As with most first days of the Winter Meetings, the 2014 FansSided Faux-Winter Meetings were full of rumors, lots of rumblings and lots of action. Fellow Friars on Base staff writer, Daryll Dorman, and I represented the San Diego Padres at the meetings and have quite a bit to report.
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Day 1 Goal:
It was our goal to fill as many team needs as possible without dealing our top prospects in the process. We were confident that we had enough depth in our rotation to field serious offers on our starting pitching and bullpen. Our secondary goal was to free up any large amounts of future guaranteed salary. We wanted to free up salary so that we could use those additional funds to secure a long term contract with a free agent or player acquired via trade.
Needs that we felt we needed to address via trade or free agency included: 1B, 3B, SS, OF
Before the Faux-Winter Meetings began, teams from both the American League and National League were already contacting us to check in on our coveted top of the rotation pitchers. Tyson Ross was the most sought after Padre with Andrew Cashner coming in a very close second. The National League’s best bullpen also gained some attention in the form of Nick Vincent and Alex Torres. I was surprised to see that we weren’t receiving more feelers on Joaquin Benoit.
Teams that checked in on Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner included: the Boston Red Sox (BoSox Injection), San Francisco Giants (Around the Fog Horn), Kansas City Royals (Kings of Kauffman), and the Atlanta Braves (Tomahawk Take)
The Red Sox were the first team to inquire on Cashner, Ross, Vincent, and Torres. The package they proposed was in exchange for either starting pitcher and either reliever. Boston’s offer was headlined by Cuban slugger, Yoenis Cespedes, and included two of the organization’s top 20 prospects.
The Giants seemed unwilling to negotiate big-league caliber players for Tyson Ross and Nick Vincent. San Francisco designed their package around prospects: Adam Duvall, Hector Sanchez, and Kyle Crick.
The Indians offered Lonnie Chisenhall for Ian Kennedy.
After some heavy negotiating with the Faux Co-GMs over at BoSox injection, we finally decided to pull the trigger. We believe that this addresses the Padres need for a big big bat and the athleticism of Cespedes will be a great bonus for our outfield. The two time home run derby winner is only under contract through the end of 2015, so it will become a top priority to sign him to an extension this offseason. Andrew Cashner will undoubtably shine under the bright lights of Fenway and Padres fans might not agree with this move at first, but as a small market team with a limited budget, we need need reliable players. With the departure of Alex Torres, we are now in the market for a left handed pitcher out of the bullpen. We ultimately chose to trade Torres over Vincent because we were able to get another prospect in the deal due to Torres’ previous success in the AL East.
We feel like the minor leaguers that we acquired can instantly contribute in 2015.
Major League Baseball currently has Garin Cecchini ranked as their #55 overall prospect and as the #6 prospect at third base. Cecchini was ranked as the #3 prospect within the Red Sox organization. Cecchini lacks power but has a gift for getting on base. He holds a career triple slash line of .298/.396/.433 in the minor leagues. Cecchini has a plus arm and is lauded for his great work ethic. We feel extremely lucky to have acquired him.
Sean Coyle is a second baseman with pop that can also play third. Coyle is currently the #4 ranked second baseman prospect in the MLB. He finished 2014 with a .295 batting average and 16 HR through 97 games in AA last season. He has a injury history that likely brought down his value and made him available. Due to his past with injuries, he will likely need another year in the system before he is major league ready. If Jedd Gyorko doesn’t pan out, we hope that we have just acquired his replacement.
Travis Shaw was the third and final prospect that we acquired and was the final selling piece for us. After much negotiation we held firm that Shaw needed to be a part of the deal in order for it to get done. Travis Shaw ranked by the MLB at #8 among all first base prospects. Shaw finished his last season with a .278 batting average and 21 home runs through 128 games between split time in Double and Triple A.
Cecchini, Shaw, and Solarte will all compete for the starting third base job during spring training.
Shaw will also compete with Tommy Medica for the starting first base job this spring.