The Padres announced today roster moves that have officially put them at capacity. This meant leaving some players unprotected from the Rule 5 draft and letting others walk. However, the biggest story line is the number of talented Latin American players added.
Five of the six minor league players signed to the 40-man roster today were Latin American, and all five were graduates of the Padres baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. These players are outfielder Rymer Liriano, third baseman Edinson Rincon and pitchers Juan Pablo Oramas, Pedro Hernandez and Jose De Paula. As an added bonus, all three pitchers are lefties.
What this means for the Padres will not become clear for years in all likelihood, but aside from the Mark Kotsay signing, these players represent the first big move by Josh Byrnes. While Randy Smith is tasked with scouting the Padres Latin American talent, it is Byrnes who ultimately has to pull the trigger, and he did.
The importance of moves like these can’t be understated. For a small-market team to compete and be successful, they absolutely cannot misfire on moves like these. Home-grown talent, the mantra Jed Hoyer lived by in his short time in San Diego, is generally the key to success when money is an issue and free agent signings are usually of the B-class variety. So let’s hope a couple of these players develop into legitimate Major League talent.
Check out what the rest of the web is saying about the signings: