Veteran infielder Jose Iglesias has opted out of his minors deal with the Padres, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
A veteran of 11 MLB seasons, the 33-year-old Iglesias has been a quality glove-first middle infield option for big league clubs ever since his major league debut with the Red Sox in 2011. With more than 1,000 games in the majors under his belt, Iglesias owns a career slash line of .279/.319/.382, good for a wRC+ of 87 with a career strikeout rate of just 12.4%. Most recently, Iglesias played 118 games for the Rockies in 2022, with a .292/.328/.380 slash line (85 wRC+) and 12% strikeout rate that was largely in line with his career norms.
The majority of Iglesias’s value throughout his career has come from his glove, however, as Iglesias has ranked as one of the top defensive shortstops in the league since his debut in 2011 according to both UZR and OAA, with the fourth-most UZR and ninth-most OAA, minimum 1,000 innings at the position. That being said, metrics have soured on Iglesias’s glovework in recent years, with Statcast considering him a roughly league average defender over the past two seasons while Defensive Runs Saved considers him a whopping 26 runs below average over that same timeframe.
Still, as a veteran capable of solid defense up the middle with a decent bat, Iglesias could make a solid bench contributor for teams in need of infield help. That’s allowed him to secure minor league pacts with both the Marlins and the Padres since the end of the 2022 campaign, though neither club ultimately made the decision to promote him to their big league roster. Now back on the open market, Iglesias will look for a third organization to offer him a role, presumably on another minor league deal.
As for the Padres, Iglesias’s decision represents another blow to the club’s infield depth after Manny Machado hit the injured list with a fracture in his hand earlier this month and Ha-Seong Kim left yesterday’s game after taking a pitch off his knee. That being said, the club still sports Roughned Odor, Brandon Dixon, and Jake Cronenworth among their capable infield options alongside Xander Bogaerts, to say nothing of Fernando Tatis Jr. who converted to outfield work this season following the acquisition of Bogaerts.