Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whats Next for the Padres?

Saturday January 30, 2010

So what is next for the Padres?

Well...They have been rumored to be interested in Orlando Hudson.

Hudson himself commented on the Padres interest in an interview with's Bill Ladson.
"There is good progress going on every day," Hudson said. "I will sign soon enough. You can put it on the Internet and on TV. I'm going to sign. I can't say exactly when. It will not be long. I can't say if it's with the Nationals, San Diego or Cleveland. I can't say with whom. Something is getting done."

Yesterday Ladson commented on Twitter and in an article that the Nationals are likely out of the chase for Hudson. In the article Ladson explains that the Nationals have offered Hudson just $3 million and he has asked for $9 to play there. He goes on to say that the Nationals are are now focused on signing Adam Dunn to an extension and will look to sign the much cheaper Adam Kennedy or find an internal solution at 2B instead.

As far as the money goes, I have read different columnists that have said Hudson is asking for anywhere from a 2 year $10 million deal (Ken Rosenthal) to $9 million for one season (Ladson, Phil Wood, Jon Heyman), but I believe Hudson would take a deal in the $4.5-$5.5 million range if it included an option for a 2nd season.

Hudson would be a perfect fit on the Padres.

While he is not the plus defender many think he is (average of -2.6 UZR the past 3 seasons) and does not have the sure hands of Eckstein (9 errors vs 2 in 2009), but he does have better range.

The biggest upgrade would be in terms of Hudson's offense. Hudson hit for decent average (.293 over the past 3 seasons with a 107 OPS+) and provides a little power (27 hr over past 3 seasons) While his offense would likely drop slightly with the move to the ultimate pitchers park at Petco, his type of line drive offense would play to the park.

The added bench depth from moving David Eckstein to a backup for both 2b and ss would give the Padres one of the deepest and most versatile benches in the major leagues.

While they are playing in Petco as it is currently configured the Padres will have to take advantage of the pitchers park by having good to great defense.

Two of the teams rumored to also be in on Hudson, the Reds and the Rockies are said to be the final two teams that Orlando Cabrera will be choosing between in the next few days. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports said in a Twitter post that if the Rockies do not sign OCab they will likely turn to Melvin Mora to fill their middle infield needs instead of Hudson.

With the Nationals likely out of the running for Hudson and the Rockies and Reds looking elsewhere, that leaves the cash strapped Indians, the Twins and the Padres.

Where do you think Hudson ends up?

So what other needs do the Padres have?

To my way of thinking backup catcher is an area of need for the Padres. While they did trade for Dusty ryan and signed minor league defensive specialist Chris Stewart, the Padres really need a veteran that can be a teacher for the catcher they have appearantly chosen as their starter - nick Hundley.

The Padres have been rumored to be interested in Yorvit Torrealba, Brad Ausmus, Benji Molina, Miguel Olivo and several other catchers.

Most of the free agent catchers the Padres have reportedly been interested in have been signed already, but Torrealba is still on the market but likely would want more than the 40 or so starts and $1 million the Padres would likely be willing and able to offer. Torrealba reportedly turned down a 2 year $5.6 million contract to return to the Rockies.

Rod Barajas is another veteran catcher that is still on the market and that would fit in well on the Padres because of his defense and right handed power, but he is also rumored to be looking for a starting position.

My choice of the remaining free agent catchers would be Jose Molina. Jose, a lifetime backup, does not have the bat of his brother Benji or Torrealba, but he does bring plus defense and a veteran hand for a young pitching staff.

Likely the Padres will likely wait until close to the beginning of spring training to make any additional signings. The players still on the market are going to be signing for much less than the they were looking for when the off season started and the Padres will be able to come away with the bargains they need.

So what do you think will happen next for the Padres?

SABR Day in America

Saturday January 30, 2010

All across America the chapters of the Society for American Baseball Research are holding meetings today.
These meetings are open to the general public as well as the members of SABR.

The meeting for the Ted Williams Chapter of SABR in San Diego ended just minutes ago at Petco Park .

The participants got to hear from several great speakers including Josh Stein, Padres director of Baseball Operations and participate in a spirited Hot Stove discussion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Padres Sign Jon Garland

Tuesday January 26, 2009

Padres sign Jon Garland

If you were wondering what was next for rookie Padres GM Jed Hoyer, then you have your answer today.

As was reported by Corey Brock of and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports via Twitter, the San Diego Padres signed southpaw starting pitcher Jon Garland to a one year deal for $4.7 million with a mutual option for 2011 that includes a $600,000 option. Basically 1 year, $5.3 million deal.

Garland split the 2009 season between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers while posting a 4.01 ERA and 204 IP over 33 starts.

It certainly looks like the Padres got the inning eating veteran pitcher they have been saying they were looking for since Garland has averaged over 200 IP per season since 2002. In my eyes Garland and his career 4.42 ERA, 4.72 FIP and matching K/9 is not a big improvement over the pitchers he would be displacing with the exception of proven durabilty.

Prior to this signing the Padres rotation was shaping up to be Chris Young, Kevin Correia, Mat Latos, Clayton Richard and 6 young pitchers fighting it out for the #5 slot..

With the addition of Garland to a sure spot in the rotation you have 7 young pitchers fighting for one spot on the roster instead of two.

Sure Spots in the rotation:
RHP Chris Young
RHP Jon Garland
RHP Kevin Correia
RHP Mat Latos

Fighting for #5 slot:
LHP Clayton Richard
RHP Tim Stauffer
LHP Wade LeBlanc
RHP Cesar Carrillo
LHP Cesar Ramos
RHP Sean Gallagher
LHP Aaron Poreda

If its any consolation, with a WAR of around 2.0 the last 3 seasons according to Fangraphs (which is worth about a $7 million in the FA market according to Tom Tango), the Padres did get Garland at a very fair price and the Padres AAA Portland Beavers squad may have the best pitching staff in the minor leagues.

So what does this mean for the Padres rotation in 2010 and going forward?

1) The staff has incredible depth with 7 guys including two former top 100 prospects (Poreda & Gallagher) and three former Padres 1st round draft picks (Stauffer, Carrillo and Ramos) fighting it out for just one spot in the rotation.

2) For the first time since 2007 the Padres staff has at least two guys in Garland and Correia that are likely to throw about 200 innings. If he wins a spot and stays healthy, Richard may also approach 200 IP.

3)  The Padres signed Garland to what is essentially a 1 year, $5.3 million deal so it does not block any of the young pitchers long term.

4) If Chris Young pitches up to the level we have seen when he was healthy in years past and some of the young pitchers like Latos, Richard, Poreda, Sean Gallagher and former first round pick Tim Stauffer step it up this season, then the Padres have a choice of trading either Chris Young or Garland after the All Star break to pick up even more prospects.

Conversely, if CY does not pitch well and the team is stuggling as they near the All Star break, we may see Garland, CY and Bell all traded away along with franchise player Adrian Gonzalez before the trading deadline on July 31, 2010.

All in all, while he not the high upside impact pitcher signing I was hoping for, Garland is a solid inning eating veteran pitcher the Padres have said they wanted for the middle of their rotation and he signed for much less than they would have had to spend for an injury prone high upside guy like Sheets or Bedard.

With this signing of Garland and a $2.9 million salary for Scott Hairston (who has not come to terms with the Padres yet), the Padres 2010 Payroll stands at $37.725 million.

While Corey Brock is claiming on a Twitter post that the Padres have nothing left to spend, by my estimation they still have $2.275 million left just to GET to the $40 million Moorad and Hoyer have claimed was the minimum they were going to spend.

Do you get the feeling that someone on the Padres is not being totally honest about their 2010 payroll? If it stays as it is it will be the smallest payroll in MLB. And now they seem to be hedging on even keeping their promise to the fans to have it "start with a 4".

For some reason I don't think they are done. I think Hoyer and Moorad are playing this close to the vest and have their hand in on other players. After all, there were no rumors of the Padres being in on Garland until after they already had an agreement in hand.

So hold on to your hats, we may all be surprised by the next signing.

I have had my say. Now tell us what do you think of the Padres signing Jon Garland?

Friday, January 22, 2010

What do the Padres do with $7 million?

Friday January 22, 2010

Jed Hoyer and Jeff Moorad have both said in XX 1090 interviews recently that the team is still looking to sign a veteran starting pitcher and a veteran backup catcher.

So who is left for them to choose from?

Here is a list of the biggest name Free Agent Starting Pitchers still on the market.

Right Hand Starting Pitchers
Ben Sheets,
Pedro Martinez,
Jon Garland,
Braden Looper,
John Smoltz,
Chien-Ming Wang,
Livan Hernandez,
Todd Wellemeyer.

Jarrod Washburn,
Erik Bedard,
Noah Lowry.

The Padres have already kicked the tires on Jose Contreras and Noah Lowry and come away without making any offers.(Contreras agreed to terms with the Phillies today according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN )

Sheets, Garland and Bedard are all widely thought to be asking more than the Padres are able to pay.

So other than the Padres, what teams are still in the market for a veteran starting pitcher? The Dodgers, Mets, Mariners and Cleveland have huge holes in their starting rotation. Cleveland has no room in their budget so they are probably out of the mix.

The Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Nationals, and Pirates could also use a starter, but more for depth than out of need for a front line guy.

My thinking is that with the 2010 payroll currently being more than $7 million under $40 million the Padres may be able to make a run at any of those guys.

I would prefer to see that money spent on a potential front of the rotaion guy like Sheets, but signing a future Hall of Fame pitcher like Martinez makes sense from the standpoint of what he could teach all the young pitchers on the Padres staff.

Lowry, if finally healthy, could be a good signing, but I don't see him as significantly better option than the kids like LeBlanc, Stauffer and Gallagher that he would be blocking.

How about catchers?

Among guys that could be starters its pretty much Yorvit Torrealba and Rod Barajas.  Brad Ausmus, Paul Bako, and Jose Molina round out the list of catchers still on the market.

Torrealba turned down a two year $5.6 million deal with the Rockies in December, so he could be priced well out of the Padres range.

Barajas started 125 games for the Blue Jays last season so he is probably looking for a situation where he can be a starter and that is not the case in Padreville.

Ausmus is a San Diego county resident and other than the Padres and Dodgers, his only real option is to retire. He would be my choice. a good defensive catcher who calls a great game, Ausmus could teach Hundley the finer points of catching.

So who else is in the market? The Dodgers, Rangers and of course, the Padres. Maybe the Yankees as well, but mainly as a minor league signing.

The Padres should still be able to come away with a good backup.

2010 Padres Payroll

Friday January 22, 2010

Been hearing lots of talk about what the Padres have left in payroll. Talk from Hoyer and Moorad. Talk from Correy Brock and others. Talk of just $5-6 million being available to spend.

I thought it best to take a look myself. Math was never my strong point, but spreadsheets do all the math for you if you ask them to, so I am pretty sure the numbers are correct.

Here goes.  

The San Diego Padres Payroll as of January 22, 2010

Player Name              Position    2010 Salary

Tied up for 2010      
Chris Young                  SP         $  6,375,000.00
Adrian Gonzalez            1B         $  4,825,000.00
David Eckstein              2B         $  1,000,000.00
Kevin Correia           RHP/SP     $  3,600,000.00
Heath Bell                 RHP/RP     $  4,000,000.00
Mike Adams             RHP/RP     $  1,000,000.00
Committed                                 $20,800,000.00
Arbitration Eligible                  Expected Salary
Scott Hairston              OF          $  2,900,000.00         ($2.1 - $2.9 million)
Arbitration Subtotals                 $ 2,900,000.00
Free Agent Signings      
Jerry Hairston               Util          $ 2,125,000.00

Free Agent Signing Subtotals   $ 2,125,000.00
NOT Arbitration Eligible / Under Team Control      
Headley, Chase          OF/3B       $450,000.00
Gonzalez, Edgar           UT           $450,000.00
Hundley, Nick              C             $450,000.00
Venable, Will              OF            $450,000.00
Cabrera, Everth           SS            $450,000.00
Kyle Blanks                 OF           $450,000.00
Oscar Salazar              UT            $450,000.00
Tony Gwynn Jr.           OF            $450,000.00
Aaron Cunningham      OF            $450,000.00
Greg Burke                  RHP         $450,000.00
Luke Gregerson           RHP         $450,000.00
Mujica, Edward           RHP         $450,000.00
Thatcher, Joe               LHP         $450,000.00
Aaron Poreda              LHP         $450,000.00
Sean Gallagher             RHP         $450,000.00
Luis Perdomo              RHP          $450,000.00
Adam Russell               RHP          $450,000.00
LeBlanc, Wade            LHP          $450,000.00
Mat Latos                    RHP          $450,000.00
Tim Stauffer                 RHP          $450,000.00
Clayton Richard           LHP          $450,000.00
Team Control Subtotals             $  9,000,000.00

Totals                                          $34,825,000.00

Yes I know there are way too many pitchers. 16 in all. So subtract $1.8 million for 4 guys at $450,000 and you are at $33.025 million. Viola!      

Total 2010 Padres Payroll           $33,025,000.00

Now I must admit that we don't know exactly what the players under team control will be paid in 2010, but since the major league minimum is $400,000, I would bet that an average of $450,000 would be pretty dang close or maybe even a tad high. If anyone knows a way to find out what the average was for last year, please let me know and I will adjust the figures here.

I am also guessing that Hairston, Scott that is, signs for somewhere close to $2.5 million or the mid way point between the arbitration figures of $2.9 million he asked for and the $2.1 the Padres offered.

Now as to where the Payroll ends up in 2010, I have to rely on the Padres front office. Both Moorad and Hoyer have been quoted as saying the Padres payroll for the 2010 season would start with a 4(four). Since they are $28+ million over $4 million, I would have to guess they mean $40 million or more.

$40 million minus $33.0 million = $7.0 million still available.

If Scott Hairston signs for $2.5 and I have overestimated the average salary of the players under team control, then the Padres could very well have $7.5 - $8 .0 million still available to sign free agents and still stay under $40 million budgeted for payroll.

Now the question becomes who do the Padres target with the money they have left to spend?

Editors Note 1/26/2010:
With the Padres signing of Jon Garland to a $4.7 million/1 year deal today, the Padres 2010 Payroll stands at $37.725 million and Corey Brock of has posted on Twitter that the Padres have no money left to spend on what is now the lowest payroll in baseball.

Editors Note 2/2/2010:
The Padres signed Scott Hairston to a $2.45 million 1 year deal to avoid arbitration. That puts the Padres payroll at about $37,275,000.00

That leaves the Padres about $6.459 million under last seasons $43,734,200.00 payroll
Can you say Orlando Hudson?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Padres Corner Market on Hairstons

Monday January 18, 2009

The San Diego Padres cornered the market on Hairston's today by signing Jerry Jr., the big brother of new (old?) Padre Scott, to a $2.125 million one year deal.

Over the past 25 years the Padres have been the league leaders in brothers. The Alomars, Gwynns (even hired the kid), Giles', and Gonzalez's have all played together in a Padres uniform and now the Hairstons' will get their chance.  Talk about keeping it in the family.

Jerry Hairston Jr.(33), who like his younger brother Scott began his career as a Second Baseman, will fill a super utilty position.for the Padres backing up David Eckstein and Everth Cabrera in the middle infield as well as being available to play all 3 outfield positions. Jerry Jr and his brother both play a number of  positions well and this gives quite a bit of flexibility when filling out the lineup card.

Hairston Jr. is a career .259/.328/.373/.701 hitter and a plus defender at 2B and all 3 OF positions, but lacks the power of his brother Scott. He began last season with the Cincinnati Reds and finished the season on the World Champion New York Yankees.  The Padres will be Hairston Jr.'s 6th team in his 12 year career.

Welcome aboard Jr.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Padres make first move of the offseason

Friday January 15, 2010

Finally! The Padres make a move and its a good one.

The San Diego Padres made their first real trade of the off season trading Third Baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and a minor league 2B Eric Sogard to the Oakland A's for former Padre Scott Hairston and the A's top outfield prospect Aaron Cunningham.

Scott Hairston fills an immediate hole for a RH Bat with power that can platoon in CF with Tony Gwynn. Padres fans are very familiar with Hairston. Many were sad to see him go when he was traded away in early July last season while hitting .299/.358/.533/.891 in a move that brought the Padres Sean Gallagher and two good young pitching prospects. Now he is back!

Hairston learned about the trade by reading and said in an interview with Craig of that being traded back to San Diego is "a dream come true".

Cunningham, 23 and a 6th round draft pick by the White Sox in 2005, gives the Padres a power hitting RH bat with some speed in the outfield for the future.

With the A's already having a crowded outfield, Cunningham became expendable when the A's traded for another top OF prospect, Michel Taylor. He will likely start the 2010 season in Portland.

Playing mainly corner OF positions in 2009, Cunningham hit .302/.372/.479/.851 with 11 HR in 334 abs for AAA Sacramento. He also hit .151 over 60 abs in a 23 game stint in Oakland, his second short stay in an A's uniform in the last two seasons.

The long expected trade of Kevin Kouzmanoff means Chase Headley will be moved out of left field, where his fielding was woefully inadequate, and get his chance to replace the NL record holder for fielding percentage at the hot corner.

I sincerely hope the move to his natural position of 3B also helps Headley feel more comfortable at the plate where he has not lived up to expectations so far in his career.

Moving Headley to 3B will also allow the Padres to give the teams best power hitting prospect, Kyle Blanks, a full season in left field. Blanks excelled in his first action in the majors last season before suffering a season ending foot injury in late August.

The only bummer about this trade is losing Sogard, the Padres top middle infield prospect in a system in dire need of middle infield prospects.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Padres Rumors

Thursday January 14, 2010

Ahhh Finally. The rumors of the Padres interest in players are starting to show up with more frequency.

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports posted a rumor on Wednesday that the Padres were looking to sign former White Sox Right Fielder Jermaine Dye. At the time I posted a post on this site that questioned the rumor because of the terrible fit between the 36 year old, poor fielding Dye and the Padres who are looking for a right handed bat to platoon with Tony Gwynn and or Will Venable in centerfield.

Corey Brock of followed with an article about Dye and the Padres, noting that the source for the rumors had also noted that Padres interest was "low on likelihood."

Ken Davidoff of Newsday posted on Twitter today a rumor of the Padres interest in signing right hand starting pitcher Jose Contreras. The Padres have expressed interest in signing a veteran starting pitcher and the 38 year old Contreras at least fits the description of a veteran. Its the starting pitcher part that I question.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post wrote today that the Padres were one of e teams that had expressed interest in former Rockies Catcher Yorvit Torrealba.  While Torrealba may be an expensive backup catcher, this is one rumor that makes sense for the Padres. Ramon Castro and Miguel Olivo recently signed and Benji Molina is looking for a starting position, so Torrealba may be the last actually decent catcher available.

For me, whether the Padres actually sign any of these players or not, it nice to see the Padres name showing up in the trade rumors on a regular basis.

So what becomes of Bell, Kouz and Adams?

Thursday January 14, 2010

With the date arbitration eligible players and their teams need to exchange numbers, the question I have is what will happen with Bell, Kouzmanoff and Adams?

Will any or all of them be traded? If they are to be traded, will the Padres wait until after signing them to trade them?

Will the Padres attempt to sign any or all of them to a  long term deal at favorable rates?
Will any or all of them make it all the way to actual arbitration proceedings? Under Moores and Towers, the Padres signed almost every arbitration eligible player prior to the arbitration proceedings. What will Moorad and Hoyer do?

So what do you think? What will happen to Heath Bell, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Mike Adams?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Padres looking at Jermaine Dye?

Wednesday January 13, 2010

Jon Paul Morosi of posted this little tidbit today about the Padres supposed interest in Dye.
"The Padres are showing interest in free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye, a major league source said."
Its hard to take that rumor seriously. Dye is a terrible fit in San Diego. He will be 36 years old in a couple of weeks. He can barely play the field at all, let alone CF. He was among the worst RF in baseball in 2009. He will be asking for at least $3 million. Would a power hitter like Dye accept a 1 year deal to a place that saps power? And would he accept a position coming off the bench?

I guess the only way in which he fits the Padres expressed needs is that he is right handed, but $3 million for a platoon player is a lot of money for a team that is expected to have a payroll in the low $40's.

I really doubt this one comes to pass.

Monday, January 11, 2010

McGwire comes clean - sort of

Monday January 11, 2010

Five years after pleading the 5th when asked about his steroid use by a Congressional Panel, Mark McGwire finally admitted what we all knew all along, he used steroids.

But I may be even more disappointed, disgusted may be a better word, with the man AFTER his admission than I was before.
Now he is trying to claim he didn't do it for strength. That he did it only to recover from injures. That he used so small of a dose that it really didn't do anything for him and that is why he continued to do it over and over for an entire decade. That God and not man made chemistry gave him the inhuman strength to hit baseballs 500 feet.

How DARE he invoke God to try to gloss over the fact that he cheated and lied and is STILL lying.

And to have the unmitigated gall to say he feels sorry for himself for cheating the game I love and lying about it? To whine to Bob Costas “What I had to go through …” ?


He got paid millions because he broke both the law and the rules of the game of baseball. And he feels sorry for himself? 

Mark McGwire just doesnt get it. He clearly does not realize the ramifications of his crimes against the game of baseball. He SHOULD feel ashamed. Instead he feels sorry for himself. It just shows just how much of a coward he truly is and how LITTLE of a man he is. And I am not just talking about his shrunken huevos.

Yes, I think the word for what I am feeling about Mark McGwire is disgusted.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Padres showing up on the Hot Stove

Saturday January 9, 2010

I must admit something. I am a junkie for Tim has me hooked on all the rumors.

It sure has been nice to see the Padres name popping up some recently. It has been conspicuously absent for most of this off season, unless you consider the trade for Ryan and the resigning of Quezada and Worrell news.

That is changing. Today we saw two mentions of the Padres.

One article on Tim's site today led off with a mention of the Padres requesting the medical records of former San Francisco Giants starter Noah Lowry. Lowry has not pitched since 2007 because of what turned out to be thoracic outlet syndrome, an impinging of nerves and muscles by his rib. The rib is gone now and teams are looking to see if the lefty is ready to pitch in 2010.

Whether Lowry could crack the Padres rotation even if he is healthy is a huge question mark, but on a minor league deal I think Lowry would be a good signing for the Padres.

In that same article that mentioned the Padres was Corey Brock shooting down the rumor that Khalil Greene would be returning in a twitter post today. Sorry Padres fans, your Greene jerseys will have to stay in the closet.

Several posts over the past two days including this one, talk about the Padres interest in Jerry Hairston JR. to fill the need for a RHB for the outfield. Although if Ken Rosenthal of of is correct in his Twitter post that Jerry Jr will get 2-3 million on a 1 year deal, the Pades are likley out of the running already. Steep price for the Padres for a platoon player.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Padres get another catcher

January 4, 2010

Why get just One AAA Catcher when you can have Two?

Padres must agree because they went out and signed Chris Stewart to a minor league deal.

Stewart, 28, capped off an 8 year run in the minors by spending last season as the backup in AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre in the Yankees system. He hit .280/.375/.341/.716 in 232 abs over 78 games. He doesn't have any power and he doesn't really hit for very high average either, a .259 career average in the minors, and he doesn't even play good defense (9 passed balls in 78 games).

Well I guess he IS depth.

In a related, and kind of sad, story:

According to, the Rockies have come to an agreement with Miguel Olivo today on a 1 year deal worth $2 million for 2010 and an option for 2011 at $2.5 million with a $500k buyout.

2 years, $5 million. Money even the Padres could afford.