By MATT FULKS, tbonesbaseball.com
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have agreed to terms with their 2013 Player of the Year, infielder Matt Padgett.
Padgett, 36, has spent the 2014 season with Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League, where he batted .294 in 85 games with 95 hits, including 22 doubles and 10 home runs, and 60 RBIs. He was selected earlier this season for the league’s all-star game.
Padgett, who was the American Association/PointStreak Hitter of the Month in July 2013 while with the T-Bones, was one of the top hitters in the league last season before being traded to New Jersey of the Can-Am League in August. He had a .337 batting average with 19 home runs, 33 doubles, 66 RBIs and a .650 slugging percentage in 82 games for Kansas City. The T-Bones reacquired Padgett’s rights in September.
“We’re excited to welcome Padgett back,” said T-Bones vice-president and general manager Chris Browne. “He’s a veteran hitter that will be an asset on the field and in the clubhouse, plus he’s a fan favorite.”
The 2014 season is Padgett’s 17th professional season. Padgett, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds from Lexington, S.C., is a career .274 hitter with 417 doubles, 199 home runs and 1,026 RBIs in 1,806 games.
Padgett is expected to be in uniform for the T-Bones on Friday night when they start a three-game series at Lincoln.
To meet league roster requirements with the signing of Padgett and to strengthen their bullpen, the T-Bones have traded infielder/outfielder David Espinosa to Wichita in exchange for pitcher Patrick Mincey. (Per American Association rules, each team is allowed a maximum of five veteran players. Both Padgett and Espinosa are veterans.)
Mincey, a 6-foot-3 and 190-pound right hander, is 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 26 games this season with the Wingnuts. Although he hasn’t been used as the closer in Wichita, Mincey had 24 saves in 2013 for Grand Prairie, and 41 overall in two-plus professional seasons.
“You hate to lose a player like Espy,” Browne said. “He’s been a class act on and off the field this summer. We wish him the best. But it’s simply a numbers game with the roster, and in this case, it’s kind of a two-for-one deal. We add a veteran bat with some pop in Padgett and we bolster our bullpen with Mincey.”
Mincey is expected to be in uniform for Kansas City tonight as the T-Bones conclude their series against Grand Prairie at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.