a 2008 San Diego Padres: Padres building in the off-season
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Padres finding ways to build a team

 

Though they have an extremely low payroll this year, the San Diego Padres have been scraping together a team during the last few weeks. San Diego has many needs, but the roster is starting to form.

The Padres had signed pitcher Mark Prior to a one year deal in the offseason before last season (2008). Prior hadn’t pitched at all in 2007, and before he could throw a pitch in Spring Training for the Padres, he was shut down again and had to have shoulder surgery. Now the Padres have given him a second chance, signing him to another one-year contract. In all hope, Prior, 28, will be able to make a much better impact on the club. We may see him in the starting rotation sometime this season. If he makes it to the Majors, he will earn $1 million in 2009.

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The Padres also signed infielder Chris Burke. He has played with the Houston Astros and the Arizona Diamondbacks over the last five seasons. Burke played six positions over the course of the season when he was with Arizona in 2008. According to Padres General Manager Kevin Towers, Burke will most likely share the job of shortstop with Luis Rodriguez. Burke, 28, will earn $650,000 in 2009.

The signing of David Eckstein filled the shortstop hole for the Padres-or did it? Maybe not. Eckstein says he signed with the Padres because they gave him the chance to play second base. He says it’s something he’s always wanted to do, and the Padres were willing to give him that chance. Eckstein has played in the majors for eight years and was the 2006 World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals. He will turn 34 on January 20 th, and will earn $850,000 for a one-year deal. So, as it looks now, Eckstein will be playing second, with Luis Rodriguez and Chris Burke sharing shortstop.

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The Padres picked up right-handed pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. The native Korean has appeared in 28 major league games with an ERA of 7.49. He will be evaluated in Spring Training as a potential pitcher in the bullpen.

 

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Even though the Padres don’t have much money, they are starting to build a decent team. With Spring Training fast approaching, the Padres are finding ways to get the players they need. I have a feeling that they’re not done yet!

By Kaity Bergquist
MLBCenter.com San Diego Padres Correspondent

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