Padres News: The A.J. Preller Era (A Look at All 22 Preller Trades)

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 (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

When the San Diego Padres hired A.J. Preller in August of 2014, the team knew he would make changes. They ownership group knew that he would likely bring his own philosophy. With that thought process he would bring in players that fit the mold that the young G.M. is trying to produce. Deals would be made as the team attempted to build a winning tradition.

He wasted no time in altering the roster. After the 2014 season was complete, the Padres would overhaul both their major league roster and their minor league roster. For seasons on end the Padres farm system had failed to consistently cultivate talent and obviously something needed to be addressed in the scouting and development department.

Don Welke and Logan White bring a track record of success. White helped build a Dodgers juggernaut while Welke’s most recent team the Texas Rangers, currently has one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. These two will help improve the minor league system for the team. With a steady flux of talent arriving for the Padres, it will only make things easier as the major league level.

In acquiring established veterans, Preller had to move many of the Padres top prospects. To much uncertainty of the fan base, the minor league system was depleted in an attempt to boost the major league roster. It all started on November 11th 2014 with a minor trade between the Padres and Royals. 22 trades later we are at this point in the Padres construction. Let’s take a look at each trade and see how the players the Padres dealt are doing compared to what they received in return.

11-20-14  The San Diego Padres send Reymond Fuentes to the Kansas City Royals for Kyle Bartsch

This first trade of the A.J. Preller era is not talked about very much. The speedy outfielder Fuentes was part of the package the Padres received from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. He is the cousin of Carlos Beltran and was supposed to be a decent prospect. The Padres shipped him off to K.C. where he is currently on the major league roster. Bartsch on the other hand has struggled since becoming a Padre and is currently in Double-A San Antonio. Bartsch was hit hard last year in Lake Elsinore where he recorded a 4.60 ERA in 52 games for the Storm. He is still 25 and a left-handed thrower, so he could still have value for the team eventually.

Fuentes has always had decent numbers and I was surprised the team decided to move on from him. As a Royals minor leaguer last season Fuentes recorded a .310/.364/.432 slash line with nine homers and 29 stolen bases. He is 25 and could be a decent major league outfielder with the right opportunity. For the Royals so far this season Fuentes is 5-21 (.238), and getting sporadic playing time. This deal looks bad right now for the Padres, but only time will truly tell.

12-18-14  The San Diego Padres send Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

This deal had been rumored for weeks and on December 18th it finally came to fruition. The Padres would acquire the Dodgers most well-known offensive player in a deal that seemed impossible to complete. There were issue with Kemp’s hips after a physical, but the two teams agreed on the deal anyways. This deal is complicated. Clearly the Padres got the best player in the deal (Kemp), but they also are responsible for most of his hefty contract.

Kemp had a decent year for the Padres last year driving in 100 runs and hitting for the teams first cycle in franchise history. Federowicz was hurt in the spring and DFA’d by the middle of the season. The Dodgers acquired Eflin from the Friars and immediately flipped him to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins. Eflin had a decent year last season with the Phillies Double-A team. He went 8-6 in 23 starts with a 3.69 ERA. This season for the Phil’s Triple-A team he is 2-0 after three starts with a 2.70 ERA. He could be up with the team at some point this season.

Yasmani Grandal played in 115 games last season for the Dodgers. He hit .234 with 16 homers and 47 runs driven in. He was banged up some last season and started this season with an injury as well. In his first 25 at bats this season in L.A. he is hitting .320. The catcher has great pitch framing and receiving skills that make his value more than what he provides with the bat. Joe Wieland bounced back and forth between the Dodgers major league team and Triple-A team last year. The Dodgers traded him in January to the Seattle Mariners where he has recorded a 15.75 ERA in his first three starts for their Triple-A team.

12-18-14  The San Diego Padres send Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez to the Oakland Athletics for Derek Norris and Seth Streich

The San Diego Padres had a need at catcher since they dealt Yasmani Grandal to the Dodgers. It did not take A.J. Preller very long as he plucked Derek Norris away from the Oakland Athletics for two young pitchers. Alvarez and Hahn both were major league ready pitchers, so the Padres paid a decent asking price for Norris.

In his first year in San Diego, Norris immediately became a fan favorite for his tough play and hard-nosed attitude. He had defensive questions when he first joined the team, but quickly hushed all critics with a productive year defensively. Seth Streich was also acquired with Norris but the pitcher has had arm issues since the deal.

Hahn had a nice year for the A’s last season but injury concerns once again showed up for him. He has had a long history of arm troubles so it’s no surprise the same issues again hit Hahn in 2015. While he was in there for the A’s he was productive going 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 96 innings. After a slow start to the spring, a healthy Hahn was optioned to Triple-A to start the season. He has gone 0-1 so far with a 2.04 ERA in four starts and it seems he could get a call up from the A’s this week. R.J. Alvarez had an inconsistent year last year between Oakland and their Triple-A team. This season he is currently shelved after having elbow surgery this March. He will likely not be available until the end of the year at the earliest.


8 thoughts on “Padres News: The A.J. Preller Era (A Look at All 22 Preller Trades)

  1. So far, the Padres have had the better outcome of the Matt Kemp deal, Grandal is just too injury prone and when healthy, he’s not much of a difference maker, Derek Norris is a much better player than Grandal. Kemp might not be in his prime, but still had a pretty decent season last year, and he is off to a great start this year. Out of all the prospects AJ dealt, the ones that will make the most significant impact in the majors will be Trea Turner and Joe Ross, other than that, not much will be missed(hopefully).

    1. Final tally on the Kemp deal: Padres hand $39M to Braves to make Kemp go away, Dodgers purloin one of top catchers in baseball. Grandal .800 OPS, Norris .583 OPS. Grandal>>>>>>>Norris.

  2. Overrated, overpaid, and over-the-hill Matt Kemp is clearly a better player than 27-year-old All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal? LMFAO. That deal was an embarrassment for Preller and the Pads.

    1. Dude you don’t know what your talking about! Kemp had 100 RBI and 26 bombs what did grandal have steroids and half those numbers! Jus cause he was all star at his positions… and that’s fan votes btw! So check your facts before you try to put kemp out!! And look at this years #s too kemp is killin it so yea kemp is much better and hell of a better person then steroid cheating grandal!

      1. Who doesn’t know what they’re talking about? Kemp was such a stud that SD had to surrender $39 million just to give him away to the Braves. Meanwhile, Grandal has 25 HR, an .800 OPS, and top-tier pitch-framing skills. Plus he’s thrown out runners at an above league-average rate both years in LA. Which would you rather have: negative $39M or one of the best catchers in the game? LOL.

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