I covered the Padres’ designating outfielder Chad Huffman for assignment a few days ago. The 25-year-old was DFAed to make room for Matt Stairs, who was purchased from the minors on the eve of the season.
It’s not surprising that the Yankees were the team to claim him; the team acquired Jamie Hoffmann, a similar sort of bench corner outfielder, through the Rule 5 Draft in the offseason. They’re obviously looking to get some depth at the outfield corners.
Huffman hit 20 homers last season in Triple-A and has the potential to do so in the majors, but he’s no better than average in left field and isn’t going to be more than a .260-.270 hitter in the majors with a decent walk rate, so he’s somewhat shy of premier LF starting material, particularly on a big-market team. He makes more sense as a 1B/LF/RF/DH reserve who can pinch hit or spot start against a tough lefty. He’s likely to head to Triple-A with his new organization; he might find the going a little rougher in the International League than in hitter-friendly Portland of the Pacific Coast League, but should put up solid numbers.