Padres News: Fernando Rodney Traded to Marlins

San Diego Padres pitcher Fernando Rodney throws during spring training baseball practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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The San Diego Padres have started to disassemble the team they constructed to compete this year. Obviously the team had a different feel than last year’s team which intended to compete deep into October. This seasons squad was built to compete, but they really had no thoughts of playoff baseball. At least not at this point.

James Shields was dealt last month as the team needed to get from under the massive contract that the pitcher signed before the 2015 season. The richest free-agent contract in the franchises history was easily a bust for the Friars. With Shields in Chicago it was only a matter of time before the Padres started to trade off commodities.

Fernando Rodney has only allowed one run to score on him this season. At the age of 39 the closer is having one of the best starts to a season in his career. He has tremendous value to a team needing bullpen help. Apparently A.J. Preller has found a match as the Marlins and Padres have agreed to a deal that would send the Dominican closer to the Marlins for a young pitching prospect. Chris Paddack is his name and he has decent potential.

Paddack is 2-0 this year in six starts at the A-ball level. He was drafted by the Marlins last year in the eighth round after the Marlins lured him away from his commitment at Texas A & M with a more than $400,000 signing bonus. Paddack has an excellent arsenal of pitches. His fastball velocity is still climbing as he is only 20 and filling into his 6′ 4″ frame. He has a great changeup that he has fantastic feel for at his early age. He also throws a slider and curve ball, which some reports indicate he has scrapped for the time being. He has the makings of a mid-rotation starter, but could easily out perform those predictions.

A.J Preller is making moves and this will be the first of many in the next month. The Padres need to re-build their depleted farm system and Paddack certainly helps in that era. With Paddack at the A-Ball level the Padres are really building a strong pitching staff at the level. Logan Allen, Jacob Nix, Austin Smith, Enyel De Los Santos and Jean Cosme are all at or around that level. Its pretty exciting to think about the future of the Padres rotation.

Dennis Lin reports that Ryan Buchter will now be the teams closer. You have to imagine the team will use him in that role and if he increases his value, he will be dealt as well. The Padres have Buchter, Carlos Villanueva and Matt Thornton that might be of interest if a team is looking for veteran starting pitchers. A.J. Preller is not done. Stay tuned. Losing Rodney is difficult for some Padres fans but you have to look at the big picture. Just like having Craig Kimbrel, the Padres have no need for a dominant closer if the team isn’t in playoff contention. At 39 and with a team friendly contract, turning Rodney into valuable young pitcher is a great thing. A.J. Preller should be commended Padres fans.

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