San Diego Padres: Royals and Padres swap three key pieces

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 13: Trevor Cahill
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 13: Trevor Cahill /

The first move involving the San Diego Padres prior to the trade deadline has been made. The Friars have shipped off three of their top pitchers.

The San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals pulled off an impressive trade on Monday with Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter and closer Brandon Maurer packing and leaving San Diego with the Padres receiving left handed starter/reliever Travis Wood, lefty Matt Strahm and minor league second baseman Estuery Ruiz.

Wood, 30, will be joining the team and added to the 25-man roster. Strahm, 25, is out for the rest of the season with tendon surgery but will be available next season. Ruiz, 18, was with the Royals Arizona league rookie team and will probably be joining the Padres in AZ.

Packaging the three pitchers for Kansas City might be part of the stretch run for the Royals, especially the two relievers. Cahill could be considered an upgrade from Wood, who was effective last season with the Cubs but has struggled this season with the Royals and has a 6.91 ERA in 41.2 IP as a starter and from the bullpen.

Strahm has starter or back end of the bullpen potential and could be ready for spring next year. Ruiz needs development but AJ Preller, in his media meeting after the trade, admires his bat and speed potential as a middle infielder.

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The benefit to the Royals should be immediate with the two quality relievers they acquired, and another hurler with experience as well as flexibility in Cahill. If Darren Balsley can work with Wood to get back to his previous form the Padres could have a valuable veteran on the pitching staff.

The bullpen will now need to shift roles and discover who will assume the late inning responsibilities. If Brad Hand is also traded, Kirby Yates and Phil Maton will most likely work the end of the game the most often. It is also possible Carter Capps will soon be available to the Padres from his rehab stint.

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The value of this trade for the Friars will not be known in the short term. It will be a more immediate benefit for the Royals. Preller again is emphasizing the need to build for the future of the organization and not immediate needs.