Posts tagged ‘Padres’

Bartlett Should Love NL West

Adam RussellJason Bartlett

The Tampa Bay Rays, needing to restock the bullpen, have [reportedly] sent shortstop Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres for relievers Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos.  This is the perfect need-for-need trade that should help both teams immediately.

The Rays get to shed some payroll while addressing the bullpen, a need that has many holes with the free agent departures of Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate, and Chad Qualls

The Rays recieve Adam Russell, a 6’8″ right handed reliever that throws a mid-90s fastball and an average curveball but lacks command.  In 54 big league innings he has 54 strikeouts, a 2.90 FIP, and has averaged 94.4 mph on his fastball, throwing it roughly 69% of the time.  His ERA in those innings sits at 4.50, aided in part by a high BABIP of .363.  He also keeps the ball on the ground with a career 1.27 GB/FB ratio, something that is a plus with the Rays’ plus defenders in the infield.

Cesar Ramos has been a left handed starter for most of his minor league career but profiles as a lefty specialist.  He throws a low-90s fastball and a low 80s slider but struggles with his control and command.  Like Russel, Ramos also keeps the ball on the ground.

Both players should be in the Rays pen in 2011.

The Padres, dealing from a surplus of relievers, get a starting shortstop for their team.  Bartlett will probably never reach his Al-Star offensive season of 2009 again but I believe he is better than what he posted in 2010.  Bartlett is a career .281/.345/.385 hitter that walks roughly 8% of the time and plays at least average defense at short.

The main plus on Bartlett, now that he is in the NL West, is that he loves to face left-handed pitching.  For his career he has hit .318/.383/.444 in 851 plate appearances and moves to a division where there are 40% left handed starters.  That’s right, 40%.  Oh, and this is his walk year.

Bartlett also profiles as a Type-A free agent after 2011, which could net the Padres some draft picks if they decide to offer him arbitration and he signs elsewhere. 

Not a bad trade for a couple of extra relievers the Padres had lying around and an extra shortstop the Rays had that got a little too expensive for them.

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December 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm 1 comment

Harang Deal Could Be a Steal

Aaron Harang

The San Diego Padres have struck a deal with starting pitcher Aaron Harang for 1 year and $3-$3.5M. This could end up a major steal of a deal for the Padres.

From 2005-2007 Harang’s numbers were very consistent and All-Star caliber. From 2008-2010, though, Harang’s numbers have been on a steady decline:

Year IP HR/9 ERA FIP
 2005  211.2  0.94  3.83  3.67
 2006  234.1  1.08  3.76  3.68
 2007  231.2  1.09  3.73  3.71
 2008  184.1  1.71  4.78  4.79
 2009  162.1  1.33  4.21  4.14
 2010  111.2  1.29  5.32  4.60

We see a huge decrease in innings pitched, a huge increase in HR/9 rate, and a huge increase in ERA, with his FIP also rising but not quite as much.

Harang’s career GB% is 37.9, meaning he gives up a ton of flyballs, something that no doubt hurt him in Cincy. Moving to Petco should help, at worst, bring his HR/9 rate back to what it was prior to 2008.

Moving to Petco also means that Harang will have a rangy outfield with Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, Ryan Ludwick and Aaron Cunningham, hopefully helping a BABIP that has gone consistently up (in order) from 2007-2010: .298 to .317 to .339 to .346

Other than health, the biggest hurdle is Harang’s drop in K/9 and rise in BB/9. The weird thing is that you usually see a decrease in velocity with a drop in K rate but Harang actually had his 2nd best fastball velocity (90.5), 3rd best slider velocity (82.5), and 2nd best curveball velocity (76.6) since his first full season in 2004. The problem seems to be in his command. His zone% was by far a career worst at 43.6%. His previous full-season worst was 52.1%.

Even if Harang is fully healthy he might have a hard time finding his form that made him a 5 WAR pitcher from 2005-2007. He will need to miss more bats but I see no other reason why he cannot come close to reaching that 2005-2007 form with the help of Petco and his rangy outfield.

December 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm 1 comment

Padres Get Nice Haul in Gonzalez Trade

Casey Kelly

The San Diego Padres, and not just Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox, are winners in the trade that netted them top prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and a PTBNL.

The biggest chip in the deal was starting pitcher Casey Kelly.  Here is a scouting report from Keith Law over at the 4-letter:

Kelly is a great athlete who fields his position well and repeats his delivery, contributing to that above-average command. He probably will add a little velocity as he goes, but his ability to locate his fastball and chance for two above-average to plus secondary pitches make him a top-flight pitching prospect even without the big fastball

Kelly had a down year in 2010 but he played the full season as a 20 year old in AA.  He throws strikes, has above-average stuff, gets groundballs, and is one of the most athletic players in the minors.  He also loves the game and loves to hit and is moving to the best pitcher’s park in the Majors.  I cannot imagine him being anything less than thrilled with this trade.  He, in my opinion, is a Jeremy Hellickson clone, and we all remember his Major League debut in the AL East last year.  The Padres could be sporting a 2012 opening day rotation of Mat Latos, Kelly, and Simon Castro.  Not too shabby.

Anthony Rizzo also played 2010 in AA, mostly as a 21 year old, hitting 20 homers and 30 doubles in 414 at-bats but striking out 100 times.  Here is his scouting report from Law:

…one of the best defensive first basemen in the minors. He’s a left-handed hitter with a very easy stroke that generates line drives to all fields, although as he grows he should develop 25-30 home run power.

I can’t imagine Rizzo starting 2011 with the Padres.  They will need to find a 1B on the market (possibly Russell Branyan) until Rizzo is ready, hopefully by 2012.  Rizzo could easily be a plus-fielding first baseman with 40 doubles and 20 homers but his pitch recognition must improve first.

The player that could push the trade in the favor of the Padres is 2009 first-round pick Reymond Fuentes.  I, personally, love Fuentes.  He is a plus fielder, plus runner, and should hit for average.  Oh, and his uncle is just some pedestrian named Carlos Beltran. no big deal.  Here is Law’s take on Fuentes going into the 2009 draft:

The consensus [among scouts spoken to] seems to be that he has substantial upside as a hitter, at least for average, and the potential to be a plus defender in center like his uncle, Carlos Beltran.

Fuentes is small, just like Beltran was at the same age.  Listed at 6 ft tall and 160 lbs, Fuentes could gain by adding some bulk.  He could also gain by taking a few more pitches and recognizing pitches better.  He played the entire 2010 season in A-ball as a 19 year old and hit .270/.328/.377 with 15 doubles, 5 triples, 5 homers, and 42 steals in 414 plate appearances.  Fuentes has a long way to go and may never be as good as Beltran but his skill set fits the Padres needs for the Petco.

The PTBNL, according to Peter Gammons Twitter, is not a prime guy.  Overall, the haul the Padres received, knowing they had a limited amount of trade partners willing to give up the level of prospects needed and to offer Gonzalez an extension, was top-notch and I could see all three prospects as solid regulars in the majors with Kelly having the highest ceiling.

December 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm 1 comment

Gonzalez is Big Winner of Trade

Adrian Gonzalez

It has been reported that the San Diego Padres are sending 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for three top prospects and a player-to-be-named-later: SP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, and CF Reymond Fuentes. This trade, for the teams involved, is a complete win-win. But, the biggest winner of all is Adrian Gonzalez.

Although you may not realize it, Adrian Gonzalez is one of the top players in the entire league.  He is a power-hitting, Gold Glove fielding first baseman that also hits for average and takes a good amount of walks.  He is now moving to a great hitter’s park after being in the hitter’s wasteland known as Petco park.  People know that Petco limits a player’s offensive production, but they may realize how much it has limited Gonzalez’s.

Gonzalez’s career numbers in 3424 plate appearances with the Padres are .288/.374/.514 with an OPS+ of 141 and 161 homeruns.  Those numbers are being pulled in two opposite directions, though.  His numbers at home with the Padres in 1650 plate appearances are  .267/.359/.442 with 57 homeruns.  His numbers in the road with the Padres in 1774 plate appearances are .307/.378/.579 with 104 homeruns.

His home numbers, if in a neutral park, are James Loney-esque.  His road numbers, though, are Hank Greenberg-esque.  I see no reason why Gonzalez should not be able to appraoch those road numbers every year now, with a real possibility of eclipsing them. (Check out this spray chart created by RiverAvenueBlues that shows Gonzalez’s Petco batted balls in Fenway.)

Gonzalez also wins in this deal because he is now part of one of the richest franchises in all of sports and an extension, with Mark Texiera’s $180M deal as the negotiating point, is likely to be signed.

The biggest losers in this deal are the Tampa Bay Rays and the NL West fans. 

The Rays have no way of adding a player of Gonzalez’s caliber to their roster unless they sell the farm or commit over 25% of their payroll to one player, and they are not going to do that.  On paper, they were already behind the Yankees, who are going to land at least one of Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford to their already impressive roster, and they now sit behind the Red Sox.

The NL West, after bringing a World Series championship to it’s coast, just lost one of it’s main attratctions and are now left with Aubrey Huff being the top first baseman in the division.  Not good for a division that is also in the news for trying to deal Justin Upton, possibly the best young player in the Majors.

December 4, 2010 at 11:48 am 1 comment


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