Asuaje expects Padres to be a 'great fit'

Acquired in Kimbrel deal, prospect appreciates club letting him stay with original AFL team

Asuaje expects Padres to be a 'great fit'

SAN DIEGO -- Carlos Asuaje hasn't been a member of the Padres for even a week, yet the infielder has become a fast fan of his new organization.

Asuaje, one of four players San Diego acquired on Friday from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal, is currently finishing up his run with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.

After the trade, the Padres -- as other teams have with players traded during the AFL season -- could have insisted he switch teams, joining the Peoria Javelinas, which is where the organization's prospects are playing.

But with the Scorpions in first place in the AFL's East Division (17-11), and with a potential championship spot in sight for Saturday, the Padres allowed Asuaje to remain with Scottsdale.

"It was nice of the Padres to let me stay here," Asuaje said Monday. "I have been playing with these guys since the beginning of fall and we've had success here … and some of my old Red Sox teammates are here."

Asuaje went 1-for-4 with a home run on Tuesday for the Scorpions and is hitting .308 with seven RBIs in 16 games. He is the 19th-ranked Padres prospect as rated by MLBPipeline.com.

Asuaje could very well be the first of the players the Padres received from the Red Sox to reach the big leagues. He's 24 and hit .251 with eight home runs and 61 RBIs in Double-A last season. He played 106 games at second base, but also played some third base and the outfield.

On Friday, Padres general manager A.J. Preller said in a conference call that Asuaje could challenge for a roster spot during Spring Training, though he might be a better fit to start 2016 with Triple-A El Paso.

Asuaje understands that a utility role might be in his future. He's fine with that.

"I think San Diego is going to be a great fit for me," he said. "And [versatility], I think, could maybe give me a little edge over other players. It's something I've grown to accept. Whatever the role is, I'll do it."

That said, Asuaje said his head was spinning as he tried to take in the trade and changing organizations.

"It was definitely alarming," he said. "It's one of those things where you never see it coming. I was just going about my business, and the Red Sox farm director called and told me I was being traded for a relief pitcher. I had no idea it was Kimbrel."

Asuaje has a history with one player in the deal, outfielder Manuel Margot, as the two have played together previously, including the last half of last summer when Margot was promoted to Double-A.

"He's one of the most electric players I have ever played with," Asuaje said of the Padres' No. 1 prospect. "He's one of those guys who is going to be a superstar in the future. Consistently good at-bats, speed and he's got a lot of range. And he's one of the best people to be around on the baseball field."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.