Padres Roster Shakeup Begins

All-Star closer decides to hit the open market

The Padres have a bunch of roster decisions to make this off-season, as we outlined this week (you can read about that here). Some of the outcomes are going to be out of their hands.

Closer Mark Melancon, who led the Major Leagues with 39 saves, has declined his option and is a free agent. Melancon signed a one-year deal for 2021 with a mutual option for 2022 at $5 million. While the Padres would have loved to keep him at that number, he pitched his way into a much larger payday (it is possible for him to re-sign in San Diego).

The Friars also declined their option on relief pitcher Keone Kela, who underwent Tommy John surgery last season, and outfielder Jake Marisnick, who was acquired at the trade deadline and hit .188 in just 48 at-bats with the Padres.

San Diego did pick up the options on veteran relievers Craig Stammen ($4 million) and Pierce Johnson ($3 million). Those moves were considered formalities since both hurlers were effective in 2021 and are relatively inexpensive.

With those moves the Padres 40-man roster now sits at 37, so they have room to add a few prospects that need protecting from next month's Rule 5 Draft (including left-hander MacKenzie Gore) or start their quest to reshape their roster when the free agency signing period opens on November 8.

That seems unlikely, however, because the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the Player's Association is set to expire on December 1 and there is no agreement in place yet. A major part of those negotiations will be agreeing on the luxury tax threshold so most clubs will probably wait until the new CBA is finalized before committing big dollars to free agents.

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