The Padres have been adding salary all off-season long and continued to do so with their trade yesterday for righty reliever Shawn Kelley. The Padres are clearly going to for it this season, evidenced by all their moves. They added bats in the outfield and at catcher and even though they subtracted from the bullpen and the rotation only added Brandon Morrow at the major league level. Enter Kelley.
Kelley had an 11.6 K/9 ratio and adds another power arm behind Joaquin Benoit. He’ll join Kevin Quackenbush, Dale Thayer and Nick Vincent from the right side and gives them a chance to leave Leonel Campos in the minors to let him develop.
Kelley is apparently someone that A.J. Preller had targeted for a while according to mlb.com’s Corey Brock.
"“[Preller] was just saying that he’d had his eye on me for the last two weeks and was trying to talk to [Yankees general manager Brian] Cashman, looking for right-handed guy with fastball-slider velocity guy to pitch in that park,” Kelley said. “He said that he was excited to get the deal done and get me out there.”"
It is possible that move for Kelley to a bigger ballpark and the NL could help him. Kelley had a home run rate among the top 15 relievers in all of baseball last season. He also had a top 15 K rate, so maybe the move will help bring that homer rate down to make him even better.
Kelley is another part to the puzzle. It’s a good move and Kelley may play an important part for the Padres in 2015.