Every A.J. Preller Trade Revisited (All 35)

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Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

05-28-16  The San Diego Padres trade James Loney to the New York Mets for cash considerations

With Wil Myers a health concern to begin the year, the Padres signed veteran first baseman, James Loney. He was to provide insurance in case Myers got hurt or was unable to handle the position defensively. Myers has had no issues and Loney was moved in late May after hitting .342 in 43 games in El Paso. Loney was not going to play with the Padres unless the team got rid of Brett Wallace. The team chose to keep Wallace since he can play third base as well as first. He also has more thunder in his left-handed bat than Loney, who is more of a contact hitter. Loney would not have helped the Padres in the 2016 season, so moving him is not an issue. Cash in the Padres bank account was just far more valuable.

06-04-16  The San Diego Padres trade James Shields and cash considerations to the Chicago White Sox for Fernando Tatis Jr. and Erik Johnson

When James Shields was brought onto the Padres team in February of 2015, he was supposed to help change the attitude of the Padres. He was also going to create a winning culture and provide accountability throughout the locker room. His intentions were good. What he said made total sense. However, players in the locker room did not buy into it and somewhere along the way Shields, who was once considered a model citizen, was deemed a trouble maker. The Padres owner, Ron Fowler, called out the ace pitcher on the airwaves of San Diego talk radio and the relationship was severed.

Shields was shipped to the White Sox for a major league-ready pitcher and a very young prospect. Erik Johnson is a pitcher who has failed to make the leap from minor leagues to major leagues. He has had success in the minors, but he is finding that major league hitters make adjustments constantly. Johnson was sidelined with an elbow injury after he went 0-4 in his four starts with the Friars. He was shelled to the tune of a 9.15 ERA in 14 innings. Tatis was reportedly someone the Padres coveted in the last international signing period. He signed with the White Sox instead. The 18-year-old made his professional debut in 2016. He hit .273 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 176 at bats. He has been playing third base, second base, and shortstop. He has struggled defensively at short but is really young. He still projects at the position, but might have the bat to move to third if needed.

The Padres will end up paying $10 million to the Sox each of the next two seasons for Shields’ contract. That turns this deal sour, but the emergence of Tatis could sway the deal in the Padres favor eventually. Right now, the Padres are biting the bullet with their acquisition of talent prior to the 2015 season.

06-30-16  The San Diego Padres trade Fernando Rodney to the Miami Marlins for Chris Paddack

The Padres were reportedly shopping Fernando Rodney and it did not take very long for the team to find a great deal. The Padres took a flyer on Rodney in the spring and he performed like a man possessed. He went 0-1 with 17 saves for the Padres. He held an incredible 0.31 ERA and was not scored upon until mid-June. The Padres knew he was pitching over his head and the team dealt Rodney to the Marlins for one of their best pitching prospects. Chris Paddack had a sub 1.00 ERA for the Marlins Low A-Ball team and he kept it up as a Fort Wayne TinCap. Paddack held an 0.64 ERA in his first three starts in the Padres’ system with 23 K’s in 14 innings pitched. He hurt his elbow before his fourth start and required Tommy John surgery due to a torn elbow ligament. That’s a tough blow for the Padres, but Paddack is still 21 and has a bright future. Rodney was shelled as a Marlin. The Padres got the best of the deal, but the Marlins needed relief help at the time.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

07-14-16  The San Diego Padres trade Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza

Drew Pomeranz came into the Spring 2015 season as a dark horse candidate to begin the season in the rotation. He had been mainly used out of the pen in his recent seasons in the major leagues and though he was a former first round pick, he was not viewed by many as a starting pitcher. The Padres saw the potential and the value in Pomeranz and Darren Balsley once again worked his magic as Pomeranz was turned into an all-star starting pitcher. He was a late addition to the classic at Petco Park this past season and pitched a scoreless inning in the game. Most Padres fans did not want to see Pomeranz dealt, but the Padres simply got a deal they could not refuse.

Anderson Espinoza has a ton of potential. He is widely viewed around the league as one of the best pitching prospects in the game of baseball. An even one-for-one deal for Pomeranz was consummated and both parties got exactly what they wanted. The Padres got a potential ace of the future and the Red Sox got a very respectable lefty now who is under team control. There were recent rumblings that the Red Sox feel something was medically wrong with Pomeranz, but that only looks to be sour grapes. Almost immediately after the deal was announced, most of their fan base went crazy at the notion that the team dealt Espinoza. Only time will truly tell in this deal, but the Padres have a future #1 ace pitcher in Espinoza. He should have no problem reaching the potential he has.

07-26-16  The San Diego Padres trade Melvin Upton Jr. and cash considerations to the Toronto Blue Jays for Hansel Rodriguez

The once untradeable contract of Melvin Upton Jr was moved in late July of 2016 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Most were surprised the Padres ate roughly 80% of his remaining money owed, but at least the team got a decent pitcher in return. The 20-year-old Hansel Rodriguez adds to the Padres tremendous depth in the lower minor league levels. He has a great arm, but is very raw. Only time will tell for this young man. He pitched in Tri-City for his Padres debut, and threw five scoreless innings. Upton struggled since joining the Blue Jays. His playing time is currently unknown and it appears that Melvin will very well turn back into B.J. playing north of the border. Good trade for the Padres. There was no room for Upton in the outfield and the team does save some money in the long run.

07-29-16  The San Diego Padres trade Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea to the Miami Marlins for Josh Naylor, Carter Capps, Luis Castillo, and Jarred Cosart

Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America
Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

The return for Andrew Cashner in this deal was unreal, in my eyes. The Marlins certainly fell in love with Cashner, as they essentially rented him for a few months. There was no way he was going to re-sign there long-term. The team gave up one of their best prospects in Josh Naylor. They also gave up their closer from last year, Carter Capps, who is currently ahead of schedule from Tommy John surgery and will pitch for the Padres as soon as opening day. Jarred Cosart is also a former top prospect who has a decent arm. The last player originally obtained from the Marlins was Luis Castillo, a right-handed pitcher who continues to flash a power fastball clocked in the 100 MPH range. Colin Rea was also originally in this deal, but a medical issue forced this trade to be adjusted a bit. Rea and Castillo were returned to their original team. The Padres lost the stud young pitcher, but in getting Rea back, they gain an experienced pitcher who is still relatively young (26). The Padres made out in this deal. Cashner was as good as gone, and Naylor and Capps will be huge additions to the team. Naylor in particular is a great pickup for the team. He has the ability to be in the major leagues very shortly. At the age of 19, he is already performing well as the High A-Ball level. Naylor should progress quickly through the system. Don’t sleep on Capps either. His funky delivery makes him nearly unhittable and he will be a solid presence in the bullpen moving forward.

07-30-16  The San Diego Padres trade Matt Kemp and cash considerations to the Atlanta Braves for Hector Olivera

A.J. Preller might have reclaimed his Rock Star GM status as he unloaded the contract of Matt Kemp to the Atlanta Braves, and saved the Padres over $30 million dollars in the process. For some reason, the Braves wanted to take a chance on Kemp, and that was perfectly fine for the Padres. The outcry from Padres personnel that dislike Kemp has been enormous since he was dealt. Kemp threw some jabs on the way out of town and the Padres failed to take the higher road and jabbed right back at him. The situation is a mess and it is no wonder that the club failed to play with any semblance of a team with a personality like that in the locker room.

In the end, Kemp was moved to make room for the youth that is ready. His play and attitude are also not what the Padres want young players to witness firsthand. He was traded because he epitomizes what is wrong with the game of baseball today. All the talent and money in the world cannot motivate him to play the game correctly, and that is a shame. He could have been a hall of famer. Preller wins in this deal, but does take a BIG LOSS for bringing Kemp to the Padres in the first place.

08-01-16  The San Diego Padres trade Luis Castillo to the Miami Marlins for Colin Rea

The injury to Colin Rea was unfortunate, but the Padres did the right thing in taking him back and giving the Marlins Castillo in return. Even though Paddack (from Rodney trade) did incur a similar injury, the Padres are perfectly happy with keeping him. The Marlins, on the other hand, had to be devastated by losing Rea as they valued him as a long-term solution in their rotation. It’s an absolutely strange way for this deal to come to an end, but it’s baseball. Strange things happen all the time. In reality, Preller did what was correct in order not to burn a bridge. The Padres cannot build relationships in the league with a reputation of a team trying to take advantage of others.


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