“Padres GM…..Not afraid of spending or takings risks”
AJ Preller has quite a reputation, as a wheeler dealer, a guy who does his job living on the edge, and a guy not fearful of spending money or making deals.
That was the case as we got to the finish line at the trading deadline.
Preller, despite a red-hot team, made 6-trades…imported 10-players…moved 15-players and prospects, and put his team in a position to chase down the Dodgers and Cubs in post season playh.
In his historty, he has overpaid for players, made mistakes on players, and had to pay other teams to take his mistakes. And yet ownership has let him continue to wheel and deal.
And although he may still be haunted by his mistakes on Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, James Shields, and others, and the fact he overpaid for draft picks and Latin free agents, he has the Padres positioned to make a big time run into late October.
He believes in what he just did Sunday-Monday-Tuesday. The deals for a veteran bat like Mitch Moreland; the trade for another former closer in Trevor Rosenthal; the acquistion of an ace in Mike Clevinger; or the deals to pick up 2-new catchers this late in the pennant race.
A unique way to do business. Preller spoke about his feelings hours after he stole all the headlines at the trading deadline:
Padres GM-AJ Preller:
..Speaks to organization foundation to have assets to make deals
..Farm system has to be good..
..We have players lot of teams wanted
..Is not an emotional decision-this is well thought out plan
..These players will help us next couple of week and years to come
..Our scouts get to know players throughout the country-world
..Our scouts give us the capital to make moves
..This is culmination of alot work for a couple of years
..We sat down a week ago..four areas we wanted up grade
..4-rotation starters…the bullpen mix..the catching position..1-bat
..We weren’t going to do one move unless we could do others
..You have to give up good players to get good talent
..Yes parting with Quantrill-Hedges-even Owen Miller is hard
..We like the mix of the guys we got back in the deals
..I was constantly on phone with coaching staff to talk about mix
..The coaching staff invited us to make the right type of moves
..It all lined up for us quickly
..Some of this is bitter-sweet, sitting talking kids traded
..It’s a tough conversation to tell them we are making deals
..Speaks to talent in the organization we have
..We still have lots of players in system
..We have next wave of players coming in farm system
..They will be in the USD and in spring training
..We were not emptying out the cupboard
..Front office staff-former GMs..Head Scouts..we compare all time
..We compare notes all the time-all types of ideas
..Economics are different..no fans in stands..2021 budgets
..We talked about individual moves…and total cost of deals
..We actually cut some payroll in the short term
..We wanted players under control for future years
..We had seen Clevinger 10-years ago going back to JC
..Talented..great athlete..great competitor
..We knew it would take a big time deal-super competition
..We made competitive offer..twists and turns..Cleveland lined up
..Clevinger owned up to mistake he made in Cleveland
..He understood what he did..he apologized
..We talked about his background
..Confident bringing in two new catchers-mid season
..Austin Nola-very intelligent-very competition
..Jason Castro..wired right way..knows handle staff
..Yes always risk factor in these deals
..Austin is under control for five years
..Taylor Trammell-we felt he might be springboard us down the road
..He could have played here..he helped us get next deal done
..We like to check alot of boxes for new players
..Multi position..switch hitters etc
..We want to know down stretch we have guys who can defend
..At bats and outs count especially in postseason
..We like our bullpen..Rosenthal can pitch in back of bullpen
..Last 10-days-we have seen they can pitch in situations
..We now have numbers and options righthanders-lefthanders
..Not figured 100% out yet-how use them…believe in them
..We will need them this final month
..We added 4-arms we like and we will need them
..Austin Adams-we were talking to Washington about him last year
..Coming off the injury-we had interest in him even in camp Peoria
..Taylor Williams-watched him a long time-like fastball-slider combo
..Williams has been tough in back part of ball games
..They have out pitches-we have looked at for a couple of years.
..These pitchers are excited coming into a pennant race situation.
..Playoffs-best of three playoffs is different than 1-game playoff
..We evaluate our team-we can handle in a short series now
..Everybody will be in same situation to try continue the season
..We have confidence in Jayce-coaching staff meld personalities
..They have collective focus to get team into the playoffs
..There is excitement and strong leadership in clubhouse
..Jayce has been thrown alot of things as rookie manager in 7-months
..He will blend all these new faces in
..The trade market was active based on volume of calls we took
..We knew we were going to be active-were right till 1pm deadline
..Think it was happening alot of shops across the league.
..Jason Castro-Austin Nola-were playing opposing dugouts
..We got them car service from Anaheim Stadium
..Got them to Carlsbad and then on charter plane to Colorado
..Ready to challenge Dodgers for division…that is the goal
..We want team that can extend a run for years
..Dodgers have done so well for the last decade
..I told them they could go (50-10)…they have set the bar high
..We focused on ourselves to make a run into October
..We still have alot of baseball infront of us.