Yesterday the MLB Trade Deadline came…and went. And while the week or so leading up to the deadline was quieter than recent memory in the way of rumors, the deadline day itself brought a flurry of moves that were, at times, difficult to keep up with. Add to that the newish trend of fake Twitter accounts of MLB writers and the information, and misinformation, was fast and furious.
So what of the Padres? Well, their trading began a few weeks ago when they sent Huston Street to Anaheim and, a few days later, Chase Headley to the Yankees (which has been handled in a variety of spots so we won’t rehash that here). This left Chris Denorfia, Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy as the most talked about pieces that the Padres could move. For a team that is double digits below .500 the Padres had a surprising number of sought after pieces.
Let’s start with the move the Padres DID make. It was reported early on yesterday that Denorfia was moving and that the Dodgers were going hard after Benoit.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2014
Of course, comically and so typical of the trade deadline, neither the Royals or Braves ended up with Norf. Instead, our “hated” rivals to the north snagged him.
#Mariners have acquired Chris Denorfia from Padres.
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 31, 2014
In return the Padres pick up a Minor League OF in Abraham Alamonte, who will report to the Padres on Friday per A.J. Hinch. The Padres also received Minor League RHP Stephen Kohlscheen who will be reporting to AAA El Paso. I’ll leave it to those far more qualified then myself to give you the scouting on these two players:
Stephen Kohlscheen, the RHRP the Padres get from the Mariners. 88-93 mph avg fb, avg SL with avg cntrol. Chance for ML RP role.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 31, 2014
New #Padres OF Almonte: Slow start in Triple-A, over .300 June + July. Switch-hitter, some pop, can run, defend, Versatility. A nice piece.
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) July 31, 2014
Perhaps worth noting that Alamonte won the starting CF job out of Spring Training though, as mentioned above, struggled and was sent down which sounds very similar to Solarte who, to this point, has been a nice piece for San Diego (SSS ALERT!).
As for Norf, he was a fan favorite and will certainly be missed. He gave everything he had and completely maximized his effort and while those terms are often coded terms for players that really aren’t that good, Norf was a good player for San Diego accounting for 5.7 oWAR in his 5 seasons.
Now onto what the Padres didn’t do. As of right now, Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit remain Padres. Ian Kennedy perhaps makes the most sense that he is still here. Kennedy is arbitration eligible this winter and will certainly be due a raise over his $6.1 million salary this season. The Padres like him and for good reason. For starters, he is one of only 3 starters who have over 100 IP so far this season (only Tyson Ross has thrown more innings than Kennedy’s 135.1). And despite a somewhat high BABPIP, Kennedy’s xFIP is 2nd behind only Tyson Ross (75 IP minimum). Kennedy, who was traded
straight up for Joe Thatcher for Joe Thatcher, Matt Stites, and a compensation round B draft pick, has more than repaid the Padres for that “gamble” and anchors a pitching staff that remains the loan bright spot for the Padres this season.
More confusing is the fact that Benoit is still here. Typically relievers are in high demand this time of year and this season was no different. One need only look at the hauls that Huston Street and Joakim Soria brought to know the value. Add to that, there apparently was a very willing trade partner for Benoit.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2014
Not hard enough it would seem. Or perhaps…
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
Now somehow this got morphed into the Padres WON’T trade inside the division because, well, you know why. In either event, the fact that Benoit is still here and the Dodgers appeared to be the team most interested in him would suggest that perhaps the Padres were gun shy about trading him up I-5. I personally find that hard to believe. The Padres were in a unique situation that was by their own creation as they went into the trade deadline in a season in which they desperately needed to rebuild without a GM. Which meant deals like Street, Headley, and Denorfia were being handled by front office staff, none of which will be the GM come September 1st. Whoever that new GM will be works outside Petco Park in all likelihood and was either not in on these deals at all or only marginally involved (assuming the GM search is narrowed down as much as has been reported).
The lack of a GM didn’t slow them down in dealing some major pieces but did it stop them from dealing Benoit? How willing were they in reality to trade Benoit after Street was gone? And does this mean they think this team can compete in 2015, and is that reasonable if they do? To that last question I’d imagine the answer should be no. Yet I fear, based on what we know about this ownerships unrealistic expectations put on Byrnes that perhaps they think they can. Or perhaps they didn’t want the cupbard completely bare when the new GM got here.
Or course, the caveat to all of this is that ultimately we don’t know what the offers were. Certainly the Padres have shown a willingness to deal this season. Perhaps the deals weren’t good enough. But changes are, Benoit is not part of the long-term future in San Diego. Thus keeping him makes little sense. While the Padres would have been worst in the immediate (as if that really matters this season) the rebuilding process could have been that much shorter with a haul for Benoit. Even if it came from the Dodgers.
But hey, there’s always the special waivers trade window that is now open.
I traded salmon for a cheeseburger right before the deadline though was in on pizza up until the very end. Tweet at me @LeftCoastBias. And comment below!