The Padres took Johnny Manziel, a football player of some renown, with their 28th-round pick in the 2014 first-year player draft. It’s a publicity stunt that had some fans wishing the team would pick a baseball player who might, you know, help on the field.

Problem is, 28th-round picks generally don’t. Paul Molitor is in the Hall of Fame, but he didn’t sign when the Cardinals drafted him in 1974.

Here are the best signed players ever drafted in the 28th round, listed in descending order by rWAR:

  1. Woody Williams, 1988, 30.9
  2. Dave Roberts, 1994, 9.0
  3. Sergio Romo, 2005, 7.9
  4. Luke Gregerson, 2006, 5.0
  5. Shane Spencer, 1990, 4.9

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At the start of the off-season, Padres GM Josh Byrnes had a left-handed hitting outfielder as one of his top priorities. Whether that player would platoon or play everyday was to be determined. They ended up trading their most effective reliever to the Oakland A’s for outfielder Seth Smith, a left-handed corner outfielder who’s pretty damn good against right-handed pitching (career .279/.357/.487).

The addition of Smith was met with a lot of criticism, specifically on Twitter. Padres fans fucking love relievers. I don’t know why. Maybe because some of the best Padres teams have featured dominant relievers? Probably. Whatever the reason, the attachment to obscure players is puzzling. Not that I think Luke Gregerson is at all obscure.

Dammit, I’m getting distracted. Back to my point.

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Earlier today, while most of San Diego was just starting their work day, and while I was heading to Panera for my lunch break here in Cleveland, the news broke that the Padres had done exactly what it was expected they would do since late last week, inking free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit to a 2 year contract that will pay him $15.5 million.

It was a move I supported. It also is officially the largest guaranteed contract ever handed out to a free agent by the Padres. It also pushes the Padres projected payroll for 2014 close to $88 million, which would be another franchise record. Subject to change, of course, and changes could be coming very soon, as the Padres need to open up a space on the 40 man roster before they can officially add Benoit. Read More…

When the Padres traded reliever Luke Gregerson to the A’s for outfielder Seth Smith last week, it raised many questions. The chief one was, “Why would the Padres do this?”

The answer is Carlos Quentin, a great hitter who can’t stay healthy. When he goes down, you need a replacement, preferably someone who is good at baseball.

Last season Quentin logged 41 percent of the Padres’ plate appearances in left field. The other 59 percent came from eight guys who stunk worse than Mission Bay after a heavy rain. Here’s a comparison of Quentin (as a left fielder), the Malodorous Eight, and 1984 Dick Schofield:

Carlos Quentin 2013 288 .285 .375 .504 11 29 48
Malodorous Eight 2013 411 .197 .262 .268 5 28 92
Dick Schofield 1984 452 .193 .264 .263 4 33 79

If you don’t remember Schofield, he was sort of like Brendan Ryan, but not really. The important point is that you wouldn’t want to let him play left field for you three games out of five, which is what the Padres did last year. Read More…

In case you weren’t paying attention…

Always enjoy responsibly. Don’t read and drive.

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And by “great” I mean “all.”

Yesterday, the Padres acquired outfielder Seth Smith from the Oakland A’s in a trade for Luke GregersonThe news caused shock and disappointment on the Twitters.

This is not about that.

Upon hearing about the deal, I started wondering how many guys named Seth have played in the Major Leagues. The answer is 7 (8 if you count Conrad Cardinal, whose middle name is Seth). None of those players have ever been on the Padres. Until now.

A quick glance Exhaustive research on Baseball Reference reveals there have been a grand total of 3 players (now 4) named Seth in the Padres organization.

This is about them.

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Not everything that happens around baseball relates back to the Padres, but several happenings around the majors this week may have a potential impact on what happens to members of the Padres going forward, this year and beyond.  Today, I’ll focus of 3 different news pieces, specifically.

Ryan Braun Accepts Suspension for Remainder of Season

If I were writing a headline for what happened with Ryan Braun this week (oh hey, I just did!), my headline would definitely include a caveat noting that a deal was made. Stating that Ryan Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball, but not that a deal was made between Ryan Braun and MLB that Braun would sit for 65 games is not telling the whole story.

Braun, who is currently injured, could have potentially been suspended for 100 games next year if he had chose to keep fighting. By accepting a 65 game suspension, he doesn’t lose time in a meaningful season for his team, which is out of contention, and he loses less money than he would have if he had received the same suspension next year when his pay increases. This is, to be sure, a win for MLB, but it’s also not a great loss for Braun, other than to his reputation. Read More…

During the last week of play, numerous bullpen woes have led Padres fans to question what has been, historically speaking, one of the more sound aspects of the organization. Huston Street is allowing too many HRs to continue being pedaled out there in save situations and the man who would appear to be his potential replacement, Luke Gregerson, blows every save opportunity that comes his way. Just last night, Gregerson blew a save opportunity for the 4th time, and Tommy Layne picked up the loss as the Padres fell in 13 innings to the Phillies. This is not the bullpen Padres fans have grown accustomed to in recent years.

Is it possible though, that the last week is not indicative of the true identity of the 2013 bullpen? In their haste to shout through the interwebs that, “Street, Gregerson, et al. SUCK!” fans forget that just a short while ago the Padres’ bullpen accomplished something it hadn’t done since 1998: Hold an opponent scoreless for 11+ innings in one game.

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9 innings. 3 outs each inning. 27 outs in total.

That’s the sum total of a baseball game. Sometimes more are required but if you are going to win you need to get the opposing team out 27 times.

Not all outs are created equally of course. There’s your mundane 4-3 putout in the 2nd, your slick looking double plays with the bases loaded to end an inning, and this.

But the hardest 3 outs to get are the last 3. Well, maybe that’s phrased poorly. The most important 3 outs are the last 3 and recently, for the Padres, they’ve become the hardest 3 to get.

The Padres fell victim to the Los Angeles Dodgers this afternoon after Huston Street gave up back-to-back HRs in the Top of the 9th. Getting those 3 outs would not have guaranteed a Padres win. But they would have, at worst, guaranteed a 10th inning. Unfortunately, watching the Padres squander late inning leads or give up ties in the late innings is becoming an all too common experience. Twice in San Francisco this week the Padres blew late inning leads. Last week they did it in Colorado surrendering 3 runs in the Bottom of the 9th. And of course we all remember the Evan Longoria walk-off in Tampa.

The fact is that the Padres, who once dominated the late innings and have a soon-to-be Hall of Fame closer enshrined in fans memories forever suddenly are hanging on for dear life in the 9th. And too often aren’t managing to do so.

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In case you weren’t paying attention…

Always enjoy responsibly. Don’t read and drive.

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