While media speculation swirls around whether the San Diego Padres will ship James Shields or Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox for third baseman Pablo Sandoval and prospects, the club announced that left-hander Drew Pomeranz will be part of the season-opening rotation, and that it signed veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to a minor league contract.
The 27-year-old Pomeranz was acquired from Oakland over the offseason for first baseman Yonder Alonso and left-handed reliever Mark Rzepczynski. Once a top prospect in the Colorado Rockies farm system, the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Mississippi ignited his career as an effective swingman for the A’s in 2014 and 2015. He posted a gaudy 8.36 ERA in six spring training appearances.
Guthrie offers depth in case one of the aforementioned starters is traded, or a young arm like Rea or Erlin struggles. Signed to a minor league deal over the offseason by the Texas Rangers, Guthrie battled back spasms and lost the final rotation spot to A.J. Griffin before he was recently released.
A veteran of 12 Major League campaigns, Guthrie was 8-8 with a 5.95 ERA in 30 appearances (including 24 starts) for the Kansas City Royals last year. He served up an American League-high 29 home runs and did not appear in a postseason game for the World Series champions.