For those of you who have just joined us, here’s what you missed:
There could be any number of reasons as to why Jake is on his way out, whether it’s his penchant for running his mouth or just simply reloading on talent. What is important, though, is what we could get for him. And to the best way to get an idea of what’s going to happen is to look at what already has.
Looking at these trades, every team got one of the trading partner’s two best prospects, with all but the Brewers getting two of the top three in return. The Athletics really went above and beyond, taking half of Arizona’s top eight. When you consider that all four pitchers either required a contract immediately after joining their new teams, or will file for free agency in the case of CC Sabathia, the Padres hold a very advantageous hand controlling Jake Peavy for years.
The team who jumped to the front of the pack, at least according to the internet, is Atlanta.
Escobar, Hanson, Heyward, Johnson, Jurrjens, Schafer. Ideally, the Padres could get two of this group, and that’s before discussing the kind of deals St. Louis and the Dodgers (the Dodgers?!) could put together.
Caught up? Good. Because I want to talk about that last part.
I’m not going pretend that I’m fine trading Jake to the Dodgers. I’ve never really had beef with the team, I actually dislike Arizona more, but that doesn’t mean I want to help them. And when you consider that they just made the N.L.C.S. and Jake has a 3.27 E.R.A. at Dodger Stadium over the past three seasons, it sounds like a trade with LA could be likely. But I am fine with improving the Padres, and dealing with the Dodgers might do just that.
At the beginning of the season, Clayton Kershaw was consistently near the top 5 on most top prospect lists. In 220 innings pitched in the minors, he had an E.R.A. of 2.49 and followed it up with a 4.26 E.R.A. in Los Angeles with a K/9 of 8.4. At 20 years old, the youngest player in the league, that’s impressive. It’s not out of line to think that, if a Padre, Kershaw could give Chris Young (his fellow Highland Park HS [TX] alumni) a run for his ace status.
Then there’s Matt Kemp. Recently 24, Kemp has an O.P.S. of .816 in a little more than a thousand at-bats. More athletic than the current Padres team put together, Kemp has split time in his major league career between right and center field. Unlike the aforementioned Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer, Kemp would absolutely enter the everyday lineup and hit near the top of the order.
Beyond those two mouthwatering big leaguers, there’s the Dodgers minor league system. Some other names to know are Scott Elbert, James McDonald and Ivan DeJesus.
But you want a wild card? How’s Russell Martin work for you? The Gold Glove/Silver Slugger winning catcher that is the more talented reincarnate of Eric Owens might be available. Of course, the Gold Glove award is a sham and Martin’s Slg. fell beneath .400 this season, not to mention his knees are probably 45 years old after catching 300+ games in two years. But he’s Russell Martin, dude! In a good year, he’s one of the top catchers in the league. And looking down the barrel of a Nick Hundley led battery of catchers, beggars can’t be choosers.
They are the Dodgers, but he is Clayton Kershaw and he is also the best pitching prospect in baseball. Which probably means that he’s not available. But we’ll have enough time to dwell on that later.