The headline seems all too familiar. A star player on the Padres being traded for a minor league prospect. Today it happened again as AJ Preller sent Fernando Rodney packing to the Miami Marlins.
The San Diego Padres did a straight up player-for-player trade, acquiring low-A prospect Chris Paddack. The move for a young starting pitcher is an obvious sign that the Padres are sellers in 2016. Considering it is still only June, the season has unravelled rather quickly. Many San Diego fans may think this move is the “same old Padres,” and it may be, but there is still some optimism to be made out of this trade.
The 20-year-old is actually having a pretty solid season and was regarded by many Marlins fans as their top prospect. According to MLB.com, Chris is 2-0 in 6 starts (28.1 innings pitched) with only a 0.95 ERA. He also boasts nearly 2 strikeouts-per-innings-pitched and is holding hitters to just a .098 batting average. In 2 minor league seasons Paddack has a 1.71 ERA and has shown impressive strikeout ability. Of course the shiny stats are against much lower quality opponents, however he clearly has the talent.
People are upset about Rodney, and it makes sense, but let’s shed some light. Fernando Rodney was signed to a 1-year contract in the winter. The front office did not expect to get a lot out of the 39 year old veteran. In all honesty, he was more likely looked at as a stop-gap while they waited for a player like Brandon Maurer to blossom.
Yes, I hear you: Fernando Rodney is having an All-Star season… and yes it will hurt when he is selected as a Miami Marlin. He may even be the best closer in the league this year. He has 17 saves in 17 opportunities. His ERA is 0.31, with only 1-run being scored all season. That 1-run being a fluky grounder to first basemen Wil Myers, a would-be game ender. With that all said, the reality is he is at the tail end of his career and the likelihood his success will continue is slim. For a $2 million 1-year contract, the Padres already got what they needed out of Rodney… TRADE VALUE.
The Padres aren’t making the playoffs this year and we all know it. Having an All-Star quality closer is a luxury. When you are a seller by the All-Star break you often pawn that luxury. Chances are Rodney would have signed a big contract elsewhere in the offseason anyways. Especially considering he is having an excellent season. The fact that the Padres are already out of the playoff hunt and Rodney being a free agent made it an easy decision for Preller to move the veteran.
Preller has definitely been on a mission to replenish the farm system after last year. He has continued to do that with this trade. Chris Paddack may never amount to any success, but he has proven himself as a high end prospect. Fernando Rodney was expendable and Paddack was a fair value in return. Look for San Diego to make some more moves before the trade deadline.