For most of the off-season (non-lockout, of course) and all of Spring Training the Padres have been on the hunt for outfield depth. On Monday they got some from a somewhat surprising place.
For just the 5th time in franchise history the Padres made a trade with the Dodgers. San Diego acquired outfielder Matt Beaty in exchange for minor league infielder River Ryan.
Beaty, 28, was the Texas League Player of the Year in 2017 and has shown flashes of being a solid big league contributor. But, with the Dodgers loaded lineup he never found consistent playing time.
Over 556 Major League plate appearances he's hit 18 home runs with 24 doubles and a .758 OPS, quite respectable for a guy who got most of his at-bats as a reserve or pinch-hitter. He has some position flexibility, appearing defensively in left field, right field, 1st base and 3rd base.
The Dodgers designated Beatty for assignment on March 23, giving them a short window to trade him. The Padres only have three outfielders on the active roster (Wil Myers, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar) and are trying out the likes of Nomar Mazara and Trayce Thompson during Cactus League games so they slid in and made the deal, and Beaty might be happy to wear a new uniform.
L.A. manager Dave Roberts has said he simply doesn't see the left-handed hitter as an everyday player with that collection of talent but praised Beaty for his ability to grind tough at-bats late in games. Also, Matt could be harboring some hard feelings about his service time.
Had Beaty been on the Dodgers big league roster just one more day last year he would have been eligible for contract arbitration. Instead of a likely 7-figure deal he will make the league minimum in 2022, then be eligible for arbitration.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Padres placed LHP Drew Pomeranz on the 60-day Injured List. Pomeranz had flexor tendon surgery in the off-season and is not throwing off a mound yet.
As for what L.A. is getting, Ryan was the Padres' 11th round pick in last year out of UNC Pembroke. He had a handful of plate appearances in rookie ball.
The last time the Padres and Dodgers swung a deal didn't go terribly well for San Diego. Outfielder Matt Kemp came to town from L.A. and fizzled out quickly while catcher Yasmani Grandal went to an All-Star Game and hit 89 homers in four seasons.
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