When I wrote about the Trevor Cahill trade on Monday night, I didn’t spend too much time on the players the Padres gave up, including The Great Cahill. I did figure, however, that the thinking on their relative value was somewhat of a forgone conclusion. Turns out, reasonable people disagree with me. In the spirit of scraping for things to write about, and discussing the overarching topic of trade value heading into the deadline, I figured I’d collect some thoughts on the issue here.

So—drumroll please—here’s my ranking, in terms of perceived trade value, of the three players the Padres sent to Kansas City.

1. Trevor Cahill

When teams are looking to acquire someone at the trade deadline, they’re often looking for some type of impact player. Cahill is maybe not an impact player, but he’s the closest thing to one out of the three players San Diego gave away. I totally get that he’s a 29-year-old vet with a mostly uninspiring track record. Over the last four or five years, he’s seemingly had more injuries than innings pitched, and prior to this year he had been almost exclusively a reliever since 2014.

Here’s the thing, though: He’s pitching like an impact player. By Baseball Prospectus’s catch-all pitching metric, DRA, Cahill’s 2.64 mark is eighth in all of baseball among starters with 10 innings or more. Eighth. By cFIP, BP’s other ERA estimator, he falls all the way down to ninth overall. If you like plain old strikeout percentage, Cahill’s 27.4 percent ranks 23rd out of 224 starters who’ve reached the 10-inning threshold, in between pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Zack Greinke, and Lance McCullers. There are random 60-inning samples where a pitcher gets lucky on balls in play, or whatever, and posts an undeserving 2-something ERA. Then there are random 60-inning samples where a pitcher kicks ass. This is the latter.

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Earlier today the Padres traded Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, and Ryan Buchter to the Kansas City Royals for Esteury Ruiz, Matt Strahm, and Travis Wood.

Woo-hoo, a trade!

Trades are hard to write about these days. The more credit we’ve given to teams for getting smarter and smarter, the easier it is to look at a deal and nod along: “yup, yup, makes sense. yup.” It’s really no different with this deal. The Padres had obvious trade candidates like Cahill, picked up for pennies and reconfigured into a legitimate starter, Maurer, a still-pretty-young reliever who’s consistently shown better peripherals and stuff than surface stats, and Buchter, something of a throw-in who offers some value as an always coveted lefty with good strikeout numbers, so they traded them. In return the Padres got back a pair of younger, interesting players and in the process made the major-league team worse for an anticipated, and choreographed, second-half swoon.

The Padres got back three players. One of them, Travis Wood, is unlike the others. He’s a 30-year-old veteran having an absolutely miserable year. So far in 41 2/3 innings out of the Royals ‘pen, Wood’s posted a gaudy 8.49 DRA, seventh-worst in all of baseball (min. 20 innings.). In fact, among pitchers with at least half their innings in relief, Wood is dead last in the majors. His cFIP, 112, offers some hope for non-disastrous performance going forward, but he’s fallen a long way since masquerading as a league-average starter a few years back with the Cubs.

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On Monday I wrote about Phil Maton, and how he’s using his high-spin fastball up in the zone, mostly to solid early success. In the process I found some interesting factoids on a few other Padres relievers.

Brad Hand—Speaking of spin rate, Hand actually has a higher four-seam fastball spin rate than Maton this season at 2,532 rpm, 10th-best in the league. He doesn’t have the same success as Maton with the heater, however, as he’s given up a .342 wOBA against so far this season on four-seamers. Part of those moderate struggles could be attributable to Hand’s release point. His release point extension is just south of five feet, the second-lowest figure in the league among pitchers with at least 100 fastballs thrown this year, behind only Jharel Cotton. That brings Hand’s perceived velocity from 93 mph down to 90.59 mph, which could explain part of the reason why hitters have found some success.

Of course, Hand’s been tremendous overall this season, in part because he’s thrown his filthy slider nearly 45 percent of the time. Hand gets a whiff on 20 percent of his sliders, twice the rate of his four-seamer. He’s also allowed a paltry 0.058 opponents ISO on the slider. With the most innings pitched among relievers since the start of last season, and two and a half years of team control left, Hand is expected to command a solid return at (or before) the oncoming trade deadline.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (38-49) scored more runs than the Philadelphia Phillies (28-58), 2-1, yesterday at Citizens Bank Park.

Jhoulys Chacin (8-7, 4.32) allowed one run on three hits and two walk while striking out six in six and a third innings. Maikel Franco hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. Kirby Yates, Ryan Buchter, and Brandon Maurer allowed only one hit and one walk in the final two and two-thirds innings.

Aaron Nola (6-6, 3.59) gave up two runs in eight innings on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Carlos Asuaje tripled in the seventh inning to drive in Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges‘ single scored Asuaje.

The Padres try for the sweep as Trevor Cahill (3-2, 2.96) starts today’s series finale against Jerad Eickhoff (0-7, 4.93) starting at 10:35am PDT.
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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an Independence Day at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (35-48) scored more runs than the Cleveland Indians (44-38) last night at Progressive Field, 1-0, in the first of three games.

Trevor Cahill (3-2, 2.96) returned from the disabled list and shutout the Indians for four and a third innings on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Jose Torres, Kirby Yates, Ryan Buchter, Brad Hand, and Brandon Maurer combined to allow just one hit and one walk over the last four and two-thirds innings of the shutout.

Corey Kluber (7-3, 2.85) gave up one run on five hits and a walk with ten strikeouts over eight innings. Cory Spangenberg beat out a double play attempt, driving in Hector Sanchez in the fifth inning. Wil Myers struck out four times in four at-bats and Hunter Renfroe struck out three times in four at-bats.

Luis Perdomo (3-4, 4.71) starts this evening’s second game against Trevor Bauer (7-6, 5.24) beginning at 4:10pm PDT.
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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after a Memorial Day afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (20-33) scored more runs than the Chicago Cubs (25-25), 5-2, yesterday afternoon in the first of three games at Petco Park.

Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50) gave up two runs on three hits, five walks, and one hit-by-pitch, with two strikeouts in just four innings. The Cubs loaded the bases in the first two innings, but only scored on a single in the first inning by Jason Heyward that drove in Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo. Cosart, Jose Torres, and Ryan Buchter combined to walk ten Cubs in seven innings.

Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.75) gave up five runs on six hits and no walks while striking out five in five innings. Hendricks retired the first ten batters he faced before Yangervis Solarte singled with one out in the fourth inning. After a Wil Myers‘ single and Ryan Schimpf being hit by a pitch, Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam home run. In the fifth inning, Torres hit his first Major League hit, Allen Cordoba and Solarte each singled to load the bases again, and Myers singled in Torres.

Tonight, Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 1.80) makes his Petco Park debut against Eddie Butler (2-0, 1.33) starting at 7:10pm PDT.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after a Sunday afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (19-33) scored more runs than the Washington Nationals (30-19), 5-3, yesterday in the finale of three games at Nationals Park.

Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.77) gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts in four and a third innings. In the first inning, Trea Turner scored on Adam Lind‘s bases loaded groundout. Wilmer Difo scored on Brian Goodwin‘s single in the second inning. Lind hit an RBI double in the fifth inning. Kirby Yates, Ryan Buchter, Brad Hand, and Brandon Maurer no-hit the Nationals over the last four and two-thirds innings, with Buchter allowing two walks in his one inning of work.

Joe Ross (2-1, 6.18) surrendered five runs on twelve hits and a walk with four strikeouts in four innings pitched. Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Chacin’s RBI single in the second inning drove in Chase d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud hit a two-RBI single in the fifth inning to drive in Hunter Renfroe and Franchy Cordero.

The Padres return to San Diego for three games against the Chicago Cubs (25-23) starting this afternoon. Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50) gets the Memorial Day start at 1:40pm PDT against Kyle Hendricks (4-2, 3.25) at Petco Park.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (15-28) scored fewer runs than the Milwaukee Brewers (24-18), 4-2, yesterday at Petco Park.

Jarred Cosart (0-1, 2.70) gave up just one run on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts in five innings pitched, a Eric Sogard single to drive in Orlando Arcia in the fifth inning, but the Padres’ bullpen blew it once again. This time, Ryan Buchter allowed two runs that were charged to Kevin Quackenbush to cross the plate. In the seventh inning, Sogard doubled in Keon Broxton and Arcia.  Broxton scored again in the ninth inning on a Jonathan Villar groundout.

Zach Davies (5-2, 5.44) pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three. Hunter Renfroe hit a solo home run in the second inning. Luis Torrens ground into a double play in the fifth inning and Cory Spangenberg scored from third base.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (24-18) come to Petco Park for three games starting at 7:10pm PDT tonight. Jered Weaver (0-4, 6.05) takes the mound against Taijuan Walker (3-3, 3.91) in the first game.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after a Sunday afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (14-25) scored fewer runs than the Chicago White Sox (17-17), 9-3, yesterday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Jered Weaver (0-4, 6.05) allowed one run on five hits and two walk in six innings with three strikeouts. Leury Garcia scored in the first inning when Avisail Garcia hit into a double play with the bases loaded. Weaver shut out the White Sox in the last five innings he pitched. And then came the eighth inning…

201705148th

The White Sox scored eight runs off Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and Craig Stammen in the eighth inning. Fourteen batters came to the plate in that inning. It was a sight to behold.

Jose Quintana (2-5, 4.38) pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five. Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run home run off Quintana in the seventh inning.

The Padres come back home to San Diego and Petco Park for four games against the Milwaukee Brewers (21-17). Luis Perdomo (0-0, 4.13) gets the start tonight against Chase Anderson (2-0, 2.97) at 7:10pm PDT.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (5-5) scored more runs than the Colorado Rockies (6-4) yesterday, 6-0, at Coors Field.

Zach Lee (1-0, 0.00) started in place of Luis Perdomo (0-0, 8.44), who was placed on the disabled list with shoulder issues. Lee shutout the Rockies over five and one-third innings on two hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Jose Torres, Ryan Buchter, Jake Esch, and Brandon Maurer combined over the final three and two-thirds innings to finish the shutout on one hit (Buchter) and two walks (Esch) with four more strikeouts.

Kyle Freeland (1-1, 5.91) gave up all six runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out two. Wil Myers drove in Manuel Margot with a double in the first inning, then scored on Yangervis Solarte‘s single, and Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run home run. In the fifth inning, Hunter Renfroe singled to score Myers and Schimpf drove in Solarte with a sacrifice fly.

The Padres travel to Atlanta for the opening of SunTrust Park to take on the Atlanta Braves (1-6) for four games starting tomorrow at 4:35pm PDT. Jhoulys Chacin (1-1, 8.10) takes the mound tomorrow with Julio Teheran (0-0, 0.00) starting for the Braves.

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