While having only made nine appearances in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a relief capacity, he did start 16 games for the Dodgers the year before, posting a record of 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.084 WHIP.
Throwing Padilla in the mix for the potential fifth starter spot is not exactly a direction the Red Sox should be going in my opinion. Padilla had his 2011 season shortened with neck problems. Does this team not have enough injury prone players on it?
If Padilla is given a conditional contract, that would add him to a list of competitors for the fifth spot consisting of Alfredo Aceves, Aaron Cook, Carlos Silva, Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller. This is not a position whereby general manager Ben Cherington should be trying to save money.
There are still three very good pitchers available through free-agency in Roy Oswalt (whom I believe to be a perfect fit in Beantown), Edwin Jackson and Hiroki Kuroda. If Red Sox fans have learned anything over the years, it is that pitching wins championships.
In all the money that is being thrown at these "potential" fifth starters, the Sox could easily have locked up a quality starting pitcher like Oswalt on a one-year deal. I'm not sure what Cherington is trying to do here, but I can assure you that Padilla is not the answer.