Padres demand Kyle Tyler for angel waivers
The Padres announced tonight that they have claimed the right-hander Kyle Tyler without the renunciation of the angels. In a corresponding movement, the reliever Javy Guerra has been designated for assignment.
It is the second time in three weeks that the Brothers have called for Tyler, who has been on the waiver thread since the lockdown ended. Originally an angel, he was singled out for assignment and landed with the Red Sox. Boston nominated him a few days later, and San Diego claimed him. The Padres waived him last week, and the Angels took him back. Two days later, Los Angeles again tried to get him to pass waivers. As he has done the last three times, this effort failed and Tyler ended up changing hands.
As his name made its way into the transaction log, Tyler himself shuttled across the country to various destinations. The right-hander tells The Athletic’s Sam Blum that he’s flown from Arizona to Florida, Arizona to Washington State and then back to his Oklahoma City home for the past two weeks as he moved from one team to another. “I’m ready for this to stop and just have the opportunity to play and prove my worth,” he told Blum. ”(Show) if I’m good enough to be on a list of 40 men to stay there.”
Tyler started 14 of his 20 appearances between Double-A Rocket City and Triple-A Salt Lake last season. He worked 86 innings on the ball ERA of 3.66 between the two levels, hitting a solid 25.3% of opponents against an impressive walk rate of 6.9%. Baseball America ranked the University of Oklahoma product No. 39 in the Angels farm system this winter, praising his above-average command. With the three minor league option years remaining, he proved an attractive depth to a few organizations, but lost his roster spot every round before he had a chance to pitch.
This time, Tyler had to almost pass unclaimed. Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported last month, the new collective agreement dictates that a team that has already claimed a player off waiver goes to the back of the order if that player is waived again for the remainder of the season. This indicates that at least every team outside of the Red Sox dropped Tyler before the Padres had a chance to bring him back into the fold.
If they keep him on the 40-man roster this time, San Diego can hide Tyler in the upper minors as depth. This was not the case for Guerra, who is out of options. The Brothers had to either carry him into the big league club or remove him from the 40-man squad altogether.
A former well-regarded shortstop prospect, Guerra moved to the mound in 2019 after his bat stalled in the upper minors. He was already on the 40-man roster due to his time as an infielder. That didn’t give the organization much time to experiment with him in the minor leagues, as Guerra had exhausted his final option year in 2019. San Diego was reluctant to expose the right-hander to waivers, as his fastball regularly threatened triple digits.
Guerra’s inexperience on the mound was evident in his results, however. He boasts an 8.46 ERA in 27 2/3 MLB innings, striking out just 16.5 percent of batters against a disappointing 8 percent strike rate. The Brothers were clearly reluctant to risk losing Guerra in the belief that he has the potential for better numbers, but they will seize the opportunity to bring Tyler back and get a little more flexibility in the bullpen. San Diego has a week to trade Guerra or try to get him through waivers.