“Padres Fans-Keeping Score at Home”
The wheeling and dealing continues, unabated, and so does the losing. This is San Diego Padres baseball as we know it today.
General Manager AJ Preller continues the trade merry-go-round.
The latest to exit, outfielder Melvin Upton, his contract, his attitude, his homeruns, his strikeouts. He and 16M cash going to the Toronto Blue Jays for a Class A-pitcher. We have lots of them around these days, Hansel Rodriguez, with high upside in the low minors.
It’s the fourth major trade of an established player by Preller in less than a month.
James Shields and 27M cash went to the White Sox in the deal for Class A-second baseman Fernando Tatis and former first round pick pitcher Erik Johnson.
Drew Pomeranz was dispatched to the Red Sox for Class A-pitcher, Anderson Espinoza, who like others, can bring the heat, at least in Class A-ball.
Fernando Rodney was sent to Miami for Class A-pitcher Chris Paddack, who has really impressive numbers, then again, in Class A ball too.
Preller’s Plan A to fix the ailing franchise didn’t work. The wild December 2014 treading frenzy brought in Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, then Justin Upton, relief ace Craig Kimbrel, Melvin Upton amongst others.
Now we are on to Plan B, and this has been expensive.
The Padres scorecard reads like this:
Melvin Upton for Rodriguez doesn’t look like much value right now, for scouts say the pitcher is years away.
Fernando Rodney for Miami’s Paddack looked good, till the young pitcher came off the mound with a forearm injury last night in Class A-ball. Again, a big distance between Class A and Petco Park.
The price they paid to rid themselves of James Shields was terrible. Fernando Tatis is very young, and in the lowest rung of minor league baseball.
Ditto for the Red Sox prospect, Espinzoa for Drew Pomeranz.
Granted, the mid-winter trade of Craig Kimbrell looks like a win-win, for outfielder-Manny Margot, and 2nd baseman Carlos Asuaje look close to being major leaguers, and pitcher Logan Allen and shortstop Javy Guerra are still to be developed.
Joaquin Benoit went to Seattle for young pitcher Enyel DeLosSantos.
And Yonde Alonso is at first base in Oakland, while young pitcher Jose Torres is excelling, but then again, in Class A-ball.
Two years into his tenure, Preller has only 5-veterans left on the roster he dealt for. Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, Jon Jay, Christian Bethancourt and Brandon Mauer.
He dealt away 14-veterans players in all these deals. Yonder Alonso..Seth Smith..Yasi Grandal…Rene Rivera..Cam Maybin…Jedd Gyorko…Will Venable..Alex Torres…plus the five most recent veterans shipped out.
Gone too are 13-of the more promising players in the farm system, a bunch of whom are on major league rosters now. You recognize Joe Ross, Treu Turner, Jessie Hahn, Zack Elfin, Casey Kelly, Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, Matt Wisler, Rymer Liriano, RJ Alvarez, plus minor leaguers Joe Wieland, Max Fried, Dustin Peterson.
So that’s 27-players moved in all types of deals. Not a fire sale for sure, but no fireworks at Petco Park for a couple of years.
Preller has acquired what Baseball America calls “11-hot prospects” in all these transactions, and all but one are in the Rookie Leagues or Class A Ball.
Granted ownership let him spend 89M to sign 16-international players, plus 36-draft picks in the last month, and enormous investment, and a bigger ‘leap of faith’ to the deal maker.
The Padres decision to jettison most of their veterans, gives hope to the future, but what about today, tomorrow and a year from tomorrow.
We turn to August 1st with a team fighting to stay out of last place. Since the day they fired Bud Black and began this roster purge, Preller’s product is (85-113) with 60-more games left in the season. None of the haul of young players they got in all these deals, will be here on opening day of next season, so 2017 might well be like 2016.
The immediate future doesn’t look good. Down road yes, but getting from here, to there, a pennant contender, looks a long way off.
Let me be the first to congratulate Preller on becoming “Minor League Executive of the Year” for all his blue-chip Class A-acquisitions. His major league franchise doesn’t look very good does it.
You’ll be keeping score at home with alot more losses than wins for the near future. It’s the Padres way right now.