Monday, July 14, 2014

San Diego Padres Trade Chips: Who Gets Dealt?

When the San Diego Padres raised their payroll to a club-record $90 million for the 2014 season, the ownership group and many fans expected the team to be more competitive than they have been in years past. However, the team's offensive has struggled badly and general manager Josh Byrnes has already been thrown overboard on the sinking ship that has become Padres baseball. Despite the team's struggle, they do feature a number of veterans who have drawn significant interest from contending teams. This author has assessed the Padres trade chips and the odds of the player being moved at the trade deadline. Get ready to place your bets. 

CP Huston Street: Street seems to be generating the most interest among relievers in baseball. The Angels have expressed interest in the Padres closer, and other contenders such as the Pirates and Tigers could use an upgrade in the back-end of their respective bullpens. Street, 30, is in the midst of his finest season as a professional, and is headed to his second All-Star game. For the year, Street is 1-0, with 1.09 ERA in 33 games. His 24 saves rank fifth in the National League and he has blown just two save chances in the last 1 1/2 seasons. Street is making $7 million this year and has a reasonable option of $7 million for next season. Odds of being moved: 85%.

SP Ian Kennedy: The Padres traded for Kennedy at the deadline last season as a buy-low acquisition. Kennedy has quietly had a solid season for the Friars. Kennedy, 29, is 7-9 with a 3.47 ERA on the year, and is third in the National League in strikeouts. Kennedy's fastball is averaging nearly 92 MPH on his fastball, per Fangraphs, which is the best velocity he has displayed in five years. Kennedy is earning $6.1 million this season, and is eligible for arbitration one last time in 2015. The Angels have expressed interest and the Orioles, Mariners, Royals and Indians could ask about the San Diego righty. Odds of being moved: 65%.

3B Chase Headley: In 2012, it appeared that the Padres developed their best homegrown position player since Tony Gwynn. The Colorado native led the National League with 115 RBI's, smacked 31 home runs and posted a WAR north of seven. The organization attempted to extend Headley on a few occasions, but talks never seemed to get very far. While Headley may not be the slugger he appeared to be in 2012, he could still thrive on a team where he is not expected to be the lineup's catalyst. Headley started off slowly in 2014, but has swung the bat well after receiving an epidural treatment in his ailing back. Headley is making $10.1 million this year and is eligible for free agency after the season. The Yankees would be a perfect fit, but the Blue Jays and Royals seem to make sense as well. Odds of being moved: 75%

OF Chris Denorfia: Denorfia is a fan-favorite in San Diego and is a favorite of this writer. He can play any outfield position, has historically mashed left-handed pitching and runs through walls to help his team win. Denorfia is having his worst season in a Padres uniform, as evidenced by his .244 average, but would make a great fourth outfielder on a contending team. The Royals, Red Sox (if they decide to buy) and Atlanta would be great fits. Denorfia, 34, is making a modest $2.2 million this year and is eligible for free agency after this season. Odds of being moved: 85%

OF Carlos Quentin: There is no doubt that Carlos Quentin can be a game-changing bat. Unfortunately, injuries have ruined what used to be a perennial MVP candidate. Quentin hasn't played more than 86 games since 2011, when he was an All-Star for the White Sox. Still just 31, Quentin makes a ton of sense for an American League team that needs a DH -- he simply should not be in the outfield anymore. A trade may be difficult to facilitate, since Quentin has a full no-trade clause and is signed through 2015. The Mariners, Orioles, Angels and Indians could all use another bat. Odds of being moved: 20%

RP: Joaquin Benoit: Benoit has been worth every penny he has made this season, after the Padres rewarded him with a two-year deal. Benoit, 36, has dominated the National League, with a 1.86 ERA. He is one of the reasons why the Padres have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. Benoit is making $6 million this season, $8 million next year and has an option for $8 million in 2016, that vests if Benoit finishes 55 games in 2015. The Tigers have expressed an interest in a Benoit reunion and the Yankees, Brewers and Dodgers could use his services as well. The Padres are not particularly eager to trade both Benoit and Street, so it will be interesting to see who has the greatest value. Odds of being dealt: 25%

In addition to the aforementioned players, Will Venable, Tyson Ross, Everth Cabrera, Dale Thayer and Alex Torres should generate interest, although it seems unlikely that any from this group will be moved. The Padres are still in the process of searching for a general manager, so it will be interesting to see what moves the front office makes over the next few weeks. 

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