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News » San Diego Padres Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

San Diego Padres Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

San Diego Padres Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30
--OF Jody Gerut agreed to a $1.775 million contract with the Padres for 2009. Gerut, 31, who hit .296 with 15 homers and 43 RBI in 100 games last season and was eligible for arbitration, was the Padres' regular center fielder until he suffered a finger injury on Aug. 27. He had only one at-bat the rest of the season. The Padres signed Gerut last offseason off a strong showing in the Venezuelan Winter League. He didn't play in the U.S. in 2006 or 2007 following a second round of reconstructive knee surgery.

--Gerut's return gives the Padres four strong starting candidates for three outfield positions -- Gerut, RF Brian Giles and 2008 rookies Chase Headley, 24 (.269, nine homers, 38 RBI in 91 games against 104 strikeouts), and Wil Venable, 26 (.264 in 110 at-bats after replacing the injured Gerut in center). Scott Hairston (.248, 17 homers, 31 RBI), whose 2008 season ended at the end of August because of a torn ligament in his left thumb, might not be back.

--INF Luis Rodriguez, who took over as the Padres' regular shortstop last season when Khalil Greene's season ended early because of a self-inflicted broken hand, has signed a one-year contract for $675,000. Rodriguez hit .287 with 11 doubles and no homers in 202 at-bats with the Padres. He started 45 games at short.

--With the Padres looking at free agent SSs Omar Vizquel and David Eckstein and 2B Mark Grudzielanek, Rodriguez figures to be the backup at both positions. However, if the Padres fail to sign one or two of the three, Rodriguez could become the starter at short or second.

--RHP Kevin Correia, 28, who had a 3-8 record with a 6.05 ERA for the Giants last season, signed a one-year contract with the Padres. Correia will make $750,000 if he makes the team and can earn another $350,000 for making 30 starts. The Padres view Correia, a San Diego native and year-round resident, as the No. 4 or 5 starter or a reliever. Only 46 of his 170 major league appearances (14-22 with a 4.59 ERA) have come as a starter.

--RHP Chris Britton, 26, signed a minor league contract with the Padres after not being offered a contract by the Yankees. The Padres believe the 278-pound Britton will become a seventh- or eighth-inning reliever. "We actually almost traded for Chris two weeks ago," said Padres general manager Kevin Towers. Britton has a 3.38 career ERA.

--C Eliezer Alfonzo signed a minor league contract with the Padres. Alfonzo hit 12 homers with the Giants in 2006 and has a .258 career average. Alfonzo, 29, was suspended 50 games last season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He is expected to compete for the backup catching job behind Nick Hundley. The Padres are also still interested in signing free agent Brad Ausmus.

--RHP Oneli Perez, 25, signed a minor league contract with the Padres. This will be his second go with the Padres. Perez has a 2.72 ERA in eight minor league seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: $31.725 million -- Amount the Padres have committed to six players for 2009.

$40 million -- Padres' expected payroll next year.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm absolutely convinced that righteousness will prevail and people will look at Brian and say, 'We're really sorry you went through that. You're a good man and you were right all along.'" -- James D. Scott, attorney for Brian Giles, on how he believes the $10 million suit filed by former girlfriend Cheri Olvera against the Padres right fielder will ultimately be resolved.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008

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