Padres Summer Trade Season

Oct 29, 2015; San Deigo, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller speaks to media during a press conference at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2015; San Deigo, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller speaks to media during a press conference at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The frenzy of the August 1st non-waver trade deadline for 2016 has come and gone. Lots was written on our pages, by me and others, giving our thoughts about each trade. Now its time to look at it as a whole. In other words “How did the Padres do overall?”

Many consider that the “summer trading season” begins just after the All-Star break. But for the Padres it really started on June 4th when James Shields was traded. Since that time AJ Preller traded: Shields, Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton Jr. Andrew Cashner, and Matt Kemp.

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Only Cashner was a free agent in 2017. Rodney had a $400K buyout for 2017 (or a $2Mil salary) Kemp and Upton were contract motivated and Rodney and Pomeranz were a “sell high” situation. Derek Norris and Jon Jay were mentioned a lot but were not traded.

So how did the Padres do? ( a little disclaimer first. I believe the salary numbers to be relatively correct but maybe not exact)

  1. From June 4th, the Padres shoveled 57 Million CASH out the door to other teams.
  2. They acquired, then waived Hector Olivera. Eating 28 Million in future salary. Points one and two total 85 Million CASH “out the door” (Yikes)
  3. From June 4th, the Padres shed 145 Million in present (2016) and future contracts (not including what would have been owed to Pomeranz for arbitration 2017 and 2018, possibly 10-12 million).
  4. The three major league players the Padres received back have a combined $900,000 salary for the remainder of 2016. All will be arbitration eligible in either 2017 or 2018.
  5. The Padres net savings was approximately 59 Million.
  6.  Next year Payroll has been decreased by 55.7 Million. (Not counting dead money)

For all of that the Padres improved their farm system by acquiring the #1, #4, #8 and #14 ranked prospects in their organization. (Plus one non ranked prospect) In addition the Padres received 2 active major league players and one who was already on the DL when traded. (Since then one prospect and one player the Padres received went on the DL)

So the REAL question is: How did we do? Did AJ get full value?

On the surface it looks good. Acquire four top prospects and shed 59 million in salary. That goes a long way towards paying the International signings “bill”. However dig deeper and I do not think it looks so pretty. In reality I think AJ won in the four “pitcher” trades and but FAILED to get good value in the two “hitter” trades.

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I think the “market” for Upton and Kemp could have produced better value in the off season then what he got this July.  Both those trades seemed rather ODD to me.

Maybe it is possible AJ got pushed by upper management to dump salary NOW. Not take a chance on the future. Of note though the cost of keeping them both for the remainder of 2016 would have been slightly over 12 Million, so that too might have favored the deadline dumping.

Some talking heads thought the motivation was to open spots for Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. That does not seem true as I doubt AJ will call them up until September to save on Major League “time” for those two.

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Certainly Derek Norris will be traded in the off-season. Maybe the Padres might slip Jon Jay through August waivers and be traded. Even if Jay (a free agent in 2017) is claimed by another team and the Padres let him go, the new team will take on a part of the 6.8 million salary (approximately 1.2 to 2 Million depending on when he is claimed). So logic says a team might trade for Jay (when healthy) for the stretch run if the Padres pick up part of the tab.

Receiving top prospects is all well and good. Lets hope the coaches we have in the minor leagues can do their job, because until the players make the Major Leagues, they are JUST prospects!

The bottom line from this summer season is that the Padres made a CLEAR change in direction. A 180 degree change from the winter of 2014-15. One thing I am SURE, the Padres have a much STRONGER farm system today then in the fall of 2014.  So MUCH better!!!!!!

So it is Bye-Bye 2016 – 2017.  Hello 2018.  Baseball Gods, please guide us well.