AJ Preller and the Padres have ten days to make the best deal they can get for their players. It is NOT “IF” he will trade. It will be “who” and “when” that is for sure.
As I mentioned in my post “AJ has a Plan, Part 2”, there are basically 5 players up for grabs: Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris, Melvin Upton Jr. Jon Jay and Matt Kemp. Each with his own dynamics for marketability, true value and don’t forget MONEY. Padres have played 96 games, so there is around 40% of the season left.
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Jim Bowden, from ESPN, posted an article yesterday ranking players per position. Our Padres were not very favorably ranked. So possibly AJ is having a hard time getting value for any of them but AJ has one more day than normal. Deadline date is August 1st because July 31st falls on a Sunday.
Lets talk about them one by one.
- Andrew Cashner: 29 yr old Starting Pitcher on the last year contract for $7.5 million. He will for ever be linked to the Anthony Rizzo trade. (Yuk!!). AJ will have trouble getting any kind of value for Andrew. Once thought of having great stuff, even a potential #1starter. Alas it was never so. This year he has gone down hill. He has yet to win a game on the road and sports a W/L of 4/7 and an ERA of 4.79 His worst with the Padres. As he is a free agent next year, he is a pure rental for some team. Jim Bowden has him ranked 14th for starting pitchers available. AJ would love just to dump him and approximately 3 Million left in his salary. Any player back would be a bonus. USA today links possible interest from a starved Baltimore pitching staff. Andrew pitched well last night in front of a Toronto Blue Jays scout. Maybe they and Baltimore will be intrigued with his potential, as the Padres were way back when.
- Derek Norris: 27 yr old catcher signed for $2.9 million this year. Arbitration control for 2017 and 2018. Derek’s hitting started off horrible, then a short hot streak and is now back to “Yuk”. He still has a big bat and could very much help a team in need. Jim Bowden has Norris ranked #2 in a thin catcher’s market. Indians and Rangers are mentioned as potential fit. AJ is in no hurry if the value is not there. He would have the whole off season to move him and make room for Austin Hedges.
- Melvin Upton Jr. 31 yr old Center fielder signed this year for 15.5 Million and 16.5 next. Free agent 2018. He is having his most productive year since 2012. Recently has become a Padre fan favorite for his hustle. The “wow” catch and steal of home are highlights. He would be a great fit for any team needing an Outfielder, except MONEY gets in the way. To get any value, AJ will have to pony up some dough. Jim Bowden has him ranked #9 in a crowded Outfield market. USA says possible links are Nationals, Astros and Mets. It is reported that Trea Turner is playing Outfield in the Washington Minors. That’s how much they need an outfielder.
- Jon Jay: 31 yr old Center fielder signed for 6.8 Million, Free Agent next year. Came over from STL in the Jedd Gyorko trade. Jon started strong with a .296 average and a .345 OBA but got injured. It is unclear if he will be activated before August 1. However after saying that, there are rumors that teams have asked about him. Jim Bowden has him ranked #11. AJ would love to get any tiny morsel he can, just to dump the 2.7 million left on the 2016 contract.
- Matt Kemp: 31 yr old Right fielder signed for a NET 18.25 million through 2019. (The Dodgers pay 3.5 million of the 21.75). Anyone who has read my posts knows I am huge Matt Kemp fan. ( See article Matt Kemp and Padres 2017). So I will not go into great detail. Suffice to say I think Matt’s value could not be any HIGHER than it is right now. He is a difference maker. A team that acquired him would radically change the playoff landscape. He should fetch a BEVY of good prospects, HOWEVER there is this thing called MONEY. It is the ONLY stumbling block from him being already traded. Teams are afraid to be stuck with a huge contract should Matt’s skills go south. Can you say ARod, Mark Teixeria or Prince Fielder? On the other hand there is Boston’s Big Papi. He is having a MONSTER season at 40 yrs old. Jim Bowden has Matt ranked #8 in a previously mentioned crowded outfield market. For Matt his comment is “Bad Contract”. Surprisingly to me, I have not seen one word written linking him to any team.
In Summary, AJ has several players to dangle in front of the 29 GMs. Will he catch a fish? Will he get a player he wanted? I am sure he wants to unload some salary from expiring contracts to help pay the international bill. One thing for sure this is different from AJ’s “stand pat” last year.