The Time is Now: Reinforce Stellar Staff with Legit Lumber
The Padres have shown their preference to stay within the organization and develop their young core players such as Kyle Blanks, Nick Hundley, Will Venable and Chase Headley. However, they have also stated that if they were to make a deal, it would likely be for a player who they could control for several years. The problem with that approach is that players such as Blanks, Venable and Tony Gwynn Jr have all struggled mightily. And now, Kyle Blanks, who is scheduled to be off the DL on Saturday, has still not recovered enough from his “elbow strain” to be reinstated. With Kyle’s injury and the lack of production from most of the core players, it seems more likely now that the Padres will make some sort of move to boost the offense in order to take advantage of an exceptional pitching staff and increase the probability of winning a division title.
I believe the Padres would much rather stay away from trading the starting pitching core like Stauffer or Gallagher because of the under-performing Kevin Correia and the fact that Chris Young is possibly out for the entire year. Another thing to take into consideration is that the young gun, Mat Latos, will have his work load limited. This is why I believe an Xavier Nady or Austin Kerns is probably the type of player the club seeks, rather than some of the other bigger hitters who would require too much of our young prospects or our big league talent. The Padres would not have to part with key contributers and would add a bat without taking away from their strength – pitching depth! Also, the only way I see the Padres dealing Heath Bell is if a team overwhelms the Padres a with a cheap, controllable high upside prospect like a Cameron Maybin, who will be controllable for years to come and who fits the Padres philosophy of playing “petco Park into an advantage.”
One thing I have confidence in is that this regime, while they are very tight lipped in contrast to the previous regime (KT Alderson and co.), will stick to their plan. However, I also do not believe that they are satisfied with the status quo. Now, does that mean the majority of Padres fans or the casual fan would be doing back flips for a player like Nady or Kerns? Probably not but, it should provide more production and increase the chances of winning more games. Also it would allow us to keep our core players and would allow the further development of the younger players without giving up any top -tier talent. I know as a die hard fan myself, I would love the addition of the “big bat.” However, I do realize the Padres are still in 1st place and I do not think the front office will panic and abort the long-term plan.
Here are some names of players that have been bantered about in trade talks. Some cheap, some realistic and some are probably just pipe dreams. Let’s look at several options and examine why they would be good possible matches or why they would be poor options:
Corey Hart: Avg .263/ 17 HR/ 47 RBI
Home: Avg .293
Away: Avg .239
Vs. Lefties: .333
Vs. Rightie: .235
He could be a realistically attractive guy for Petco Park and the Padres. The Brewers are desperate for pitching and pitching depth is what the Padres possess. His value is high because of his surge of HR’s leading the NL; however, his numbers away from Milwaukee are not exactly stellar. Because of his improving power numbers, the Padres would have to give up some good talent to acquire a legit force but in my opinion would be well worth it because Hart is still young, seems to be improving and can manage all outfield positions.
Hart would be great for insurance if Venable, Blanks (when healthy) Tony Gwynn Jr., Scott Hairston continue to struggle. The Padres are 1st in defensive run production and I think Hart is a very good option and fits for several reasons. The only problem is if the Padres were unwilling to part with starting pitching because of the “workload” they are setting for Mat Latos, they may want to hold on to Stauffer etc. even with recently improved pitching depth in the minors Im not sure if the Padres can afford to give up Tim Stauffer when he is healthy especially if they do have to shut Latos down while in contention they will need him.
“Everybody wants pitching depth,” Hoyer said. “I’d rather have pitching depth than bring in one more bat that may not help us in the long run. I’m not saying I won’t do it, but it’s risky.”
Cody Ross: Avg .289/ 6 HR/ 37 RBI
Home: Avg .328
Away: Avg .246
Vs. Lefties: Avg .333
Vs. Righties: Avg .276
He could be possible but the Marlins are playing well. I am hearing they would rather deal Ross than Maybin but only if they are not in contention.
Austin Kearns: Avg .291/ 7 HR/ 31 RBI
Home: Avg .247
Away: Avg .333
Vs. Lefties: Avg .282
Vs. Righties: Avg .296
He could be had for a 2nd tiered prospect and is having a very good year, (unlike the last couple); however, he is not my idea of a game changer but is undoubtedly having a stand out year. Can play all outfield spots but would be a good fit in either left or right field with his plus arm.
Cameron Maybin: Avg .225/ 5 HR/ 19 RBI/ 6 SB
Home: Avg .236
Away: Avg .211
Vs. Lefties: Avg .188
Vs. Righties: Avg .239 all 5 HR’s off of right handed pitching
Interesting, you would be banking on him to provide some production NOW and develop for years to come, Match? Possible but maybe not likely. The Marlins front office has stated that “he is a big part of their future” after he was sent down to the minors to make room for Mike Stanton. However, I do not believe he is anywhere near untouchable but its all about mutual interest and a trading match!
David DeJesus: Avg .324/ 5 HR/ 31 RBI
Home: Avg .368
Away: Avg .286
Vs. Lefties: Avg .237
Vs. Righties: Avg .351
He can flat out rake, but yet again another lefty hitter. The Padres are looking for a right handed power bat that can hit in Petco. While DeJesus as good discipline at the plate, he possesses marginal speed on the bases. He owns right-handed pitching and is a quality and versatile defensive outfielder. However, “his hard-nosed nature makes him injury prone. (my main concern) Southpaws have given him some trouble and he needs to improve his reads on pitchers before stealing bases.”
Jhonny Peralta: Avg .258/ 4 HR/ 33 RBI
Home: Avg .231
Away: Avg .281
Vs. Lefties: Avg .246
Vs. Righties: Avg .262
I do not see the Padres making a splash for an upgrade at 2nd or SS unless it’s a legitimately head and shoulders upgrade like a Dan Ugla type. Having said that, Eck is playing VERY well. Plus Jerry Hairson has played well in place of Cabrera.
Dan Uggla: Avg .262/ 14 HR/ 37 RBI
Home: Avg .270
Away: Avg .252
Vs. Lefties: Avg .370
Vs. Righties: Avg .230
He would be perfect protection and a legit presence behind Adrian and in Petco Park. Having said that, the Fish are still playing well and the cost would be steep and he is making a decent dollar.
Josh Willingham: Avg .273/ 12 HR/ 40 RBI
Home: Avg .312
Away: Avg .241
Vs. Lefties: Avg .296
Vs. Righties: Avg .265
He is not a great fielder but he is a legit bat that would profile very well in Petco Park. however, the Nats are also playing well so he may not be likely to be moved now especially with fan base really excited about good Baseball and the promotion of Steven Stausberg. The Nats may actually extend Willingham and Adam Dunn.
Ryan Theriot: Avg .279/ 0 HR/ 16 RBI/ 14 SB
Home: Avg .269
Away: Avg .289
Vs. Lefties: Avg .247
Vs. Righties: Avg .291
Interesting guy that could probably be had relatively cheap if the Padres wanted to give Cabrera more time, but I do not see that happening. Cabrera is going to Portland to rehab and is apparently looking good running around the bases. It is hard to imagine the Padres focusing on short stop or second base unless it was for a legit force to protect Adrian and produce!
Chris Young: Avg .284/ 12 HR/ 46 RBI/ 11 SB
Home: Avg .331 with 10 HR
Away: Avg .240 with only 2 HR
Vs. Lefties: Avg .293
Vs. Righties: Avg .282
With AZ unloading, they could very well deal within the division and Moorad has ties to AZ. And recently Hoyer has said that “sometimes it makes sense to trade within your division”. So, the other Chris young would be interesting, even though I am not totally sold on his hot start this year. They would have to be banking on him to continue his development and DRAMATICALLY improve his stats away from Az. The only way that makes sense for the Dbacks is if they had some young top prospect CF’er ready to take over. Adding depth at other positions while creating a hole at another very important position doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They could however, acquire one of the Padres struggling outfielders such as Venable (along with possible pitching help) to save money and hope on improvement while they rebuild.
Milton Bradley: Avg .230/ 6 HR/ 25 RBI
Home: Avg .247
Away: Avg .208
Vs. Lefties: Avg .211
Vs. Righties: Avg .240
Our boy Bradley, would you take him? The guy raked here and got along with the players we had/have. I think Bradley could also be had for VERY cheap because of his “baggage”, his mediocre season thus far (far his talent level) and Seattle could be unloading, or probably should. So MANY question marks with MB, but when he is on, he is definitely a legit fearful force that can produce and protect any hitter including Adrian. I would not be too concerned with his defense in LF.
B.J. Upton: Avg .231/ 6 HR/ 24 RBI/ 20 SB
Home: Avg .245
Away: Avg .217
Vs. Lefties: Avg .278
Vs. Righties: Avg .209
Another interesting guy that would be NOW an improvement in CF (even with his struggles) and a right handed bat as a oppose to a lefty in CF. He has that “it” potential and the Rays could deal him to hold onto Carl Crawford and there is no way the deal Crawford while they are playing so well. The Padres would have to bank on him developing but Im not sure he is that player that takes you to the next level. Having said that, for now and the future he probably does improve your team with SOME pop that “we” lack and elite speed that fits Jed Hoyer’s emphasis of “playing Petco park into an advantage”. It would be interesting to see what the Rays would want, my guess is because of his contract and the fact that the Rays would rather keep Crawford it wouldn’t necessarily take one of the Padres elite prospects and could be had for some good talent but NOT a “haul”. The Rays also have a player waiting in the “wings” in Desmond Jennings, their number one prospect rated by Baseball America.
Hunter Pence: Avg .269/ 10 HR/ 30 RBI/ 7 SB
Home: Avg .261 5 HR
Away: Avg .276 5 HR
Vs. Lefties: Avg .318
Vs. Righties: Avg .258
I like Pence and he is an all around solid player however, why would they trade him? They might want to trade some of their older more expensive players, but why young relatively cheap players?
Delmon Young: Avg .292/ 8 HR/ 41 RBI
Home: Avg .324
Away: Avg .256
Vs. Lefties: Avg .283
Vs. Righties: Avg .296
I like Young, he can HIT. The problem is the Twins are in it and Im not so sure they would A. deal him or B. he would come cheap and he still has some question marks including at times shoddy defense. Delmon is still young, I like him only at the right price.
X. Nady: Avg .265/ 4 HR/ 19 RBI
Home: Avg .234
Away: Avg .294
Vs. Lefties: Avg .237
Vs. Righties: Avg .308
His arm is still reportedly weak however would not be a HUGE concern in LF as opposed to RF and would provide a viable threat behind Adrian. My main concern is his health. X man could be had for very cheap.
Jermaine Dye: He is been brought up for so long and is reportedly not even working out, he’s not playing pro ball. I pass and I believe the Padres pass too. Atrocious defense with a anemic bat the second half of last season while not playing is not appealing.