Grading the San Diego Padres 2019 transactions

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted CJ Abrams and many others

Grade: A

Although it’s difficult to grade any draft class the year it happens, the Padres first-round draft pick CJ Abrams has already shown to be a prospect to watch. After reporting, Abrams started hot and got promoted to Low-A Fort Wayne TinCaps to end the season. Abrams is already ranked 4th in the organization and 46th overall by MLBPipeline. It would appear Preller drafted quite the steal at number six overall. That alone earns an A grade, but it is too early to judge any other picks.

Signed international group

Grade: A

The Padres continue to be heavily active in the international market. The Padres signed four players that ranked 15th, 19th, 22nd and 29th by MLB Pipeline. Although it is entirely too early, just by going off of rankings, Preller appears to have done an excellent job yet again internationally. The future should remain bright for the farm system.

Traded Jose Pirela for cash

Grade: B

After Jose Pirela did not make the opening day roster, he was eventually put on waivers to make room on the 40-man roster. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash. Pirela wasn’t going to crack the 25-man roster, so there wasn’t a good enough reason to keep him. 

Traded Brad Wieck for Carl Edwards Jr.

Grade: F-

When the Padres traded Brad Wieck for Carl Edwards Jr.at the deadline it mostly went unnoticed. Edwards Jr was pivotal in the Cubs’ World Series run but had since lost his touch and turned in poor performances. Brad Wieck is a younger, left-handed pitcher that throws 94-95 mph with relative ease but struggles with location. After a couple of games and giving up six runs, Edwards Jr. ended up on the IL for San Diego. The Cubs meanwhile, went to work on Wieck, improving his offspeed pitches, getting him to throw them more often. It worked. Wieck looks like a different pitcher for the Cubs and has only given up two runs in ten innings, while only allowing two walks. It’s a small sample size, but again, he looks like a different pitcher. Acquiring cheap bullpen arms and turning them into All-Star pitchers is something to Padres have been known to do to other teams after a trade. This time, another team did it to them. This is a total failure by the coaches and GM not to recognize potential. This is one of the worst moves made this season.

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Traded Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, and Victor Nova for Taylor Trammell 

Grade: B

The monster three-team trade at the July deadline will be analyzed for years to come. Franmil Reyes was a clubhouse and fan favorite. It’s unknown whether it was Cleveland or San Diego that chose to deal Reyes over Hunter Renfroe, but La Mole was dealt. At the time, Renfroe was hitting equally as well as Reyes but was much better defensively. However, after the trade, Renfroe hit a wall offensively, and the clubhouse was never the same. The loss of Logan Allen is cushioned by the sheer number of young Padres’ arms in the system. Victor Nova was also playing well, but the young man is only 19 and is considered a lottery ticket. In return, the Padres received top-30 prospect Taylor Trammell that became available only after a poor first half offensively. Trammell already had an excellent looking left-handed swing, and the Padres made a couple of small adjustments to get the young man back on track. He led the Double-A Sod Poodles to a League Championship, hitting a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth, down by two runs in game five. An amazing cap off to a great end of the season for Trammell and the Sod Poodles. Trammell is a four-tool player lacking elite arm strength. His speed and defense will keep likely make him the Padres starting center fielder in 2021. For now, this trade receives a high grade, but it could change in the coming years.

Claimed Nick Martini off waivers

Grade: A

Ending on a good note, Nick Martini was a steal for the Padres off the waiver wire. He is a left-handed bat that can work a count and get on base. Martini is the type of player the Padres will be looking for this offseason to take over one of the corner outfield positions. The Padres could keep him next year as a backup outfielder. Getting production and a sweet beard for nothing will always garner a high grade. 


The verdict

If we add up all the grades, Preller ends the year with roughly a 2.6 GPA (Grade Per Acquisition), or about a C+. This is probably a little harsh; a GM is not expected to win every transaction. Preller made a few great moves, a few bad ones, and took a few chances this year. Overall A.J. Preller had a decent year of transactions. However, the upcoming 2020 offseason will be one of the most important in Padres history, and Preller will not be able to afford as many mistakes.

In 2019, the Padres were not competitive at the end of the year, but Preller still kept his job. 2020 may be a different story. Preller has always been lauded for his minor league acquisitions, but his evaluation of major league talent has come under scrutiny. He has a lot of work to do at the major league level this offseason. Hopefully, he can improve his recent track record and fill this team with more talent than it’s had in many years. His job likely depends on it.

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Alex Yeargan
31 year old Father of two cute boys, husband of five years to a woman I don’t deserve. Born and raised in San Diego so naturally a lifelong Padre and Chargers fan

10 thoughts on “Grading the San Diego Padres 2019 transactions

  1. By the way, I forgot some more moves this year….Preller inexplicably added some guys to the 40 man roster that had no reason to be on there (e.g. Morejon; etc). Now, especially because of so many guys needing to be on the 40 man roster, they will have to boot some people off that will be scooped up b other teams. Preller is incompetent.

    1. I think they had to be protected from Rule 5 anyway. I think this was basically mandatory, or they would take up a spot and still be in the farm. Could be mistaken.

  2. Nobody mentions Reyes trade? The worst trade I ever see FF+
    This player hit 37 HR 250 avg 24 yr . What can you asking . That trade devastated padres team.
    We are game said reyes and tatis .

  3. Another last place finish for AJ. He is stunningly bad as a GM.

    “Yeah, but we have the best farm system!” And how is that working out?

    * He inherited a top, if not the top system. And he has been selecting at the top of the draft every year (+ additional top picks through FA signings).

    * He was also given a near blank check for international signings a few years ago ……. and they are still in last place.

    * Every year he has traded their best trade chips for prospects.

    Not only should he have the best farm system, by far, the actual MLB team should be FAR more competitive by now. But it is not–even after being able to spend hundreds of millions in FA, all while having to pay millions to players not to play for the Padres.

    Who does this and still has a job? Who does this and is still praised for this, and for being a genius and rock star?

    This is a Ponzi Scheme + a bait-and-swtich + a gullible audience.

    “Yeah, but we have the best farm system. Give it a few years and…and…and some point…in a few years…we will be competitive. And, did I mention we have the best farm system…and that we will be great in a few years?”

    1. This just isn’t true. Our farm system was about middle of the pack, then management told AJ they wanted to win right now. When it didn’t work, he said let me do this the right way.
      When you’re only going to win 70 games, and a closer only has a year of half a year on their contract….you should maximize that value. You’re missing a lot of the point here. Should we be satisfied? No. But, the depth to which you’re diving is empty.

      Houston had this exact same timeline. If we can have 90% of their regular season success and eventually win a ring, this overhaul will be the primary reason. Without doing all this, we don’t have Tatis, Paddack, or Gore. Stop moaning.

      1. Thanks for writing: Preller cam one in August of 2014. 2 years prior they had the #1 system (according to Sports Illustrated). They had the #9 in 2103 and #7 in 2014 (when he was hired). This is no where near the middle of the pack.

        We’ve all heard that he was told to win now, and that he had no choice. That may or may not be true, but I doubt it. Either way, the trades he made at that time were absolutely brutal. Some of the worst possible. That is not exactly support Preller’s competence. And, when his horrible moves failed miserably (and perhaps somewhat to his credit) he traded some of the value to restock the farm system, while letting some become 1st round draft picks (which helped … the farm system). This is not competence or skill, it is sleight of hand (when it comes to having the best farm system). All this, not to mention, as mentioned before, he was given massive quantities of capital to invest in the farm system. How many people alive today could not take the #7 system to the top 2 or 3 (the Braves, Yankees, the Rays where/are probably better) with all that he had at his disposal? Literally anyone could with all the top picks, the numerous picks, the gobs of money (including paying $6+ million just to draft a 2nd rounder, who will never make a dent on the MLB team), the trading away top MLB talent for minor league prospects, etc.

        And for what? 5 years later the Padres are still … in last place…and still picking in the top 10.

        Houston and others had wonderful farm systems, but they also had a far better GM. They had one who could put a MLB roster together, and not trade for or sign guys for millions of dollars, only to have either cut them, or be forced to play an inferior player (due to the horrible contract) over superior players.

        Call it what you will, but if writing the truth is moaning then I will continue to moan. However, perhaps you could stop enabling Preller and start admitting the truth, maybe?

  4. Appreciate your willingness to dive deep, but all players not on the ML roster are INCs. Who knows what Trammel will become, at this point it’s just an educated guess. Most of this is just prospecting.
    Next, only players who will be on the next playoff team are worth any consideration. So yes Kinsler was an F, but he won’t be around when the club is good, so it doesn’t matter much. Whereas Hosmer will be and that will stink forever.
    Lastly, you should grade the Green firing, as an A. It was clear he wasn’t playoff-quality, now the club has a chance to seriously upgrade.

  5. A.J. needs to have a good off season. We need an ace! We may need to trade some of the prospects if ownership chooses not to sign Strasburg or Cole (either of these guys would be great for the team and increase season ticket sales!). He NEEDS to trade the right prospects. On the major league roster, Lauer, Lucchesi, Hedges, Jankowski, Martini, France, Kinsler, Naylor, Wintinger, Erlin and Perdomo should be available for trades! Margevicius, Mejia-Brean, Edwards Jr. should be removed from the 40 man roster to save our potential Rule 5 losses.

    Sign Yates, Tatis, Renfroe and Garcia to two to three year contracts (actually Tatis should be signed to a Bregman type of a contract). Mejia and Torrens should split the catching duties. We need a outfielder who hits for average and power. If Trammell is the guy, play him a lot during spring training with plan he rotates with Margot during the season. Myers situation is so unfortunate. So much wasted talent. Hopefully someday he will plays with a sense of urgency, he is wasting his chance to be a great player.

    Sign a Major League Manager!

    Love my Pads! Can’t wait for the off season and spring training! Don’t let the fans down A.J.!

  6. Let’s be honest all but Manny have made little to no impact and that is the problem. It’s a whole lot of nothing. Even the draft and the Trammel deal being pluses doesnt address making the ML roster better.

    It seems like it’s been said alot going I to the offseason but this is the most important offseason on AJ Preller era. The hire of the manager will say alot about how stable the ground is under AJ.

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