Friars trim active roster to 38

Weeks, Dominguez opt for free agency; reliever Smith outrighted

Friars trim active roster to 38

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres trimmed their active roster to 38 players on Wednesday, as infielder Jemile Weeks and right-handers Jake Smith and Jose Dominguez were outrighted to Triple-A El Paso.

Dominguez and Weeks declined the assigment to El Paso and elected free agency.

The Padres have six players eligible for free agency and seven who will come off the 60-day disabled list. Wednesday's moves would put the team under the maximum 40 players on the Major League roster after the World Series.

Of course, that's assuming the club doesn't make any further moves, which is unlikely.

"Obviously in the next month, you're going to see some of these roster-move type deals, as you bring guys off the DL," general manager A.J. Preller said. "Then you also free up potential space going into the offseason. ... You still want to be able to have some flexibility for waiver claims, if you go down that path. It's kind of natural at this time of year."

In 50 at-bats for the Padres this season, Weeks batted .140, before he went down with a right hamstring strain in early May. Weeks missed the remainder of the year and became a free agent Wednesday.

Dominguez, meanwhile, posted a 5.05 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 35 2/3 Major League innings this season. He brought some serious heat, posting the Padres' four fastest pitches of the season -- all 100 mph according to Statcast™. But he hasn't been able to shake control issues, and he walked 42 batters in 71 1/3 frames between Triple-A and the Majors.

As for Smith, he was one of the Padres' more fascinating stories of the year. A former groundskeeper for the Giants' affiliate in Augusta, Smith earned his first Major League win in San Francisco on Sept. 13. He allowed two runs on five hits in four big league innings after posting a 5.67 ERA in the Minors.

News and notes

• It appears likely Padres right-hander Colin Rea won't pitch in winter ball, as he continues to recover from a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. Instead, Rea could be set for a couple of intensive live batting practice sessions, before he is shut down for the offseason.

The Padres were initially hopeful Rea would be able to pitch in the Arizona Fall League. But his timetable probably isn't fast enough -- and he obviously isn't being rushed. If Rea's recovery hits any snags along the way, Tommy John surgery remains a possibility, which would rule him out for the 2017 season.

"It comes down to what you're seeing on the field and what he's telling you in terms of how he's reacting," Preller said. "... So far, he's been hitting all our checkpoints in terms of throwing program, long toss, now getting on the mound."

• The Padres are hopeful that injured right-handers Tyson Ross and Carter Capps will be available for Opening Day 2017. Capps is recovering from Tommy John surgery in March, while Ross underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery earlier this month. Both recovery timetables project a return around the beginning of the season.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.