It’s been a rough year for the San Diego Padres. With a shiny new year in front of them and some core players healthy and ready to prove to the world that they were for realz, there were reasons to be optimistic beginning the 2014 season. Aside from Seth Smith, their entire offense is underachieving including the highly touted Chase Headley who, as of today, has a .616 OPS. That’s B.J. Upton bad. Plagued by injuries and the aforementioned season-long offensive slump, the Padres have already made their first move by firing GM Josh Byrnes. There’s rumor of a fire-sale, so let’s take a look at their 25-man roster:
Padres Active Roster
|56||Joaquin Benoit||R-R||6’3″||220||Jul 26, 1977|
|58||Blaine Boyer||R-R||6’3″||225||Jul 11, 1981|
|40||Odrisamer Despaigne||R-R||6’0″||195||Apr 4, 1987|
|45||Jesse Hahn||R-R||6’5″||190||Jul 30, 1989|
|22||Ian Kennedy||R-R||6’0″||190||Dec 19, 1984|
|59||Kevin Quackenbush||R-R||6’4″||220||Nov 28, 1988|
|38||Tyson Ross||R-R||6’5″||225||Apr 22, 1987|
|46||Tim Stauffer||R-R||6’1″||210||Jun 2, 1982|
|16||Huston Street||R-R||6’0″||195||Aug 2, 1983|
|53||Eric Stults||L-L||6’2″||220||Dec 9, 1979|
|33||Dale Thayer||R-R||6’0″||210||Dec 17, 1980|
|54||Alex Torres||L-L||5’10″||175||Dec 8, 1987|
|8||Yasmani Grandal||S-R||6’2″||225||Nov 8, 1988|
|44||Rene Rivera||R-R||5’10″||215||Jul 31, 1983|
|2||Everth Cabrera||S-R||5’10″||190||Nov 17, 1986|
|7||Chase Headley||S-R||6’2″||220||May 9, 1984|
|14||Tommy Medica||R-R||6’3″||205||Apr 9, 1988|
|3||Jace Peterson||L-R||6’0″||210||May 9, 1990|
|5||Alexi Amarista||L-R||5’6″||150||Apr 6, 1989|
|13||Chris Denorfia||R-R||6’0″||195||Jul 15, 1980|
|4||Jake Goebbert||L-L||6’0″||205||Sep 24, 1987|
|24||Cameron Maybin||R-R||6’3″||205||Apr 4, 1987|
|18||Carlos Quentin||R-R||6’1″||235||Aug 28, 1982|
|12||Seth Smith||L-L||6’3″||210||Sep 30, 1982|
|25||Will Venable||L-L||6’3″||205||Oct 29, 198|
Braves/Padres Trade: The buy-high candidates
There’s one obvious fit for the Braves here, but I’m quite sure he’d cost more than what we’d be willing to give up….
Seth Smith- Simply destroying the ball, even at home which is known to be the best pitchers’ park in the Majors year-to-year. His contract is up after this year and he’d be a perfect fit in a lineup that is known for it’s inability to hit RHP (he’s OPSing .939 against RHP). Truth be told, he’d be too expensive as a rental, however as an acquire and extend, it could be worth it. Smith is from Jackson, MS., so the idea of playing in Atlanta is probably enticing. Once Eli Manning’s backup QB at the University of Mississippi, Smith would provide much needed pop from the LH side of the plate in a platoon with B. J.
Ian Kennedy- It seems unreal that Ian Kennedy is arb-eligible next year, but that is the case. He has a 6.1 million dollar salary and has pitched decent baseball this year (a 3.90 ERA isn’t great when 1/2 of the starts are at PetCo). With Teheran, Minor, and Wood the only three starters penciled in for next year, Ian Kennedy could be a good pickup. I list Ian as a buy-high candidate simply because his peripherals suggest he’s gaining the form he once possessed in Arizona, he’s under team-control for one more year, and his track record comes along with his price.
Braves/Padres Trade: The buy-low candidates
Essentially, the rest of the offensive players on their team are buy-low candidates, however, let’s look at the players that could possibly be targets for the Braves:
1. Chase Headley- Having the worst year of his career and has been plagued by nagging injuries, the 30-year old Headley is a switch-hitter but has had more career success from the left side of the plate. His 10.5 million dollar salary would need to be completely covered by the Padres in order for a trade to work. This seems highly unlikely.
2. Will Venable- Signed to a 2 year/8.5mm deal this offseason, Venable, up until this year, had been a very steady contributor to the Padre offense, especially against RHP. Advanced metrics tell us that Venable can handle RF or CF defensively. Venable is signed through next year.
3. Carlos Quentin- Seems a long-shot for the Braves to go after because of his injures, but Quentin is signed for 9.5 million this year and 8 million next year with a mutual option for 2016. He’s had a hard time staying on the field, but no one can deny his power. He’s not a good defender and the shift of Justin Upton to RF and Jason Heyward to CF would likely deteriorate what offensive production Quentin could provide.
4. Cameron Maybin- Signed through 2016 with an option for 2017, Maybin is underachieving for the 2nd straight year. Maybin is a good defender, but I don’t see how he could really contribute unless the Braves decide to completely throw in the towel on B.J. Upton.
In my opinion, the most obvious choice here is Will Venable. He’s having a very poor year but could immediately be inserted into a platoon with B.J. His contract is reasonable and the Braves wouldn’t have to part with a whole lot to get him. Chase Headley could be an interesting acquisition due, in large part, to his ability to play 3rd and LF, but he’ll likely cost a whole lot more and isn’t necessarily a part-time player. He could be used at 3rd against LHP and in LF against RHP. What do you guys think?