Today marks one year since the Padres made a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays sending Logan Forsythe, Brad Boxberger, Matt Andriese, Matt Lollis and one of the coolest names in the minors, Maxx Tissenbaum to the Sunshine State in exchange for two quality young pitchers in Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn. Looking back after a year, who got the better deal?
Obviously, there are a lot of factors that haven’t played themselves out yet. Some prospects are still working their way up the system and it will be hard to gauge their impact on the franchise. However, there were a few pieces that made an immediate impact.
Let’s start with what the Rays got….
Sep 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe (10) hits a single in the tenth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Tampa Bay won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Forsythe, Infielder
Forsythe was a serviceable infielder for the Padres from 2011-2013, mainly playing second base for the Friars. The Padres were ready to give Jedd Gyorko the reigns and let Forsythe go. Last season, Forsythe appeared in 110 games for the big league club in Tampa, which was a career high. He hit .223 with six HRs and 12 doubles. He has actually hit exactly six home runs in each of the last three years. He tied a career high with 26 RBI. Not eye-popping numbers but his value goes beyond his bat as a versatile infielder.
Sep 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger (26) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. Chicago White Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Boxberger, RHP
Boxberger was perhaps the player the Rays received that has made the most immediate impact. He filled a void in their bullpen and ended up pitching 64 2/3 innings in 63 games. He also had 104 strikeouts, tripling his previous career high. He went 5-2, with a 2.37 ERA with two saves. The USC grad is signed for several more years and his role in the Rays bullpen may grow and grow.
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Matt Andriese, RHP
Andriese has yet to make the big league club, but he was a vital part to the starting rotation for Triple-A Durham. He made 25 starts, going 11-8, with a 3.77 ERA and 129 strikeouts. With a good start to 2015, he could find himself with the Rays sometime this season.
Matt Lollis, RHP
Lollis also has not made the trip to Tampa with the major league club yet. He pitched in 49 games for Double-A Montgomery, going 6-2, with a 4.03 ERA. He may be a year or so away from the big leagues.
Maxx Tissenbaum, Catcher
Tissenbaum played all over the infield in the Padres organization, but the Rays moved him to catcher when they sent him to the Florida State League (Single-A). He hit .288 in 86 games for Charlotte in 2014, with 51 RBI. He shows promise with the bat, but the 23-year old Canadian has a few more years of development before he gets behind the dish in the bigs.
Now for the Padres…
Alex Torres, LHP
Torres made an immediate impact for a Padres bullpen who had to replace a few solid arms. Mostly known for his Super Mario-style protective cap, Torres was a streaky pitcher but when he was on his game in 2014, he was one of the best left-handed relievers in the league. He appeared in 70 games for the Friars and posted a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings. In May, he posted a 0.77 ERA in 11 games. The 27-year old Venezuelan should be a staple in the Padre ‘pen for years to come.
Aug 5, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jesse Hahn (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Hahn, RHP
Although Hahn is off to Oakland and no longer part of the team, it still is worth noting the contribution he had to the 2014 season. He also was a key piece in getting All-Star catcher Derek Norris from the A’s. Had Jesse Hahn not shown so much promise this past year, the Padres may not have been able to get Derek Norris, a solid catcher. He made 12 starts for the Padres in 2014, going 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA and 70 strikeouts. He was one of the top rookie arms last season. He should be a future steady starter for the Athletics moving forward, that is until you know who up in Oakland decides to rip his team apart yet again.
Although one of the two pieces the Padres received is already gone, the trade seems almost even at this point. I will give a slight edge to the Padres because of Alex Torres’ upside and the fact that Jesse Hahn’s solid season allowed him to be a good enough piece to move to acquire an All-Star-caliber catcher in Norris. Boxberger was just as, if not more solid than Torres was last season. It seems to have been a fair trade so far. However, the upcoming prospects in Tampa could tip the scales in the future.