Padres Editorial: Ranking the Off-Season Moves Part I
By James Clark
The acquisition of Shawn Kelley from the New York Yankees for minor league pitcher Johnny Barbato
Shawn Kelley is hardly a household name, but his value could be immense as the Padres plan on contending this season. Bottom of the bullpen guys are unsung heroes on a team. If they succeed you, hear nothing about them and if they fail, they are simply shipped out of town to Triple-A. He is a strickly fastball-slider guy, with average to slightly above average stuff. His strikeout (over 1 per inning) and fly ball tendencies translate well to spacious Petco Park.
With potential deals still in the works, Kelley could easily vault himself into a 7th inning role with the team. He owns a 3.94 career ERA in 233 innings at the Major League level, while striking out 260. The Padre bullpen is a strength on the team, and I can easily see a team looking for the likes of Kevin Quackenbush and Dale Thayer. If one of them is moved, Kelley will be a valuable pitcher in the bullpen.
The 30-year old Kelley is in a walk year, and is sure to put in a quality effort to remain in the big leagues for years to come. The price tag for Shawn Kelley was minor league pitcher Johnny Barbato. The 22-year old Barbato pitched last year in Double-A San Antonio. He was 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 31 innings pitched. The 6th round selection (2010) out of Felix Varela High School in Miami, Florida was simply buried by a wealthy Padres’ minor league farm system. He could eventually pay dividends for the Yankees, but the Padres are looking for returns now.