Chacin, Aybar, Stammen join free agency

Padres reinstate 5 players from 60-day DL, roster at 38

Chacin, Aybar, Stammen join free agency

SAN DIEGO -- The bulk of the Padres' young roster is under team control for years to come. But there will be a small bit of turnover this offseason, nonetheless.

Righty starter Jhoulys Chacin, shortstop Erick Aybar and righty reliever Craig Stammen all hit the open market as free agency began on Monday afternoon. The Padres have expressed at least some interest in bringing back all three. As expected, none received qualifying offers.

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Catcher Hector Sanchez and right-hander Tim Melville cleared outright waivers on Monday and elected free agency. Meanwhile, righty Cory Mazzoni was claimed off waivers by the Cubs.

FA strategy likely to focus on short term

Last week, starters Jarred Cosart and Christian Friedrich became free agents as well, after going through the same process.

Among the potential returning free agents, signing Chacin is likely to be a focal point. Padres general manager A.J. Preller will be looking to add at least two starting pitchers, and the veteran right-hander would fill that void. In 32 starts last season, Chacin posted a 3.89 ERA, including a 1.79 mark at Petco Park.

Aybar opens scoring in the 1st

Aybar and Stammen would also fill holes at shortstop and in the bullpen, respectively. Aybar batted .234/.300/.348 in 108 games last season, and Stammen posted a 3.14 ERA in 60 relief appearances.

Meanwhile, the Mazzoni, Sanchez and Melville moves come without much surprise. With free agency opening, the Padres needed to clear roster space to reinstate the five players who were on the 60-day disabled list.

Starters Colin Rea, Robbie Erlin and Matt Strahm, along with reliever Carter Capps and left fielder Alex Dickerson were reinstated on Monday, and the Padres' 40-man roster sits at 38 players.

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.