 innings in his first pro playoff appearance with Triple-A El Pas on Sept. 8, 2016.
(El Paso Chihuahuas)

The Padres’ youth movement has pushed their last player in his 30s off the team.

To add Javier Guerra, Franchy Cordero, Walker Lockett and Jose Ruiz to the 40-man roster ahead of a 5 p.m. Friday deadline, the Padres’ corresponding moves included losing pinch-hitter extraordinaire Brett Wallace to free agency.

A former first-round pick, the 30-year-old Wallace opted to test the open market after he was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso. The Padres also designated outfielder Oswaldo Arcia for assignment and waived right-hander Leonel Campos – who was immediately claimed by the Blue Jays – in order to protect four players who would have been eligible for next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

Guerra owns the highest profile of the bunch.


Ranked No. 7 in the Padres system by Baseball America, the 21-year-old shortstop arrived last November as a key piece in the deal that sent closer Craig Kimbrel to Boston.

Pairing 15 homers in a low Single-A in 2015 with plus defense at a premium position even led some in the front office to believe his ceiling rivaled or perhaps surpassed that of center fielder Manuel Margot.

But Guerra – the so-called shortstop of the future entering 2016 – struggled mightily in the California League (.202 avg., 141 strikeouts, 105 games), ended the season on the disabled list with a non-baseball medical issue and saw his standing in the farm system slip as the front office binged in amateur markets over the summer.

Nevertheless, adding Guerra to the 40-man roster ahead of even a Double-A assignment shows that General Manager A.J. Preller believes in his skills enough to prevent other teams from picking him off his roster the way he stashed Rule-5 pitcher Luis Perdomo last winter.


The same is true of the 22-year-old Ruiz, a converted catcher who has thrown just 12 1/3 innings (14 strikeouts, no runs) on the mound – all in the low minors – since shelving his bat (.203 career average).

Meanwhile, Cordero and Lockett are more traditional additions.

The 22-year-old Lockett started 2016 at low Single-A Fort Wayne, ended the season with El Paso’s postseason rotation and is a candidate to compete for big league spot this spring after the sinker-baller fashioned a 2.96 ERA over 164 innings last year.

A converted shortstop in his first year in center field, the 22-year-old Cordero earned an invitation to the Arizona Fall League after hitting .290/.344/.450 with 11 homers and 23 steals in 137 games spread between the Cal League and Double-A San Antonio.

Wallace signed a minor league deal before the 2015 season, was promoted from El Paso that June and emerged as one of the National League’s best pinch-hitters that season. His success in a part-time role – four of his five homers came off the bench – didn’t carry over to 2016, as his .302 AVG/.374 OBP/.521 SLG batting line slipped to .189/.309.318 despite Wallace more than doubling his at-bats in his second year in a part-time role in San Diego.

His departure leaves left-hander Ryan Buchter — who turns 30 in February — as the oldest player on the roster. 

The 25-year-old Arcia was used sparingly (.116 average over 14 games) upon the Padres claiming him from the Marlins in August, while the 29-year-old Campos had allowed 19 earned runs in 30 innings spread over short stints over the last three seasons.




  • LHP Buddy Baumann
  • LHP Ryan Buchter
  • RHP Carter Capps
  • RHP Paul Clemens
  • RHP Jarred Cosart
  • RHP Jon Edwards
  • LHP Robbie Erlin
  • LHP Christian Friedrich
  • LHP Brad Hand
  • LHP Keith Hessler
  • RHP Erik Johnson
  • RHP Walker Lockett
  • RHP Brandon Maurer
  • RHP Luis Perdomo
  • RHP Kevin Quackenbush
  • RHP Colin Rea
  • RHP Tyson Ross
  • RHP Jose Ruiz
  • LHP Jose Torres
  • RHP Cesar Vargas


  • Christian Bethancourt
  • Austin Hedges
  • Derek Norris


  • Alexi Amarista
  • Carlos Asuaje
  • Javier Guerra
  • Wil Myers
  • Jose Rondon
  • Hector Sanchez
  • Luis Sardinas
  • Ryan Schimpf
  • Yangervis Solarte
  • Cory Spangenberg


  • Jabari Blash
  • Franchy Cordero
  • Alex Dickerson
  • Travis Jankowski
  • Manuel Margot
  • Jose Pirela
  • Hunter Renfroe; Twitter: @sdutSanders

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