Padres Editorial: Judging the Padres Ryan Ludwick Trade

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Yesterday, the Texas Rangers released former San Diego Padres outfielder, Ryan Ludwick.

In 2010, The San Diego Padres went 90-72 and made a serious push for the playoffs.  A late season meltdown allowed the San Francisco Giants to edge out the Padres for a playoff spot.  They would then go on to win their first World Series in 52 years, ouch.

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The Padres pitching and defense was phenomenal in 2010.  Throughout the season, they had a knack for keeping games close and edging out nearly all of their games with one run wins.  To provide more of an offensive threat, then Padres General Manager, Jed Hoyer, made trades for hitters Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick.

Ryan Ludwick was the major piece acquired for the playoff push of 2010.  To obtain Ludwick, the Padres sent a prospect named Corey Kluber to the Cleveland Indians.

Kluber of course, developed into the 2014 AL Cy Young award winner, while Ludwick was eventually dealt by the Padres to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash the following season, to save room in the salary cap.

So was this trade worth it?  Hindsight is always 20/20, but the answer is still a big No.

I appreciate the Padres made a deal before the trade deadline, but they didn’t do enough to make a serious playoff push.  Ludwick played okay for the Padres, but he needed some offensive backup support.

The pickup that they missed on was Cody Ross.  Ross was acquired by the San Francisco Giants primarily as a way to prevent the Padres from attaining him.  Ross went on to a stellar postseason performance that helped slingshot the Giants to the World Series.  If the Padres were truly serious about a playoff spot in 2010, they should have done more to get Ross.  Adding Ross could have prevented the late season meltdown.

The San Diego Padres have always had strong pitching, which is why I have no issue with them dealing away from a source of strength in Kluber to improve their offense.  However, seeing Kluber develop into such a stud hurts; especially when nothing good came of it.  Letting Ross slip away to the Giants makes me think that Hoyer was trying to do only just enough to get into the playoffs.

Think of where the Padres would have made the playoff had they acquired Ross and the Giants would not have won the World Series.

Now, think of where they would have been if they hadn’t made that trade.  They wouldn’t be having any sort of fifth starter competition, it would be a competition with James Shields and Kluber for who gets the first spot.

I’ll always support the Padres making trades to better themselves, but I just want to see them truly go for it; so we’re not stuck in purgatory like we were after the 2010 season.

What do you guys think? Was the Ryan Ludwick trade worth it?  If you were Jed Hoyer in 2010, how would you have dealt with the roster at the trade deadline?

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