Sunday, the Padres acquired Ryan Ludwick from the Cardinals. Let’s take a good luck at what the Padres gave up and why this, on the surface, seems like a great deal for the home team.
Corey Kluber goes to the Indians in the three-way deal and is without a doubt the better of the two prospects shipped away by the Friars, a Padres 4th round selection in 2007. His main weapon is a low 90′s fastball that is complimented by a slider and change. Over his minor league career he’s consistently proven himself able strike people out, boasting a robust k/9 of 9.5. His sustained ability to miss bats as he progresses up the system is a good sign for the Indians, and his 2010 k/9 with AA San Antonio of 10.0 is outstanding. In fact, Kluber leads the Texas League in strikeouts with 136 in only 122.2 innings.
This year has been the best of Kluber’s career, as he’s dropped his bb/9 to 2.9 and given up about a hit an inning. Throughout his career Kluber’s 4.29 ERA has somewhat betrayed his outstanding peripherals. The bottom line here is that Kluber misses bats, and has seemingly improved as he’s moved up the system. He has a chance to see time in Cleveland this year and projects to be a #4 or #5 starter in the majors. He’s a kid that would have been a good fit for Petco and would have probably contributed next year, but both Simon Castro and Cory Luebke are better prospects. For the Padres to hold on to both of their top pitching prospects was a pleasant surprise, and Padres fans should see this trade as a real boon.
Nick Greenwood is the player the Padres shipped to the Cardinals to complete the deal. Drafted in the 14th round last year, Greenwood is simply organizational depth. A pitchability type lefty, he shows an uninspiring 6.1 k/9 as a 22 year old in low A Fort Wayne, with a 4.15 ERA. Although he enjoyed a nice debut in Eugene last year, he seems just a throw in with little projection, at best he’ll be a middle reliever. His greatest traits are his control and his left handedness, that’ll be what keeps him moving through a system.
All in all, the Padres held onto their top pitching prospects and received an instant upgrade to their lineup in Ludwick. The Padres gave up only a fringe #4 or #5 starter in Corey Kluber and a player who was little more than organizational depth in Nick Greenwood. I love this move.