The San Diego Padres have finally traded one of their many, many outfielders. On Tuesday the Friars. traded outfielder Seth Smith to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for pitcher Brandon Maurer. The 24-year old right-hander has been both a starter and a relief pitcher in his first two years in the Major Leagues. The way the Padres’ roster is currently constructed they could use him in either role depending on how comfortable they are with the bullpen and the back end of the rotation with Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow.
Maurer’s first two seasons have not g0ne well. In 60 (21 starts) games he owns a 6-12 record with a career ERA of 5.58 and 125 K’s. He’s still young and has a lot of room to grow and with some holes in the Padres pitching staff he has a spot on the roster. He relies on a five pitch mix of a fastball, slider, cutter, changeup and curveball. Maurer was never a top of the line prospect but could be a quality, middle of the road hurler in the future.
The Mariners drafted Maurer in the 23rd round 0f the 20o8 Amateur Draft. While he’s still young and has decent potential he’s really not what many people envisioned the Padres getting in return for a quality outfielder like Seth Smith. If you ask me (Yes, I know you’re not really asking me) the Padres sold low on Smith. They could have gotten a better a bullpen or rotation piece or at least a young gun with more upside. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Maurer thrives in San Diego and pitches pretty well for the Padres.
There’s a lot to be desired with Maurer. He has raw ability that has brought him to the Major Leagues but is yet to be honed into talent good enough to compete at this level. I’m a little puzzled by General Manager A.J. Preller’s thought process with this move. It might be his most questionable all off season.
But, I’ll say it again, Maurer has room to grow and maybe the Padres have set themselves up to reap the benefits from what could be an under the radar pickup. However, that remains to be seen.