Where you’re going is just as important as where you are. And where the Padres are is in last place, with or without Greg Maddux.
What I find funny about trading veterans for prospects is the fans’ selective memory about where the prospects come from when they turn into useful Major Leaguers.
Remember the Matt Herges trade for Clay Hensley? Hensley was a nobody. He was the empty, worthless, nameless, proverbial minor league player you hear so much about. Just like prospects in the Dodgers’ system, apparently:
The Padres save $1.15 million and get two Minor Leaguers that will never amount to anything or a little bit of cash.
Sounds about right.
Jump forward to 2006, and Hensley becomes a 187 inning rotation anchor to a division championship. Not necessarily a star, but a useful player nonetheless. Please don’t forget, he came from a deal like this! It took an unpopular move to get him, we traded a popular player. Hensley wasn’t just born a Padre!
The rumored deal is for two Dodgers players. When it comes down to it, we’re comparing one month of Maddux to 12 salary controlled years, and they don’t add up. The fun of watching 6 more starts on a last place team isn’t worth what we would pass up, even if the return is a bit hard to conceptualize at this point. And considering Dodgers GM Ned Colletti’s less than stellar ability to value minor league talent, the return could be quite a bit.
Plus, since Towers & Co. originally held on to Maddux based on what was offered, we can infer that players of value are headed our way. Though admittedly, it is difficult to have this discussion without knowing exactly who they are.
The guys we get for Maddux, whoever they are, become essentially free players to us. Maddux, from a baseball stadpoint, is of no value to the team. Winning baseball games trumps all for this baseball fan.