Former Padres GMs Regret Past Trades


As February 2nd comes and goes, another year for “Phil” to predict the season. This year he predicted an early Spring. However, the day is now entrenched in the national consciousness with Bill Murray in the movie by the same name, living the same day over and over but making different decisions each time. Sometimes major league General Managers wish they could do the same thing.

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“I would say the one that didn’t turn out well — and the one I learned the most from — was the Edmonds-for-Freese deal” said Kevin Towers recently reflecting on a 2007 trade for Jim Edmonds in exchange for minor league prospect David Freese.

Edmonds would be released by May after just 26 games and hitting .178. He slightly regained his prior status farther on with the Cubs and Brewers but that didn’t help the Padres.

On the surface you really can’t fault Towers too much for this deal. Freese hadn’t played above Advanced A ball yet and Edmonds had only one down season after a stellar career already with the Angels and Cardinals. There was certainly reason to believe he could bounce back given his career stats and the Padres needed a center fielder after Mike Cameron was up for free agency and no prospect in sight.

Meanwhile at third base, the Padres had both Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley ahead of Freese in the system. Towers says now this was his downfall “The lesson I learned from that was you don’t trade guys just because you have depth at one spot.”.

Of course in 2011 David Freese had one of the best post-seasons ever and World Series especially, single handedly propelling the Cardinals to a Game 6 victory in one of the best World Series in recent memory. The Padres meanwhile lost 91 games in 2011 and Kevin Towers was long gone.

"“That’s the beauty of the game, you learn from your mistakes, some deals you think are your better deals turn out to be your worst. Some of your worse deals become your best deals. Players change, there’s injuries. So much changes.”"

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The Padres might already have some buyers remorse over some of the trades made last off-season. One trade in the Padres favor was the one that brought Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton and Akinoria Otsuka. Decidely in favor of the Padres and almost immediately. Said Rangers GM Jon Daniels of that trade:

“We weren’t one piece away, and it’s easy to say in hindsight, but Adrian’s value would have been more a year later. He wasn’t ‘Adrian Gonzalez, Superstar’ at the time. He was a good prospect. He wasn’t an elite prospect; he was a good prospect. But it wasn’t time to be moving those guys.”

The Padres are hoping to pull off another one of those trades with the recent Craig Kimbrel trade, among others.