With all the hype of a Super Bowl, the trade deadline was supposed to be huge for the San Diego Padres as they attempt to restructure their team. Instead of a “Mega Deal” like Padres fans were all told by the National Media, they got Marc Rzepczynski from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Abraham Almonte, and that was it. Really? I thought we were on the verge of a Trade Bonanza.
Talk about a major let down. Most Padres fans expected a couple of changes at the very least. Pending free agents Justin Upton, Will Venable, Ian Kennedy and Shawn Kelley were all likely candidates to be moved but not a one was dealt. Instead A.J. Preller showed confidence in his core group of players and held steady. This once again proves that the young general manager goes to the beat of his own drum. Once you think you have him figured out, he does the complete opposite.
In getting Rezepczynski, the Padres get a solid left-handed pitcher out of the bullpen. Quite a haul for Abraham Almonte, who really had no spot in the Padres future plans. Rezepcznski has a 4.43 ERA in 20.1 innings and 45 appearances for the Indians this season. He was mainly used a situational lefty and is usually pretty effective against left-handed batters. A very nice pick up, but not what Padres fans expected. A lot of fans expected the team to restock its team and move around some salary. Not what happened as the team decided to stay with its nucleus.
It seems that fans are split on that decision. Can this team compete again this season for the playoffs? It is no secret that the Padres have a long road ahead of them if they have playoff aspirations. The team sits in fourth place in their division and has to leapfrog four teams to get into the second Wild Card spot. Not an easy task by any means, however the Padres play six straight series against losing teams. To say the schedule is in the Padres favor is an absolute understatement. They could very easily rattle off an impressive win streak.
This team has shown some promise of late, but still the inconsistencies can be absolutely maddening to watch as a fan. Leading the Major Leagues with 15 shut outs pitched against them, the offense has been hit and miss all season long. Can the team find the right combination in the lineup to produce consistently? Time will only tell.
The main concern of the trading deadline was the Padres failed to address their biggest issue. The shortstop position has been a need for this team for quite some time. Clint Barmes has played well defensively and swung a solid bat, but he cannot play everyday at the age of 36. Alexi Amarista has been inconsistent defensively and continues to swing an average at best bat. He is right on par with his .280 lifetime on base percentage this season, which is not going to earn him any playing time.
Many shortstops were rumored to be of interest to the Padres. Most notable Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. The Chicago Cubs seemed an excellent match, but insiders word is they were reluctant to put in the extra effort to get a deal done. The New York Yankees were also rumored to be dangling young shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo. He is a very nice prospect with 70 steals in 93 minor league games, however he is 20 years old and playing A-Ball. That does not help the team in the near future.
All is all a very anti climatic trade deadline. The Padres were supposed to be the stars of the show, but someone forgot to tell A.J. Preller as he held his ground and failed to cave in any of his potential offers. We will see how this team reacts to being kept in tact for the time being. The Padres have all the talent in the world, but talent alone does not win ball games.