10/06/08 8:01 PM ET
Padres part ways with Bard, Estes
Both veterans clear waivers and elect for free agency
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Bard, the Opening Day starter the last two seasons, and Estes elected free agency after clearing waivers. Pitcher Dirk Hayhurst was claimed off waivers by Toronto, and two other players -- catcher Luke Carlin and shortstop Sean Kazmar -- were outrighted to Triple-A Portland.
San Diego general manager Kevin Towers indicated last month that the Padres weren't going to offer salary arbitration to the 30-year-old Bard, who hit .202 with 16 RBIs last season in 57 games.
Bard spent more time on the disabled list than on the field. He missed 67 games because of a high ankle sprain and later a strained triceps.
Bard, acquired with relief pitcher Cla Meredith from the Red Sox in 2006, hit .339 in 93 games after joining the team. Bard hit .285 with five home runs and 51 RBIs in 2007.
The Padres will turn to rookie catcher Nick Hundley to handle the bulk of their catching duties in 2009, though they'll likely sign a veteran catcher to spell him from time to time and mentor him.
Estes was 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA out of the bullpen and starting for the Padres. He started the season with Triple-A Portland. Estes suffered a fractured left thumb in May but did return in September to pitch.
Estes, 35, is 101-93 with a 4.71 ERA in a career that has included stops in San Diego, San Francisco, New York (Mets), Cincinnati, Chicago (Cubs), Colorado and Arizona.
Estes was considered a long shot to earn a spot in the rotation next season.
Hayhurst, 27, made his Major League debut with the Padres on Aug. 23. He appeared in 10 games -- including three starts -- for the Padres, going 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. Hayhurst started the season with Triple-A Portland and was an eighth-round pick during the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
Carlin, 27, hit .149 in three stints with the Padres this season. He hit .261 in 31 games at Triple-A Portland. Kazmar, 24, hit .205 in 19 games with the Padres after being promoted from Double-A San Antonio on Aug. 13. He was hitting .264 for the Missions at the time of his promotion.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.