I was on vacation when the San Diego Padres made their two deadline moves, so I’m not as tuned in as I’d normally be. That said, I thought I’d take some time to share my thoughts on the deals. Daniel covered both trades right here already and Geoff Young has some nice analysis at The Hardball Times.
Padres trade RHP Wynn Pelzer to Orioles for 3B Miguel Tejada
Initially, I wasn’t really feeling this one (still not sure I fully approve). I think Daniel’s analysis summed it up pretty nicely; Tejada isn’t that good anymore, but Pelzer really won’t be missed.
My issue is that, while I don’t think Pelzer is bound for stardom, he’s still a pretty nice chip to give away for Tejada. Before the season he was rated as the seventh best prospect in the organization by Baseball America, fifth by Kevin Goldstein, and fifth by John Sickels. Sure, Pelzer hasn’t been great in AA this season, but he hasn’t exactly fell on his face either, striking out eight per nine while walking just over five.
I can buy the idea that the Padres are trading from a surplus here, as pitching depth is certainly an organizational strength. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give it away. If Pelzer was destined to be traded, could they not have gotten more for him?
That said, Tejada may have some value. He’s in the midst of an awful season in 2010, but he’s only one year removed from being a slightly above average player. It wouldn’t be a shocker if a change in scenery and a spot in the playoff hunt helped to improve Tejada’s production down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Further justify the trade is that idea that acquiring a former MVP and household name shows the fans (and players) that the Padres are serious about winning. While this doesn’t really have a tangible on-field impact, it certainly doesn’t hurt the organization as a whole.
Overall, I’m torn on this one. Tejada could play well and Pelzer could fizzle out. Just as likely, though, I could see Tejada offering little value down the stretch and Pelzer developing into a solid bullpen arm. I suppose it’s not a bad gamble to take considering the Padres position right now.
Padres trade RHP Corey Kluber to Indians and LHP Nick Greenwood to Cardinals and acquire OF Ryan Ludwick from Cardinals
This one looks like it might really be a gem for the Pads. Neither Kluber or Greenwood are throwaways, both putting up impressive minor league numbers, Kluber a little more so but Greenwood with his left arm. Still, neither are highly-touted prospects. Kluber didn’t get a mention on Sickels’ list and Greenwood earned a C rating.
Meanwhile, Ryan Ludwick instantly becomes the Padres second best position player, offering slightly above average production both offensively and defensively. Further, Ludwick isn’t just a rental, as he enters his final year of arbitration next season. The Padres should be able to keep him around in 2011 for a relatively modest figure.
Again, Kluber and/or Greenwood could turn into useful pieces, but with this trade, unlike the Tejada deal, Ludwick is much more likely to produce for the Padres, helping not only in the playoff run this season but also in 2011.
Overall, I like what the Padres did at the deadline. They didn’t really go all in, adding a Roy Oswalt or a Dan Haren. They did, however, make some tangible improvements without giving up too much in the form of prospects. .