|Blanks become arbitration-eligible despite playing in fewer than one season's worth of games. (US Presswire)|
The Padres and first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $605,000 back in November, a move that registered as little more than a blip on the offseason radar. Little did we know, it was somewhat historic. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune explains...
“I was talking to my agent one day and he joked that I had set a major league record by reaching arbitration eligibility with the most days on the disabled list,” said Blanks. “Only he wasn't joking.”
Blanks has missed more than 320 games while on the disabled list in 3 ½ seasons. He spent another 79 games in the minor leagues while rehabbing from injuries.
The 26-year-old Blanks had shoulder surgery last April and Tommy John surgery in July 2010. Foot and knee problems have also limited him in recent years.
Blanks is a mountain of a man, listed at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds on the team's official site. He's hit .219/.316/.421 with 20 homers in 146 big-league games between injuries over the last four seasons. Blanks, who was ranked as San Diego's top prospect by Baseball America back in 2009, played winter ball in Puerto Rico and will try to make the club this spring.
(h/t Dave Pinto)
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