The Padres wrapped up their arbitration season when they signed Dustin Moseley to a one year deal. They needed to address eleven players but they got them all done before needing to head to the table with anyone. Moseley will make a little over $2 million and that pretty much splits the difference between what the club was offering and what Moseley asked for.
Moseley was only 3-10 but he did it with a 3.30 ERA in 2011. He had problems with his shoulder (non-throwing) in July and they shut him down for the season. Oddly, the shoulder had been a problem but it finally shut him down when he had to hit. Moseley was the last of eleven arbitration eligible players to sign with the team.
Pitching prospect Casey Kelly was given the fourteenth rank in MLB.com’s list of top prospects. The 22 year old had a solid season at Double-A and while his strikeout rate isn’t really high, he has a solid enough curveball and and an in progress change up.
This was his first year where he wasn’t also playing shortstop so you have to expect some growing pains. He was part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade and it’ll be interesting to see if this blue chip pans out. MLB.com projects him as a number two or three starter.
The Padres signed left hander Clayton Richard to a one year deal as they continue to chip away at the list of arbitration eligible players they need to work through. Richard will make $2.705 million in 2012 and that’s right in the middle of what the club was asking for and what Richard wanted.
Richard was solid in 2011 before he went on the disabled list because of a bad shoulder. He was 5-9 with a 3.88 in eighteen starts. Despite the injury, it’s expected that Richard will be ready for spring training. That leaves Dustin Moseley as the lone arbitration eligible player that has yet to sign.
The Padres dealt Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs for likely relief pitcher Andrew Cashner. Cashner missed a lot of time because of an injury and it’s expected that he’ll move from the rotation to the bullpen for the Padres in 2012. He’s a hard thrower and could do well in that role.
Rizzo was one of the main guys the Padres got in the Adrian Gonzalez deal and now he rejoins Theo Epstein with the Cubs. When the Padres got Yonder Alonso from the Reds, Rizzo became expendable and when you combine it with his poor season in 2012, it made the decision easier for the Padres to deal him.
The Padres dealt rookie catcher Luis Martinez to the Rangers for right handed pitcher Ryan Kelly. Kelly spent most of his time in the Pirates system and he has some solid numbers. He’s never played above High-A though but he has 235 strikeouts and just 66 walks in 266 innings.
This was pretty much a give away because Martinez was designated for assignment after the Mat Latos trade. The Padres now have too many catchers and Martinez was the odd man out. He made his debut in 2011 and was solid as a backup catcher.
This is an interesting deal. We lose super pitcher Mat Latos but pick up three high level prospects from the Reds. They also get the trouble Edinson Volquez who has shown some flashes of potentially being a solid pitcher. I think he’ll benefit greatly from playing in PETCO.
The Padres also got Brad Boxberger, Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal. The Reds seemed willing to give up so much because both Alonso and Grandal were both blocked by their big league counterparts. Latos was good though and the Reds are getting an ace. He struck out 413 and walked just 135 in 72 starts.
Alonso is also blocked by Padres prospect Anthony Rizzo so there’s some speculation that Alonso could end up in the outfield. Volquez was an All Star in 2008 but he’s been hurt and he’s missed a lot of time since.
Kevin Goldstein put out his top eleven Padres prospects and his opening remarks said it best. There’s not a lot of top notch talent but there’s plenty of solid depth here with seven four star prospects. Topping the list is outfielder Rymer Liriano. He had a solid season at Low-A but once he moved up to High-A he struggled. He’s been in the system for a while but he’s still only 20 so there’s plenty of time for this young talent to develop.
Number three is Robbie Erlin, the top pitching prospect. A third round pick in 2009, Erlin is close to making his debut. He had solid showings at both High A and Double A and he should get bumped up to Triple A and the only thing that could keep him from making his major league debut is the fact that there’s plenty of competition at that level.
Number three is third baseman Jedd Gyorko. A second round pick in 2010, Gyorko raked at High A and had a solid showing at Double A. Cory Spangenberg (3b) and Joe Wieland (RHP) round out the top five.
Baseball America put out their list of the top ten Padres prospect. Here’s a look at the list.
1) Anthony Rizzo 1b
2) Rymer Liriano OF
3) Casey Kelly RHP
4) Cory Spangenberg 2b
5) Austin Hedges C
6) Jedd Gyorko 3B
7) Joe Wieland RHP
8) Robbie Erlin LHP
9) Joe Ross RHP
10) Keyvius Sampson RHP
As expected, the San Diego Padres offered arbitration to closer Heath Bell and starting pitcher Aaron Harang. With Bell, my guess is the closer goes elsewhere and the Padres get a compensation pick. Worst case, he takes arbitration and we have him for another year. The compensation rules have changed though because instead of getting a regular first round pick from the team that signs him, the Padres will get a sandwich pick.
The Padres could have gotten Harang for $5 million but they choose to not pick up his option. Harang is a Type B free agent so if he signs elsewhere, the Padres will get another pick. And like Bell, I like Harang enough to where if he accepts, we just get him for another year. Sounds like a win/win in both cases.
The Padres made one of their first deals of the offseason when they sent pitcher Wade LeBlanc to the Marlins for catcher Scott Baker. Baker is coming off of elbow surgery so he’s kind of a wild card but the Padres needed a backup for Nick Hundley. He’s only played in 39 games the past two season.
LeBlanc was the Padres second round pick back in 2006 and while he’s been decent, he hasn’t quite lived up to his billing. The Padres had some arms coming up through the system so they must have thought LeBlanc was expendable.
Baker is arbitration eligible this year but it’s first year so his price tag shouldn’t be so high. It’ll be interesting to see if they lock him up but my guess is, they’ll wait to see if he’s got the goods and can come back from the injury.
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