As I’ve already mentioned a few times, the San Diego Padres are having a pretty strange off-season. From the Cameron Maybin deal, to trading The Franchise (ya know, Adrian Gonzalez), to now patching together pretty decent team.
Daniel covered the signing of Orlando Hudson yesterday. I agree with him; Hudson is a nice pick-up, especially on a reasonable two year, $11.5M contract. Some have argued that while Hudson may be a fine acquisition, David Eckstein put up 2 fWAR last season; how much of an improvement will Hudson offer?
1. I doubt that Eckstein was really worth 2 fWAR, because I question that he was six runs above average in the field.
2. Even if Eckstein was worth 2 wins above replacement, he doesn’t project well going forward, both due to his recent past performance and his age. Hudson should offer a pretty nice improvement over David Eckstein v2011.
The Padres also (finally) finalized the trade for SS Jason Bartlett (and a PTBNL), that will send Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes, and Cole Figueroa to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Four players is more than you’d think it’d take to land Bartlett, but none of the four are really key losses. All of them have some chance of contributing at the major league level, but none are guaranteed (or particularly likely).
Russell and Ramos, the two headliners, could turn into decent bullpen options. Gomes has dominated in AA for a couple of seasons, but he’s going to be 26. Figueroa has nice on-base skills for a second basemen, but no pop.
Bartlett improves the Padres in the short-term, plus allows Everth Cabrera to get some much needed seasoning in the minors. The kicker here is of course the PTBNL, plus the fact that Bartlett could be a type-A free agent after the season and could net the Padres a couple of draft picks.
With a couple of nice mid-level moves (the Maybin trade, the Aaron Harang signing, and these two) the Padres suddenly have a chance again. It’s been a strange off-season and it will be interesting to see how it concludes.