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Padres Acquire Prospects in Exchange for RHPs Brach, Mikolas, OF Decker 

Ian Banner

The Padres continued their flurry of roster moves on Monday as it was announced that two deals had been made with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. Relief pitcher Brad Brach was traded to Baltimore in exchange for Minor-Leaguer Devin Jones, and reliever Miles Mikolas and outfielder Jaff Decker were traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for 1B/OF prospect Alex Dickerson. The moves were announced shortly after 10:00am Monday Morning.

Brach was a 42nd round draft pick in the 2008 amateur draft who debuted with the Padres during the 2011 season at the age of 25. Brach had a career 3-6 record with a 3.70 ERA in 109 games with the Padres over 104.2 innings pitched.

In place of Brach, the Padres are putting their money on Orioles prospect Devin Jones who was drafted in the 9th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Mississippi State University (the same University that recent Padres draftee Hunter Renfroe was drafted out of). Jones had a rough season in 2013, pitching a 4-7 record with a 5.84 ERA for the Double-A Bowie Baysox.

Jones did show promise at the Single-A level, however, pitching for a combined 9-7 record and 2.66 ERA between 2012 and 2013. Jones was among the Orioles’ top 20 prospects of 2013, as ranked by MLB.com in July of this year. Jones should make his Padres organizational debut with the San Antonio Missions in 2014.

In the Pittsburgh deal, the Padres parted ways with recently DFA’d pitcher Miles Mikolas and outfielder Jaff Decker. Mikolas was a 7th round draft pick in the 2009 amateur draft who made his debut with the Padres during the 2012 season. Mikolas appeared in only 27 games for the Padres, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.44 ERA. Decker, a 1st round draft pick (42nd overall) of the 2008 amateur draft, appeared in 13 games for the Padres last season after making his major league debut in June. Decker hit for a .154 batting average with 2 RBI and 1 homerun.

For Decker and Mikolas, the Padres will receive first baseman/outfielder Alex Dickerson, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 amateur draft. Dickerson, a Poway High School Product, was drafted out of high school back in 2008 by the Washington Nationals, but opted to attend Indiana University-Bloomington instead.

Dickerson has shown to be an effective player down in the minors, hitting for a combined .295 batting average with 177 RBI and 33 homeruns over three seasons in the Pirates Organization. Dickerson last played at first base back in 2012 with the Bradenton Marauders of the Single-A Florida State League, but was converted to an outfielder/designated-hitter with Double-A Altoona in the Eastern League. Dickerson boasts a career slash line of .295/.352/.475, with an OPS of .827.

The morning trades by the Padres compliment their recent pickup of starting pitcher Josh Johnson, who signed a 1-year, $8million deal with the Padres that included both incentive and buyout options for the team. The Padres continue to make moves and deal as the Winter Baseball Meetings and Rule 5 draft approaches.

While the minor league pickups that the Padres acquired today say little about the immediate future, there is a lot of potential in the two prospects that now join the organization.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!

  • Rick

    Typical Padres behavior. They have a fine young player like Jaff Decker who does great in the minors. They let him play in 13 games (some as a pinch hitter) and then give up on him. The Padres are giving up on him and Brach and Mikolas, like they gave up on David Freese and so many other young players. They could have given Decker a chance but preferred to give the at bats to Kotsay, who was retiring anyway and over the hill. The Padres will never be a good team until they give their young players a chance.