With all the additions made to this seasons San Diego Padres team, only James Shields, Brandon Morrow, Clint Barmes and Wil Nieves were signed as free agents. The rest of the upgrades were done via trade.
The additions of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Shawn Kelley and Craig Kimbrel were at the cost of a lot of decent prospects and young major league talent. Some of these prospects will surely go on to have productive major league careers. There might even be an all-star player or two that was moved by the San Diego Padres. Only time will truly tell the value of each player.
Each player could very easily be an all-star or never even play in a major league game. The sport is brutal like that, nothing is a given. I applaud A.J. Preller for moving such prospects whose identity is unknown for proven capable major league talent. The Padres needed relevant players in Petco now. Let’s take a look at the players the San Diego Padres dealt this off-season, and how they are doing so far this season for their new franchises.
Joe Ross was acquired by the Washington Nationals in the Wil Myers deal. He is the younger brother of Tyson Ross and has a very bright future. He is currently 0-1 in four starts for AA Harrisburg, with a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings pitched. Ross has struck out 24 batters while walking seven so far this season. Joe Ross was the Padres 1st round pick (25th overall) in the 2011 draft.
Matt Wisler looked to be on the cusp of making the Padres opening day roster, but instead was dealt to the Atlanta Braves for Craig Kimbrel right before the season started. Wisler was sent to AAA for the Braves and has gone 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 3 starts. In 15.2 innings Wisler has struck out 16 batters and walked three hitters. He has allowed three home runs in his three starts for his new franchise. Not the best of starts for this young talent, but the Braves are sure have patience with him.
R.J. Alvarez was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in the Huston Street deal with Taylor Lindsey, Elliot Morris and Jose Rondon. He made his major league debut last season with the Padres at the age of 23 and did pretty well. Alvarez had a 1.13 ERA in eight innings pitched for the Padres in 2014. He was dealt in December to the Oakland Athletics for catcher Derek Norris. Alvarez has been smacked around thus far for the A’s in the 2015 season. He owns a 12.00 ERA, allowing eight hits and nine runs in six innings pitched.
Jesse Hahn was the other piece to the Derek Norris deal and was in all truth the key factor for the A’s. Hahn pitched well for the Padres his rookie year, exhibiting a knee-buckling curveball to go with a deceptive fastball. Hahn had always had arm issues, but with those behind him he could flourish for the Athletics. Jesse Hahn has gone 1-1 in three games for the Athletics this season with a 2.12 ERA and a 0.941 WHIP. In 17 innings he has allowed 13 hits while walking three and striking out five.
Mallex Smith has elite speed and looked to be the center fielder of the near future for the Padres. Instead he was dealt with a package of prospects for Justin Upton. Smith was the San Diego Padres 5th round selection in the 2012 draft. He progressed through the minor leagues showing his game changing speed along the way. Stealing 64 bases in 2013 and a franchise minor league high of 88 bases last season. So far in 13 games for AA Mississippi, Smith has a batting line of .309/.333/.418 with six stolen bases.
The Padres 2012 first round pick Max Fried was also dealt for Justin Upton. He was probably the main focus for the Braves in the deal. He has a great young arm, but is currently side lined with elbow issues. Tommy John surgery has derailed his season but at the age of 21 Fried has a very bright future. Hopefully he can return to form and provide the Braves a nice young pitcher.