Recently several outlets across the internet have reported that the Padres have an interest in Mark Trumbo. In Bill Shaikin’s original tweet that got this whole ball rolling, he mentions that the Angels would need pitching in return for Trumbo.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 29, 2013
It is being assumed by Shaikin and most other blogs that the Angels would require immediate help in the pitching department. However, the possibility of receiving a top pitching prospect such as Max Fried or Matt Wisler could be too much to pass up. So where does the Angels and Padres pitching depth stand? Does San Diego have enough pieces to acquire a slugger like Trumbo?
According to Nashdiesel over at Halo’s Heaven, the Angels rotation next year consists of Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, Garrett Richards, Jerome Williams and Tommy Hanson. Nashdiesel mentions that he doesn’t believe Jerome Williams or Tommy Hanson are viable options in the rotation next season. Last season Williams started 25 games and had an ERA of 4.57, 107 K’s in 169.1 IP and a WAR of 0.3. Tommy Hanson was injured for most of the season but in his 13 starts he pitched 73 innings with 56 Strikeouts, 30 Walks and a WAR of 0.4. Williams seems like a possible fifth starter but, it is clear why the Angels would be looking to improve in this area.
As of right now, next year’s Padres rotation would most likely be Cashner, Ross, Kennedy, Stults and Robbie Erlin. The fifth starter for the Padres is the only real question mark but it would appear that Erlin has the inside track after great starts in August and September. Chances are there will be a heated competition in Spring Training for the fifth spot between Erlin, Burch Smith, Matt Wisler and Keyvius Sampson. I hesitate to throw in the names of Joe Wieland, Cory Luebke and Casey Kelly to the competition but, all three could partake depending on their recovery rate from surgery. The Padres also have the option of bringing in a free agent Starting Pitcher on a one-year deal or as one Twitter follower mentioned, trading for a Pitcher like Johan Santana at a huge discount.
The Padres have more than enough pitching to acquire Trumbo. The whole deal really hinges on what the Angels are looking for. I think that the Padres would be very hesitant to deal Wisler, Fried or Sampson. Although San Diego could really use Erlin’s left-handed starting pitching in the fifth spot, the loss of Erlin in a trade for Trumbo could be mitigated by then trading Yonder Alonso for pitching in order to clear a spot at First Base for Trumbo. My prediction is that the Padres will trade Erlin and possibly Wieland for Trumbo. They will then sign a free agent Starting Pitcher to a one-year deal and wait patiently for any number of great pitchers to either mature or come back from injuries. The only issue then would be what to do with Yonder Alonso’s .281 BA over at First Base. Not a bad problem to have.