It is really only a matter of time before another trade happens for the San Diego Padres. The proverbial clock is ticking and there has already been some talk that the Padres are openly discussing trades with other franchises. Last week it was reported the Philadelphia Phillies had fielded calls from A.J. Preller regarding a potential deal. I wrote about that, and you can read about it here.
Also rumors swirl that the Padres have been fielding calls about their excess of bullpen arms since acquiring Craig Kimbrel. Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan was recently lost for the year. The Tigers have a terrible pen, and they are only one of many teams that could use some assistance in the bullpen. Looking at the Tigers team there isn’t a clear-cut player the Padres could use. Building depth in the minor leagues might be an option, in a potential deal.
Moving a costly bullpen arm like Joaquin Benoit ($8 million dollar salary for 2015) or Shawn Kelley ($2.835 million dollar salary for 2015) could help the Padres. They already have Kevin Quackenbush in the minor leagues. He is currently closing for El Paso and has pitched well so far this season. In five games so far Quackenbush has two saves in six innings pitched. Only allowing one run on three hits while striking out nine batters. He is more than capable of pitching in the 7th or 8th inning. Its just a matter of time before the Quack is Back!
The emergence of Brandon Maurer has also given the Padres that option of moving a costly veteran pitcher. Maurer started the year in Triple-A but was called up, and looks like he wants to stay in the major leagues for the long haul. Dale Thayer is a solid middle reliever who generally flies under the radar. He is scheduled to make $1.35 million dollars this season, but is still under team control until 2018. He might be made available, but moving the one year contracts of Benoit and Kelley just makes more sense.
I know what your thinking, Shawn Kelley, Who is going to give the Padres anything for him? Well yes, Kelley has struggled so far as a Padres pitcher, but he has a pedigree of success and is still widely considered a decent middle reliever. His career ERA coming into this season was just a tick under 4.00. That in over 200 innings of middle relief work, in a hard-hitting American League. Kelley spent four years with the Seattle Mariners, and two seasons with the New York Yankees. He was acquired from the Yankees for minor league pitcher Johnny Barbato in December.
The Padres need mainly centers around a stable second baseman and a potentially new shortstop. The second base position has been a revolving door thus far this season. Jedd Gyorko is so far in the Padres fans doghouse, that he will have a hard time endearing himself to the fans. The over $30 million dollars owed to Gyorko could really turn this whole situation toxic. The Padres are invested into Gyorko until the 2020 season. The Padres can not afford to pay Gyorko $30 million dollars to sit on the bench for the next five seasons. He must either earn his job back by hitting, or hit enough to be traded. Simple as that.