This does not come as much of a surprise, the Padres currently sit 10 games under .500, and having one of the best closers and set up men in baseball does not help a team who struggles to win games, especially considering the Padres will be in sell-mode come the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
Back-end bullpen players are in high demand come the trade deadline, and Heyman lists the Tigers, Orioles, Marlins, Brewers, Blue Jays, and Angels as teams who will look to bolster their bullpen for a playoff run.
Padres’ CEO Mike Dee has come out publicly several times, stating that the team will not be going through a fire sale, even with its recent struggles. However Street and Benoit are the Padres two best trade chips, and are both under team-friendly contracts, which will help bring a lot in return.
Not to mention the Padres have arguably been the most successful team in baseball when it comes to building a bullpen out of ‘no-namers’. Names like Edward Mujica, Luke Gregerson, and Mike Adams all sprouted pretty successful careers, and it’s not crazy to think the Padres could remain having one of the best bullpens in baseball even without Street and Benoit.
Street has been immaculate this season, collecting 20 saves in as many opportunities, with a 0.96 ERA. His trade value is at an all-time high, so if the Padres are looking to cash-in, that they will need to move quickly.
Benoit has also had a wonderful year, grabbing 11 holds with a 1.42 ERA, continuing to establish himself as an elite set-up man. Benoit is a veteran, well known around the league, and will be a prized commodity for any team looking to enhance the back-half of their bullpen.
While Padres’ fans don’t want to hear about more of their best players being traded away, trading Street and Benoit makes too much sense. They will both net bigger returns than they probably should, and the Padres have enough depth in their bullpen to hit the ground running with their loss.
If these moves do transpire soon, it would not be surprising to see a closer by committee consisting of Alex Torres and Dale Thayer, while rookie Kevin Quackenbush could be given the 8th inning set-up role.