So … we’re back. Still mostly confused.
Last year when A.J. Preller took over as GM, he inherited a roster with a slight logjam at catcher. There was Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal at the major-league level, and Austin Hedges waiting on the farm. Then, like 17 trades later, the Padres had a more manageable logjam: Derek Norris as the main guy with Tim Federowicz as the (soon-to-be-injured) backup, and Hedges still on the farm. Rocky Gale‘s always around.
You wanna talk about logjams? Check out the current catcher situation. After a solid season, Norris is still the main guy. Hedges, who was called up last year, is also there and so is new guy Josmil Pinto. That’s a lot of catchers; certainly don’t need anymore, no no.
Oh, okay. Another catcher. That’s interesting.
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Padres acquire: RHP Enyel De Los Santos and INF Nelson Ward from Mariners
Padres trade: RHP Joaquin Benoit to Mariners
Benoit’s been both consistent and effective since returning from shoulder surgery in 2010, but he turned 38 in July, he’s a reliever, and his peripherals dipped in 2015. He’s also owed $7.5 million in 2016, all of which combined to make him an ideal trade candidate for a Padres team treading the water between rebuilding and retooling. Despite Benoit’s track-record as a shutdown setup man, he didn’t bring a ton back from Seattle—he’s a 38-year-old relief pitcher with declining peripherals, after all.
De Los Santos is about what you’d expect from a not quite 20-year-old pitching prospect: He throws reasonably hard from a solid frame, and his career could go in any number of a hundred different directions. He’s certainly the type of prospect you don’t mind acquiring, but he’s also one you pencil into a future role only if you have an eraser handy.
Ward’s spent time at both second base and shortstop since entering pro ball in 2014, and he hit .278/.365/.436 last year—a line inflated by 337 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Cal League. He fits the versatile backup infielder mold if the remaining development goes as planned.