AJ Preller and the San Diego Padres continue to make moves this offseason in an effort to make up for the lack of success they had in 2015. A team that was already hurting for left-handed bats in the lineup, now traded away one of their better hitters on the team. In return, the Padres get LHP Drew Pomeranz from the Oakland Athletics. Also in the trade, the Padres dealt the lefty relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski for another lefty Jose Torres. In all, the Padres send a left handed bat and a left handed reliever for two lefties… a lot of left.
As mentioned, Yonder Alonso was one of the Padres better hitters, especially this last season. In 103 games last year, Alonso had a .282/.361/.381 slash line with 18 doubles and 31 RBI. Alonso’s biggest issue was his availability i.e. injury issues. He had multiple injuries almost every year he played, only playing more than 103 games once in his entire career (155 games in 2012). He showed a lot of promise at the beginning of last season and he has obviously proven himself as a tradeable asset. Alonso came over in 2012 in the Matt Latos trade, which is beginning to look like a lose-lose for both teams.
The move says a lot – the Padres need left handed pitching. They also now lack a single left-handed hitter in the starting batting lineup. Last year the Padres only had one lefty in the bullpen for the majority of last season, as Frank Garces and Marc Rzepczynski traded spots throughout the season. Drew Pomeranz has a handful of starts over his 5-year career, but will probably be expected to do most of his damage out of the bullpen in 2016 for the Padres. Pomeranz’s career ERA is 4.07 and his winning percentage is barely 36%, so it is interesting to ponder what the San Diego front office saw in this trade. They clearly wanted to move on from the injury-prone Alonso, but at what price? Perhaps the market for Yonder was not very high and therefore dictated the lower trade. Still, it seems kind of a waste to trade a promising young left-handed first baseman in Alonso. To think, the Padres once had Anthony Rizzo…
Marc Rzepczynski came over last year from the Cleveland Indians in the OF Abraham Almonte trade. He really did not perform the way the Padres had hoped, racking up a 7.36 ERA in 27 appearances. Jose Torres is a minor league player who also sees most of his time coming out of the bullpen. He recorded 8 saves with a 2.56 ERA last year and has a 3.47 career ERA in the minors.