The inevitable has happened and the San Diego Padres have dealt their ace closer Craig Kimbrel. He was rumored to be involved in trade talks with the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, but in the end it was the Boston Red Sox who stepped up and paid the asking price.
The San Diego Padres did very well in this deal on paper. Manuel Margot is ranked the Red Sox #3 prospect and #25 overall in all of Major League baseball. The 22-year-old made it all the way up to Double-A last season hitting .271 in 64 games and 258 at bats.
In total last season Margot hit .276 with six homers and 50 RBI’s in 439 total at bats. He also stole 39 bases and only struck out 51 times. He is described as one of the best athletes in the Minor Leagues and is a solid gold glove caliber defender in center field. The right handed hitter is a bit under-sized at 5′ 11″, but has outstanding bat speed.
Javier Guerra was the Red Sox #6 prospect and #76 overall. The 20-year-old from Panama has been on a very fast track to the Major Leagues. He spent last season in A-Ball where he hit .279 with 15 homers and 68 RBI’s. He had been previously known as a defensive shortstop so the 15 homers were a very positive thing. He has a compact left-handed swing and could develop into a very good Major League shortstop.
The other two pieces are interesting additions. Carlos Asuaje is described as a future utility type player in the Major Leagues. The 24-year-old has spent time all over the infield and has shown a decent eye at the plate. He serves as great organizational depth for the team in the Minor Leagues.
Logan Allen could very well be the best player acquired by the Padres. The 18-year-old was drafted in the 5th round this past draft and excelled in his first pro season. He only pitched in 24 innings but had a 1.11 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. The left-handed Allen has four average or better pitches and with a little luck could flourish in the Padres organization.
This trade will anger a lot of Padres fans initially. They will complain that the team is giving away its best players for prospects. In reality that is what they are doing. However both Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel can be replaced fairly easily. The free agent market has just opened up, isn’t it a good thing the Padres have a little extra spending money in their pocket?