The trade deadline has passed and the Padres completed the following deals:
-Tony Clark to Arizona for Evan Scribner
-Randy Wolf to Houston for Chad Reineke
As we detailed earlier, getting Reineke and Scribner are classic Kevin Towers moves. They’re both under appreciated arms that will likely come out of the pen. Think about Heath Bell (acquired, with Royce Ring, for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson), Cla Meredith (acquired, with Josh Bard, for Doug Mirabelli), and Scott Linebrink (selected off of waivers). Given that the Padres bullpen E.R.A. has gone from 3.01 in 2007, first in the league, to 4.47 in 2008, 28th in the league, it’s no surprise that Towers took this course of action.
What is surprising is that this was the only course of action taken.
Many Padres heard their names being tossed around in trade rumors, from Brian Giles to Greg Maddux. Besides Clark and Wolf, the only player that seemed to come close to leaving the team was Maddux. But with a trade to the Dodgers never coming to fruition, Maddux will likely continue not winning games for the Padres for the rest of the year.
Maddux handcuffed the Padres when he let them know that he would only accept a trade to a team on the West Coast. Through the process of elimination, this left us with just the Dodgers and, as we’ve already detailed, he won’t be returning to L.A. anytime soon.
At 42-67, the Padres are just behind the Mariners and the Nationals for the worst record in baseball. They’ll have to go 39-14, a .736 winning percentage, to get to .500 by game 162. And while we’re filling in a lot of the blanks here, we think it’s safe to say that the moves not made by the team signal that they’re in it to win it/remain competitive next season.
Giles is a big chip. He is a good hitter with a great O.B.P. and he’ll only get better the further away from Petco he gets, and his name was mentioned in trade rumors with the Mets, Cardinals, and Brewers. Clearly, nothing came true and Giles will remain a Padre for the remainder of the season and, likely, next season as well.
There’s two ways to look at the Giles situation. On one hand, he is this team’s three hitter and is one of the best defensive right fielders in the game. On the other, he is 37 years old and has shown a susceptibility to injuries. In 2006, he finished the season with a slugging percentage of .397, and his .415 mark this season isn’t much higher. The Padres, it would seem, are banking on Giles’ O.B.P. to stay strong into next season, which is risky.
The biggest name to mention in all these trade talks, however, is the one player who wasn’t traded but still isn’t in the Padres organization. On May 9th, Jim Edmonds had an O.P.S. of .498 and was cut by the team. He was picked up quickly by the Chicago Cubs and went Kevin Kouzmanoff, raising his O.P.S. to .757 on July 31st. Edmonds OPS+ was 39 With the Padres. With the Cubs, his OPS+ stands at 132. And the Cubs didn’t have to send a single player to San Diego to get him.
Of course, this move wasn’t so black and white. The management has said that they wanted to see what they had in Jody Gerut (OPS+ 118) and Scott Hairston (OPS+ 117) and you can’t fault them for that. You could say that Edmonds was traded for Gerut, but that’d be disingenuous. Gerut was already on the team and with left field being the game of musical chairs it was, it’s not like there wasn’t room for Gerut. Given the lack of return this team saw at the trade deadline, it would’ve been nice to get something back for Edmonds, even if it was just salary relief.