Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday October 30, 2008

For some reason I keep reading that the Padres won't bring back Giles and sign Hoffman if they trade Peavy.

Everyone from the casual fans to those in the media seems to think that trading Peavy is a sign that the Padres are giving in and saying we can't win with the team we have and its time to rebuild.

Well maybe there is a different reason.

Maybe the Padres would only trade Peavy and still pickup Giles option and sign Hoffman if they thought they could still be competitive without Peavy.

Sacrilege I know. I must be crazy, right?

Please hold tight and hear me out. Before you all lynch me, I better let you all know that I am not in favor of trading Peavy unless the trade is crazy good in favor of the Padres.

So here goes.

The Padres had a MLB record for injuries in 2008. 1244 player days on the DL is the number that I have heard, although I have not seen it in print.
They not only set a new record, they obliterated the old record my more than 100 DL days.
They almost TRIPLED the average of 440 days for MLB.
They averaged more than 7 players on the DL for each game.
They used 32 pitchers in 2008.
They used 27 position players in 2008.
That's a total of 59 players to fill a 25 man roster.

No team; not the Red Sox, Phillies, Rays or Yankees can win with that many injuries.

Even the cursed Padres are not likely to be unlucky enough to have that many injuries again in 2009. Players that were not able to contribute for large portions of 2008 like Chris Young, will more than likely be able to contribute in 2009.

Young missed 17-18 games in 2008 due to a freak accident, not a failing of his arm, elbow or shoulder. Young pitching those missed games at the same win % for the season gives the Padres another 8-9 wins with no other changes to the team. 71 wins with that one person staying healthy.

With MLB average health for the Padres team in 2008 and they may have won 70+++ games just from one player not getting hit in the face with a batted ball.

We should also be able to expect some improvement from Headley and Hundley who got a chance to get some real time at the ML level in 2008.

IF, and it is still a big if, the Padres trade Peavy it will be in such a blockbuster deal that it will fill several holes in the Padres major league lineup immediately.

Many are trying to write off the idea of a trade being completed with the Braves because their GM came out and said some undefined players are untouchable.

That brings me to point #3
More often than not baseball General Managers and other Front Office personnel lie when asked about possible transactions. Ok, maybe lie is a strong (if accurate) word. Maybe a better one is posture.

They are NEGOTIATING! Of course they are not laying all their cards on the table. Why would they? They want to get the best deal and saying that a player is untouchable or unavailable may make that player MORE valuable to other teams.

Frank Wren, the GM of the Braves, has said that a nebulous "core" of players were untouchable without saying who those players are and all the while knowing he has already made an offer to the Padres that included at least some of the guys mentioned in trade rumors. He specifically said and emphasized in his interview that MOST of the trade rumors were off base. He never said all.

One trade that has been mentioned and that most closely resembles the Dan Haren trade in compensation value has been one that would bring Kelly Johnson, Jordan Schafer, Tommy Hanson or Jair Jurrjens and several other top prospects including Cole Rohrbaugh or Kris Medlen to the Padres from the Braves.

If Jurrjens is part of that trade scenario, the Padres would get a very good and very young #2/#3 starting pitcher, a good young starting 2B, and a 5 tool starting CF for 2009 along with several other prospects.

Obviously Hanson is a few years away, but he is expected to be a team ace type pitcher and is expected to be called up sometime in the 2010 season. It would be worth the one year wait for him.

Lets assume for the sake of argument that Jurrjens is included in the trade. The Braves keep then get to keep their top 2 prospects in Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward and another great young prospect in 17 year old Julio Teheran, as well as Gorkys Hernandez, Brandon Jones, Jeff Locke, and Brent Lillibridge.

Maybe THOSE 7 are the "core" of untouchable young players Wren is speaking of.

If the trade with the Braves is made, holes at 2B and starting pitcher would be immediately filled, a true 5 tool center fielder would be brought aboard and an already talented team even more talented. The Padres would also fill holes in the farm system.

As I have discussed in my first post of the month, bringing a CF on board would give the Padres the opportunity to trade Kouzmanoff and move Headley to 3B. Kouzmanoff would bring back at least a #2 or #3 pitcher, if not more.

So lets just pretend it happened. Peavy was traded and the Padres got Jurrjens, Schafer, Johnson and 3 minor league prospects.

Lets also suppose Kouzmanoff was also traded and the Padres got a good young #2 or #3 like Ervin Santana or Francisco Liriano. I bring their names up specifically because the Angels have publicly expressed interest in Kouzmanoff before and during the 2008 season and the Twins were in the market for a 3B for most of the 2008 season and kept Liriano in the minors for almost the entire season.

So now the defensive lineup would look like this:
(ages to start the 2009 in parentheses)
1B - Gonzales (26)
2B - Johnson (27)
SS - Greene (29)
3B - Headley (24)
LF - Gerut (31)
CF - Schafer (22)/Gerut
RF - Giles (38)
C - Hundley (25)

Travis Denker (23)
Edgar Gonzales (30)
Scott Hairston (28)
Luis Rodriguez (28)
Backup Catcher -

Starting Rotation
RHP - Young (29)
RHP - Jurrjens (23)
RHP - Santana (26) or LHP - Liriano (25)
(or Blackburn from the Twins or Danks/Floyd from the White Sox)
RHP - Baek(28)
LHP - LeBlanc(24) /RHP - Inman(22)

CL - Hoffman (41)
- Bell (31)
- Hensley (29)
- Patterson (29)
- Ekstrom (25)
- Greg Burke?/Reineke?/Hampson?/Haeger?
- Other young players in Trades or FA

With a few minor signings for the bullpen or the back of the rotation, that is a team that is young and could win alot of games.

No, it probably would not win 90+ games, but then the Padres play in the NL West so it will probably only take 84-85 games to win the division.

And that is just two possible trade scenarios.

We don't know what the Padres are asking for other than it has caused other GM's to say its too much. I like that fact.

It means that the Padres FO is not willing to just give up Peavy to save money. It means that IF they trade Peavy, they want to bring back the quality and quantity of players that would give the Padres a chance to win now and win in the future.

Ok, I have had my say.

What do you think?