Another day, another stock pile pitcher is on the horizon in Boston. The latest name that the Red Sox are interested in is Vicente Padilla, a veteran of 13 years in the big leagues with Arizona, Philly, Toronto, Texas and the Dodgers.
While reports leaked that the Sox and Padilla were nearing a deal the other day, Alex Speier of WEEI.com says the two sides aren’t close and are merely talking. As the Red Sox have done with so many other free agent pitchers this offseason.
Speier also says that an industry source told him Padilla is “healthy and is throwing hard” making the right hander another low risk option for the Red Sox.
Padilla only made nine appearances last season with the Dodgers and was shut down after neck problems ended his season in June. The hard throwing righty is said to be hitting between 95-95 mph with his fastball and wants to fight for a spot in the rotation this year. Regardless, Padilla could be a nice option to have for Bobby V.
He’s been a reliever and spot starter throughout his career and for a stretch between 2002 and 2009 he averaged 30 starts per season and 170 innings of work. His career ERA is 4.31 and his WHIP is 1.373.
Overcoming injury seems to be the norm with the Red Sox free agent signings this winter and Padilla would be no different. While his best value would be in the bullpen, he may give other starters like Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook and Jesse Carlson a push for the final rotation spot.
Padilla reportedly left his Nicaraguan winter league to fly to Boston to be evaluated by team doctors throwing the speculation into overdrive that a deal was close. But so far nothing new has come of it. If he can stay healthy the Red Sox would benefit from this signing. Put him in the pen and use him as middle relief. Depending on what happens with Alfredo Aceves and the starting rotation, Padilla could be the next seventh inning guy. He has the pitches to do it, his health is the only lingering concern. Spring training will certainly determine his future if the Red Sox do in fact sign him.