Padre Winter of 2014/2015

Jun 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller looks on prior to the game against the Miami Marlins at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller looks on prior to the game against the Miami Marlins at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The Padre Winter of 2014/2015.  All Padre Fans remember this time very well. It gave us hope and reason to “talk” Padres again. Maybe, just maybe, we could have the excitement of 1998 again!! Alas we all know the outcome, SIGH!! Now was it worth it??

A lot has been written about how AJ Preller “GUTTED” the Padre Farm system that winter.  Yes he traded away 22 players (yikes!!) but really what did he give up?? As I write this on June 30, 2016, it has been a full season (2015) and almost a half of a season of 2016, This gives us some data in which we can look back on for comparison.

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The headline “AJ Guts Farm System” you would expect disasters everywhere, It is just NOT TRUE!! Frankly I was shocked how there was only one trade I ranked as a potential loss. It is the one of course that gets all the headlines.The headline “AJ Guts Farm System” you would expect disasters everywhere.

I did a search of the stats for ALL players involved for both received and traded. I did not research contract values.  Listed below is a summary of each of the trades. You make up your mind. Let us explore!!

The Kemp trade was the first trade of the Padre Winter. We traded Yasmani Grandal (C) to the Dodgers. He started hot early in 2015, but had a bad 2nd half for a net of a .239 average.  It is even worse this year at .179 over 169 AB’s.  Zack Eflin (P) and Joe Wieland(P) were also traded to the Dodgers. Zack had two decent minor league seasons, but has yet to make it to the bigs.  Joe was awful for the Dodgers.  We got Tim Federowicz ( C), who  was waived in August 2015. Getting Kemp (who lead the NL in “go ahead RBI’s last year), despite his big salary, I rate this A Big WIN .

Derek Norris Trade From the “A’s”: The main player traded away was Jessie Hahn.  He is having an ugly time this year with the A’s. He has a 2-4 record and an ERA of 6.49. Recently he was sent to the minors.  Hahn’s 2015 was OK but only had 13 starts. The other two players: Arm injuries and gone.  Again .. A WIN

Will Myers Trade: The big (and often posted) name of course is Trea Turner. Yes he appears to be the goods, with two very good minor league seasons hitting .300 plus. His 29 games with the Nationals is not so good at .225. So really to be a true loss he has to prove he can do it in the majors. The killer of this trade was Joe Ross (P). He is doing great in the show in 2016 with a 7-4 record and 3.30 ERA.( OOPS! For us) He also had a decent 2015 as well.  In the deal Padres also traded Joe Bauers (1B) to TB. He is still in the Rays minors doing OK but not great. Padres got Ryan Harigan ( C) and then traded him to Boston for Middlebrooks (who did poorly for Padres and was released end of 2015). The other three players….well just forget about it. With Will Myers having a HEALTHY break out year, this trade is coming more into balance. If Turner does not succeed at the major league level then this is a WIN for us but for now I have to rate this as a slight loss.

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 Justin Upton Trade: Padres traded Jace Peterson (2B ), Dustin Peterson (3B), Max Fried (P) and Mallex Smith (OF) to the Braves. In 2016 Jace is having an up and down year with a recent upswing to bring the average up to .276. He looks more like a journeyman than an every day player. In 2015 he hit .239 for year after a hot start. Dustin Peterson (3B) is still in minors but does not have any power. Bad for 3B and he is only a .250 hitter.

Mallex Smith (the speedster) had good minors. However with the 2016 Braves he is hitting .237, with a poor .312 OBA. This is not good for a lead off hitter.  He has 14 steals but 7 caught stealing, which is not very good either. The Braves also got Max Fried, who had Tommy John surgery in 2015. The Padres got a career minor league relief pitcher, which is still with the Padres.  Justin as we all know gave us a less than a fulfilling “contract” year. Letting the “BUM” Justin walk netted us a 1st round pick in the 2016 draft. Despite less than stellar 2015 from the BUM, A TOSS UP to a SLIGHT WIN if the 1st rd pick amounts to anything.

Shawn Kelley Trade: Padres Sent Johnny Barbato (P) to the Yankees, who failed in the bigs. He is struggling now in the minors. Shawn Kelley left us for Free Agency after a strong 2015 year, still A WIN.

Brandon Maurer Trade: Padres sent Seth Smith (of) to the A’s. He has had journeyman numbers with no real power, playing sparingly. For us Brandon Maurer had a good 2015, 7-2 era 3.00 in 51 relief innings. Not so good in 2016. Still A WIN

Wieck/Mazzoni Trade: WHO you say?? They are two minor league relief pitchers still with the Padres and having OK minor league seasons. Padres traded Alex Torres (P), who was then later released by Mets and then the Braves. A WIN

Craig Kimbrel/Melvin Upton Jr.Trade: Padres traded Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Matt Wisler and Jordon Paroubeck. Cameron had an OK 2015 after a hot start. He hit 10hr/59RBI and had a .269 average, while playing every day.  The Braves traded him to Detroit in the winter of 2016. Now he is having a huge year batting .346 in the AL. He is showing what the Padres thought he was capable of but could never do.

Carlos Quentin immediately was waived and his 2015 contract was eaten by the Braves. He is out of baseball.  Wisler (P) with the Braves went 8-8 with a 4.71 era in 2015. In 2016 he is 3-7 and a 4.17 era. Paroubeck (2B) was traded by the Braves to the Dodgers and is doing OK in the minors. We of course got Melvin Upton Jr. He is having a good 2016 (His first without his brother in awhile).  Because of his positive attitude, the steal of home and his awesome “highlight” HR grabbing catch, he has the Padre fans really warming up to him.

Craig Kimbrel had a good 2015 for us and then was traded during the 2015/16 off season to the Red Sox for outfielder Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje and lefty Logan Allen. It is too early for the results on that trade. Because of Melvin’s contract, Wisler decent years and unknown players from Boston, I rate this A TOSS UP for NOW.  Really would be a WIN, if any of the players from Boston make it to the majors.

In SUMMARY and in my opinion AJ had a WINNING 2014/2015 winter season. Sure during the winter he traded three recent 1st rd picks but the only real loss came in the Myers trade which cost Joe Ross and Trea Turner. Even Trea Turner is not really a sure real loss due to his weak Major League debut. With Myers the jury is still out. However it is looking a whole lot brighter with his latest hitting. So in NO WAY is the Myers trade a disaster that the press writes about.

"THANK YOU AJ” for giving me hope, something I had not felt in more than a decade."

Out of the 22 players traded away during that winter to only have THREE or FOUR you would want back vs. all that we got. I would say AJ deserves more credit. I do not know about you true Padre Fans but “THANK YOU AJ” for giving me hope, something I had not felt in more than a decade.

So as you can see from above, the 22 players he traded away did not lead to one disaster. In retrospect in the winter of 2014/2015 what AJ “gutted” was a weak farm system.

PS This is my first post with Friars on Base. I hope to do more “look back”type articles in the future AND  Yes I am a “homer” but maybe you are too, since you are reading this.