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Padilla has a reputation as a head hunter. He hit a team-high 15 batters last year in 29 starts, after leading the 2007 staff with nine. After Tuesday’s game, he leads the Rangers’ 2009 staff with seven hit batsmen. Ranger hitters have expressed their resentment in the past, as they literally feel the brunt of opponents’ retaliation first hand. Teixeira openly admitted after the game that he resented being hit in retaliation when he was a Ranger. There has been no comment from Elvis Andrus, who was later hit by Yankees’ starter A. J. Burnett.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dallas area media began reporting that Major League sources indicate Padilla has been put on outright waivers, which expire at noon Friday (Central Time). General Manager Jon Daniels has not confirmed. Padilla is in the final year of a three-year, $32 million contract, so is owed roughly $7.5 million for the balance of the season. It would seem doubtful that he’ll be claimed, as by claiming him, a team would take on that salary obligation. However, as desperate for pitching as some teams are, there might be a taker. By putting him on irrevocable waivers, the Rangers are obviously hoping he will be claimed.
In any event, the move sends a clear message that the Rangers are dissatisfied with Padilla and are willing to go in another direction. If Padilla is not claimed and the Rangers really do want him to be gone, the team could outright him to the minor leagues. With his service time, Padilla could refuse the assignment and become a free agent. There is the distinct possibility that he has made his last start for the Rangers.
By: Richard W. Humphrey
MLBcenter.com Texas Rangers Correspondent
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