Preaching Padre religion one post at time

Monday, March 16, 2009

WBC Blues

As if Friar fans didn't have enough on their minds from sitting through Jake Peavy's recent World Baseball Classic outing, now Kevin Youkilis wants Peavy in a BoSox jersey (from CNNSI):
...If we could get him, that would be great. It's not to say we don't have enough pitching as it is, but Jake Peavy is a heck of a pitcher.
Oh, how the other half lives. Why can't Obama just tax the BoSox and the Yankees? Anyway, we digress. Unless Peavy changes his tune, the BoSox are not on the list of teams he is looking to consider. Frankly, we here at FF would rather see any big decision - trading Peavy certainly counts as that - be deferred until the pending sale of the club either goes through or falls through.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Maddux To Join Manny?

Greg Maddux and his 350 wins look to be headed to LA to play for the 1st place Dodgers after nearly getting shipped to the Padres rival prior to the non waiver deadline. Maddux was given a full no trade clause and has made it known that the Padres and Dodgers are the only teams he would play for this season. The two clubs are in the process of exchanging names to try to make a match. The Friars stand to save over $2M, and the Dodgers are close to acquiring a true class act for their post season aspirations.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maddux Remains In San Diego

Thursday's non waiver trade deadline has come and gone with the Padres holding onto players like Greg Maddux, Brian Giles, and Josh Bard. Other Padres players who had their names in a few trade rumors included bullpen arms Cla Meredith and Heath Bell. FF was hoping to see the Pads unload Maddux and maybe Bard, as the catching duties for the rest of this year should go to Nick Hundley to allow the Pads to evaluate where he stands in their fuure plans. Towers has never been shy with the waiver wire deals; he made plenty of deals in August last year and FF would be surprised if there aren't a few coming this season.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dodgers Intersted In Maddux

ESPN's Buster Olney (Vanderbilt Alum) is reporting that the Dodgers have infact expressed interest in the Padres Greg Maddux. The two sides are in the process of exchanging names to find a match prior to Thursday's non waiver trade deadline.

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Maddux Nixes Possible Phillies Deal

San Diego's season is over and Greg Maddux, the best pitcher of his generation, is in the final innings of his HOF career. FF would like to think that any ball player would like the opportunity to compete for a championship, but Maddux has earned the right to decide where he plays and for what team. The Phillies are locked into a tough battle with the surging New York Mets and the upstart Florida Marlins and are looking to add pitching for the stretch run, a crafty vet with some 351 wins will not be joining them as maintains his desire to pitch on the west coast (where he has drawn little to no interest.

The most disturbing information from this article is that a NL executive states that the Padres are not looking for talented players in return for the players they unload, just looking to save money. FF is still holding out hope that a few more moves are made and that some quality is brought back to this organization that will help down the road.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Stovetop On High

The latest team to express interest in Padres lefty Randy Wolf is the Houston Astros. Although the Astros are stuck behind the Cubs, Brewers and Cards in a tough NL Central, they are rumored to be in serious talks with San Diego. The Astros were forced to place staff ace, Roy Oswalt, on the 15 day DL and must feel they need to add to their rotation to keep pace in the Central.

Padres switch hitting catcher, Josh Bard, is due to come off the DL as early as this weekend and is said to be immediately placed on the trading block. The Friars brass finally seems feed up with Bard's inability to throw runners out. FF feels that the remainder of '08 should be used, in part, to evaluate younger players including Luke Carlin and Nick Hundley, who are both struggling at the plate while improving the defense at the position.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Friar Sale?

The San Diego Padres have become a hot topic in baseball's front offices as ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that one AL executive feels that the Friars may open their doors early stocking players like Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Randy Wolf on their shelves. FF was a bit surprised to see Kouz on this list, although opening a spot for Chase Headley doesn't seem too far fetched ~ FF still would be shocked to see the 3rd baseman moved this summer. Other players that FF could see being dealt include a myriad of free agents to be; Brian Giles, Greg Maddux, Michael Barrett, and Tadihito Iguchi. If Estes continues to throw well, the Friars might be well served to swap him for a younger model. In smaller moves FF wouldn't be surprised to see a Scott Hairston or P Mac cleaning their lockers in San Diego.

Not even half way through May and it seems that baseball has given up on the 2008 installment of the Padres. Its a little sad, but at least there will be some exciting rumors swirling to help the water cooler chatter.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Edmonds To Cubies?

It appears that the career of Jim Edmonds will not end in a Padres uniform as the Chicago Cubs are considering signing Edmonds to split time in center field. If the Cubs should sign Edmonds it would be at the expense of Felix Pie's roster spot. This would mark a huge drop in the value of Pie, as he has been a highly touted prospect for Chicago. FF has no ill will towards Edmonds, however we are surprised that a contending team is willing to give his heavy legs and slowing bat a roster spot.

The Padres have been long rumored to have an interest in Pie, as he brings speed to both the base paths and defense in their roomy center field.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jones Headed Back to San Diego?

News of Jacque Jones' release from the Tigers causes concern at FF. This is exactly the kind of player that Kevin Towers can't resist - from San Diego, plays multiple outfield positions, strikes out too much, and bats left handed. He is also on the cheap as the Cubs are paying $2M of his $5M contract. We don't see this as a solution, but always take pause of a potential move when a San Diegan hits the market.

UPDATE:
As predicted, mlbtraderumors.com reports that the Padres have interest in Jacque Jones.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Backstop Backup Brainstorm

The U-T's Tom Krasovic reports that Padres General Manager Kevin Towers may be looking at veteran receiver Damien Miller should Michael Barrett be sidelined for an extended period of time. Also discussed is the extent of Barrett's injury, which is thankfully less severe than originally anticipated. We've discussed ulnar collateral ligament injuries in regard to former first round picks Ceasar Carillo and Nick Schmidt, who both required Tommy John surgery. This invasive procedure doesn't appear to be in the cards for Barrett, but the timetable for his return is likely around 2 months.

Miller has spent the bulk of his 11 season career in the National League with Arizona, Chicago and Milwaukee. A career .262 hitter, Miller is solid backstop that has tossed an impressive 37% of would-be base theifs in his career. This plainly addresses a need on the club, which has been victimized by opposing teams on the basepaths an epic manner of the last two seasons (setting and then breaking a Major League record for stolen bases allowed).

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

ChAAAse HeAAAdley

It would appear that Padres top prospect, Chase Headley, will start the season in AAA Portland. The move will allow Headley to continue to learn his new position by logging as many innings as possible in left field. The switch hitter has proved himself to be MLB ready but finds himself in a log jam in the Padres outfield picture.

As FF has previously noted, Jody Gerut has not only played himself onto the opening day roster, but he is penciled in as the starter in left. Scott Hairston is expected to fill the shoes of Jim Edmonds in CF until the balky calf of Edmonds properly heals. With the extra spot for an outfielder (assuming Edmonds begins the season on the DL) the Padres are expected to break camp with Paul McAnulty for the 2nd consecutive year. PMac is out of options and can flat out swing the bat. Brian Giles continues to improve from his offseason micro fracture surgery and will start his final season in a Padres uniform in right (KT holds an option for 2009). Bud Black is expected to give the veteran more days off during the long 162 game schedule, and this year it appears that he will have the bodies to fill the spot (no Sledge types on this roster). The Padres will shock FF if they leave Arizona without Callix Crabbe, the speedy and versatile Rule V draftee who has had a great spring and can play both infield and outfield positions.

As the the sand begins to settle on another March in the desert, it appears the Friars roster is coming together and at this point it will not include their stud prospect Headley. The Padres will see him at some point this season roaming the Petco Park outfield, and his tenure as a full time starter is, at most, a season away (with the likely departure of the second Giles in 2 years). The larger question at this point circles around the health of Jim Edmonds, and what to do with the pure hitting Paul McAnulty when Edmonds is healthy.

FF wouldn't be surprised to see the Padres deal McAnulty to an American League team, simply because they do not have a position for him. With the Pads and Peoria Sports Complex roommate, Seattle Mariners, discussing a possible deal for CF Jeremy Reed, it is possible to see PMac in Peoria again next season; this time in the Mariners clubhouse.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gerut a Go?

FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Jody Gerut is likely to get the starting nod in left field in the likely event that Jim Edmonds not be available on Opening Day. Additionally, the article suggests that Gerut may be platooning with Scott Hairston should Edmonds be return to the lineup. Rosenthal goes on to link Seattle Mariner Jeremy Reed as a candidate to roam Petco's spacious center field, if needed.

This would mean that Chase Headley is headed to Portland to hone his defensive skills in left field, despite doing as much as anyone could possibly expect to push his bat into the lineup. The cautious road is probably the best bet for Chase. One has to wonder if Bud Black would be as tolerant of a Klesko-esque left fielder (could Headley even be that bad?) as he was of Kevin Koozmanoff's cold start at the plate in 2007. The Moneyball approach says yes, but Black may say no.

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Trade Front And Center For Padres

The Padres couldn't or wouldn't come to an agreement to retain their free agent center fielder Mike Cameron this offseason and instead turned the position over to former All Star and Gold Glove winner Jim Edmonds, who was acquired in a trade with the Cards. Immediately following this trade, questions regarding the age and health of the Friars CF (Edmonds) and RF(Brian Giles) accompanied the questions about the lack of a starting left fielder. Through the first week of Cactus League play the Padres Edmonds and Giles have combined for 1 base hit, granted Brian Giles has yet to lace up his spikes due to his recovery from offseason knee surgery ~ but then again, that in itself is a problem. Edmonds is now on the shelf for 2-3 weeks due to a calf strain he suffered while in the batters box in a game this week.

The only left field clarification to date is that Jody Gerut , Chase Headley, and even Paul McAnulty have all proved that they can hit enough to compete for playing time with incumbent Scott Hairston, who himself has never been an everyday major league starter. So, lets toss in the huge hole in center created by Edmonds' calf muscle and the Padres have a tough situation with few in house fixes.

On Friday Kevin Towers reported that he had talked with the Boston Red Sox regarding Coco Crisp, it is suspected that the Sox would want top prospects Chase Headley or Matt Antonelli ~ and the Pads are not giving those 2 away for almost anyone at this point. So, may the Friars see yet another aging player passed their prime sporting the sand and navy in FA Kenny Lofton? Or would the Pads give up top talent to bring Tony Gywnn, Jr. back home from the Brewers? Something will have to happen, because the season is drawing ever closer and the Pads outfield is getting older each inning that passes.

Look for the Pads to also speak to the Angels, who have too many bodies in their outfield - some who are out of minor league options. FF believes (or wants to believe) that the Friars will find a way to get younger, healthier, and faster in the outfield prior to the March 31st opener.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Clark to Mets?

ESPN's Buster Olney has speculated that Tony Clark could be one possible option for the Mets should Carlos Delgado's recent injury prove worse than expected. While this is certainly possible, FF doesn't put a lot of stock in the possible option. One major concern from the Padres' perspective was the overuse of Adrian Gonzalez in 2007 ; Clark was largely brought in to mitigate this risk in 2008. Toss is the fact that Clark is a major factor in clubhouse on a team that places a lot of stock in chemistry and you end up with a unlikely rumor. This doesn't even delve into Kevin Towers' affinity for players from San Diego, but that's another post...

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Murton Out, Gross In?

FoxSports.com's KenRosenthal reports that those persistent rumors about the Cubs' Matt Murton have come to rest, with Padre GM Kevin Towers now possibly looking to the Brewers' Gabe Gross for help in the outfield. This rumor is apparently fueled by the crowded outfield situation in Milwaukee, to great extent helped by former Friar Mike Cameron's 25 game suspension for a second positive test for banned stimulants. Gross is also out of options, forcing the Brew Crew's hand. Gross is a former 1st round pick, selected 15th overall by the Blue Jays in 2001. He posted a respectiable .857 OPS for the Brewers in part time duty in 2006. His left handed bat doesn't seem idea for Petco Park, but that hasn't stopped KT in the past.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Murton Rumors Still Alive

Matt Murton to the Padres rumors remain persistent, as reported by mlbtraderumors.com. FF doesn't expect any trades to go down soon, as Kevin Towers will likely see how Scott Hairston and Chase Headley look in Peoria. Even so, Murton isn't exactly the right handed power hitter the Padres covet. Nonetheless, The Bill James Handbook 2008 projects Murton to post a respectable .841 OPS in 2008. In comparison, James predicts a .932 clip from Headley with a .839 showing from Hairston (see OBP graph below). With these numbers, its hard to see a ton of upside in executing this trade, outside of a bench depth to offset an aging outfield.

OPS Comparison
Graph from FanGraphs.com

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Looking For Lumber Off The Pine

The Padres are busy searching for a big bat off the bench and it appears that the final 2 players are veterans with San Diego ties. Mark Sweeney has (who reside in Rancho) played his entire career with the Kansas City Royals as a 1st baseman and DH. Sweeney is a 5 time All Star who has battled the injury bug the past couple seasons. The slugger was at Petco earlier this week to workout for Padres brass.

The second player who might be joining the Friars is SDSU Alum Tony Clark. The switch hitting Clark has spent the past couple seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and seems to always hurt the Pads late in games with his stick.

The question with each player is where they will find a sufficient number of at bats. Both vets are first baseman by trade and will have a tough time seeing much action with raising star Adrian Gonzalez planted at that position. With the outfield still in doubt one might think one of these players could find themselves roaming left field, however neither has played the OF in the bigs. FF likes the fact that either (one would have to assume that only one will join the team) player would spell Adrian against tough left handed starters and would get the majority of AB's as the DH during the interleague contests.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Cameron Close To Joining Brewers

Former Padres CF, Mike Cameron, is near a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. Cameron's arrival in Wisconsin would mean 2 starters would be switching positions, including 2007 ROY Ryan Braun from 3rd to LF while Bill Hall would slide into left after roaming CF last season. Mike Cameron, who will begin the '08 season serving a 25 game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance (2nd offensive brings about suspension), is being replaced by Jim Edmonds.

A Padres dreamer might want to think that by Milwaukee adding a CF in Cameron, Tony Gwynn Jr would become available via trade...whether that would actually be a good situation is another story...

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prior Wants to Come Home?

ESPN is reporting that the Padres are the front runners in the Mark Prior race, mostly due to his desire to pitch in the town where he was raised and currently lives. Like many rumored Padres signings this off season, FF will believe when we see it.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Busy Day For NL West Arms, OF Answers Soon

Friday proved to be a busy day for hurlers coming and going in the NL West, as the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired All Star pitcher Dan Haren from the A's and shipped last 2007 NL saves leader Jose Valverde to the Houston Astros.

While the reigning NL West champions were busy making moves involving big names, the Padres inked 2 veteran LHP, in Shawn Estes and Glendon Rusch. These moves solidify depth for the back end of the Friars rotation that (after Peavy, Young, & Maddux) features many seasoned lefties coming off of injury in Randy Wolf, Estes, and Rusch. The 2 signings Friday reduce the probability that San Diego will bring in native Mark Prior, or Josh Towers who was non tendered by Toronto earlier this week.

OF Answers Soon

After missing out on Fukudome, and Bradley the Padres are drawing nearer to hearing back on their final offers to Mike Cameron, and Geoff Jenkins. It seems that the Pads and Cameron's agent have agreed on the length (2 years) of a deal but remain far apart in dollars. The Geoff Jenkins sweepstakes (if you can call it that) has come down to the Padres and the Phillies, in both destinations the left handed slugger would be in a platoon role.

The Padres remain desperate for a CF, and if they bring Cameron back he will miss the first 25 games of the season as a result of testing positive for a banned substance. In that case (as the roster stands right now) Scott Hairston would slip into center with corner outfield possibilities that include: Chase Headley, Brian Giles, Geoff Jenkins,and rumored ex Pad Xavier Nady. The Pads outfield questions remain as vast as the the actual outfield at Petco.

For a little fun lets take a look at a very plausible scenario ~(The Pads sign Cameron and Jenkins, Brian Giles starts the season on the DL after knee surgery)... The Padres would have to trot Scott Hairston out in CF flanked by Geoff Jenkins in RF, and rookie Chase Headley in LF. So, how would that work out for a team built around pitching and defense, not very well! Hairston is not a true CF and with the spacious outfields throughout the division it might just remind Friar fans of the "defense" played by Brady Clark in the 1 game playoff against the Rockies. Jenkins has below average foot speed and is much better suited as a left fielder (especially at Petco), but with Chase Headley having never play outfield Jenkins would be the lesser of the evils.

Who knows how the rest of the offseason will play out, but as it stands now GM Kevin Towers must not be sleeping very well. For a franchise that puts such an emphasis on pitching, it becomes extremely important to catch the ball. We continue to hear that there is a plan and that the Pads will look to bring in young players with speed, great plan! The only problem is the Padres perpetually sign players who are past their prime (if they ever had a prime)...frustrating, scary, and ridiculous all wrapped up into 1. This is a recipe for disaster.


UPDATE

Since the post was written, Mike Cameron has broken off talks with the San Diego Padres. The Friars are, amongst others, discussing the possibility of bringing in two more aging players in St Louis' Jim Edmonds, and Kenny Lofton to fill their huge hole in center.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pads Looking At Familiar Faces

The San Diego Padres are desperate for bodies in the outfield, and all MLB GM's know it. According to an ESPN.com report, the Pads and Pirates are deep in trade talks regarding former Padres Jason Bay, and Xavier Nady. The Pirates are said to have interest in backup back stop Michael Barrett, and prized 3B prospect Chase Headley. The Pirates might also be searching for a team who wouldn't mind acquiring starting pitcher Matt Morris and his hefty $12 M contract. I wonder if this is Plan B, C, D, or Z?

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bradley Headed to Arlington

FoxSports.com is reporting that Milton Bradley has jilted the Padres' offer and is instead heading for a one year gig with the Rangers. This comes on the same day that the San Diego Union-Tribune's Nick Canepa reports that GM Kevin Towers told him:
Giles talked to Bradley, and he said he doesn't know if he's wanted here,” Towers says. “Now why the hell would we offer him a contract ($4 million for one year) if we didn't want him? This is a very good player.”

Regardless, the deal makes sense for Bradley. He can now slowly build up his knee while "playing" DH. This is certainly a loss for the Friars on paper - Bradley was easily their most impactful hitter in 2007 - when he played. That said, the new round of drama may be something that Friars are lucky to escape.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pads Close to Locking Up Peavy

The Padres are close to signing Cy Young winner, Jake Peavy to a contract extension through 2012. This would prove to the fans of San Diego and MLB that the Padres are finally going to start keeping their top notch talent in sand and navy. The terms of the proposed deal were not immediately available.

The winter meetings would be deemed a success if we come away with Peavy for the next 4 or 5 years!

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Tomko's Likely Return is Starter Insurance

Kevin Towers expects to sign Brett Tomko, according to the Union-Tribune's Tom Krasovic:
Padres GM Kevin Towers said he expects to sign free agent Brett Tomko for a bullpen spot. “Of course, we're interested,” said Tomko, a Poway resident who has drawn inquiries from several clubs.

This move would be valuable insurance for the surgically-strained group of starters that the Friar front office is courting. The strategy is a bit of a gamble, but seems to have a tremendous upside. Several former standout pitchers have the opportunity to return from injury in pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Coupled with performance-induced contracts like the one given to Randy Wolf, a $4M deal that can jump to a total value of $9M, the Padres could sport a rotation where Greg Maddux is the weak link by All Star break. The addition of Tomko provides a soft landing should Wolf or a future addition suffer a setback. Furthermore, while most of Wolf-like pitchers would probably bolt for big money if their Petco experience proves fruitful, this could be an excellent pattern that few other clubs have the facility to challenge.

How does Petco impact a pitcher? According to the Bill James Handbook 2007, a pitcher can expect to allow 23% fewer doubles, a 9% lower batting average against, 14% fewer runs allowed and 9% more strikeouts, based on 2006 numbers, which isolate the dimension changes to Petco prior to that season.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Prior San Diego Ties Wanted

The Union-Tribune reports that Kevin Towers is seeking native San Diegan and one-time Vanderbilt University student Mark Prior via trade over the upcoming winter meetings in Nashville, TN (ironically, the location of Vanderbilt). Prior has averaged just over 14 games for the last four seasons and is now know as much for his injury prone nature as his once-dominant form. That said, both he and Matt Clement may view Petco Park's spacious confines as a way to boost their value for future contracts.

The U-T also quoted Towers expecting Michael Barrett to return as Josh Bard's backup. This news is disturbing to FF, as we grew increasingly tired of watching singles, walks and errors result in doubles and triples due to the complete lack of ability of the Friars to hold folks on base. Granted, this is not solely the problem of the 2007 club's catching staff, but we long for the defensive catcher to at least keep the games close. We also challenge the notion that it is unimportant to hold runners as this seems to largely cancel positive home-field affect of Petco Park.

In unrelated news, FF would like to congratulate Point Loma High School on beating Saints to earn its third consecutive trip to the San Diego Division III final at Qualcomm stadium. PLHS has produced awe-inspiring baseball players with last names like Wells, Ashcraft and Finneran; it's always nice to seem their programs succeed.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Brocail To Move On

It appears that the Padres will let relief pitcher Doug Brocail move on, citing a hefty raise he is due after a pair of solid seasons at Petco Park. With Kevin Tower's well known ability to cheaply stock the bullpen, this isn't much of a surprise. Manager Bud Black will likely have to look to a younger replacement, which should be interesting as he chose to go with veteran in many tough situations in 2007.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Angel to Padre Outfield?

With the Angles' recent signing of 7-time Gold Glove winner Torri Hunter, the Halos suddenly have a crowded outfield. It has long been rumored that former Angel pitching coach and current Friar skipper Bud Black's strong relationship with his former team could help the two teams make a deal. Who might be the odd man out is questionable, but it could be Garret Anderson or Juan Rivera.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dead Cat Bounce?

When stock traders pick up a stock after a day of huge losses, they expect the value of that stock to slightly rebound the following day, thereby making some money off of the so-called "dead cat bounce". The Padres seem to be considering a similar play by bringing Japanese pitcher Kazuo Fukumori in for a workout. Fukumori is coming off his second elbow surgery, but has reportedly been clear by doctors to resume play.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Konichiwa Kosuke Fukudome?

Padres.com reports that Friars are anticipated to make a run at Japanese free agent Kosuke Fukudome, a 30 year old southpaw outfielder who is the reigning Central League MVP. Anyone that bats .351 with 31 jacks, 104 RBI and a 1.091 OPS over 130 games will get your attention. Interestingly, his 2007 campaign was stopped short due to bone chips in his elbow. Like Trevor Hoffman, he has undergone surgery to remove the chips, but the injury will play into the risk/reward analysis in determining his worth on the MLB market. That said, Padres GM Kevin Towers stated that free agent crop will be particularly poor this off season, making a Yankees-like overpayment of Fukudome likely (thereby decreasing his chances of landing in a Padres Sand uni).

The Padres have not employed a Japanese player since Akinori Otsuka, who was traded prior to 2006 season as part of the deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young and Terrmel Sledge to Petco Park.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wells Rumored to Follow Pads to Shea

MetsBlog.com reports that David Wells is close to signing with the NY Mets. The Point Loma High School grad was designated for assignment by the Padres on August 10th. Part of me just wants him to hang it up at this point as he couldn't seem to last 5 innings for the most part this season. That said, he handled the situation like a real professional and FF wishes him the best of luck, regardless of what happens and that it doesn't happen at the expense of the Friars.

UPDATE: Wells has signed with the Dodgers and will start against the Mets on Sunday! The goodwill I expressed earlier has vanished.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Waiver Claim: Kei Igawa To San Diego

The San Diego Padres continue to try to upgrade thier team have been awarded the waiver wire claim of Yankees left handed Japanesse import Kei Igawa. This does not mean that Igawa is now a Padres, however it gives the two organizations 2 days to work out a deal to send the struggling starter to Petco.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wells, Sweeney Rumors

We may not have seen the end of the Padres roster evolution as there is talk of San Francisco Giants pinch hit specialist Mark Sweeney rejoining the Padres for what seems to be the 15th time.

After getting hit around the yard for the 4th straight outing the Padres seem to be considering the release of veteran lefty David Wells. Boomer, a Point Loma High School grad, has an ERA over 14 in his past 4 starts, and his 5.54 ERA is over a run above the average in the Senior Circuit. If this is in fact the end of the road for Wells, Friarforum will salute his solid and colorful career that includes a perfect game and Babe Ruth's hat.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

The Witching Hour - July 31, 1:00 PM PST

As the non waiver trade deadline fast approaches, the only major Friar-related rumor is a that the Padres' interest in Mark Loretta interest has waned, but consideration of Mike Lamb has increased. Could the Padres use any of their strong AA crop as trade bait?

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rumor Recap

As the non waiver trading deadline approaches, Frair-related rumors are certainly keeping things interesting, especially with KT starting to blend in with former Friar GM "Trader" Jack McKeon. The San Fransisco Examiner mentions the Padres as potential suitors for Adam Dunn and Mike Piazza. While I can see how the Padres would covet Dunn, it is more difficult to see how Piazza would fit into the mix at this point. Of course, there are also the seemingly omnipresent rumors of Mark Loretta and Ryan Klesko, which have been discussed on FF repeatedly over the last few days.

On the flip side of potential trades, Brewers GM Doug Melvin is taking heat for the Scott Linebrink deal. Additionally, the Scott Hairston trade marks the first deal ever between the two clubs.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Peavy Settles In, Pads Stop Astros

Despite being dinked and dunked in the first inning for 3 hits and a run, Jake Peavy allowed only 1 additional hit over the next six innings to stop the Astros 9-4 Friday night at Minute Maid Park. Peavy added 8 strikeouts against 2 walks while also knocking in the tying run. His two hits raised his batting average to a very respectable .220 for the season. Milton Bradley added a home run and the Padres scored in droves, despite 7 strikeouts from the top four spots in the lineup. Peavy and company received strong support in the field, particularly from Khalil Green, who uncharacteristically flashed his rifle arm on a number of plays. Joe Thatcher succumbed to nerves pitching in his second straight big league game, committing two throwing errors before Heath Bell came in to extinguish the Astros' ninth inning rally as Trevor Hoffman began loosening up in the pen.

Unlike the Thursday night's game, the Houston broadcast team openly discussed the trade rumors surrounding Mark Loretta and the Padres. Unfortunately, there wasn't any new insight provided as they mostly echoed the San Diego Union Tribune's coverage. That said, Loretta's .373 on base percentage this season would rank third on the team among players with at least 50 at bats if he were acquired.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thatcher Impresses, Pads Get Thumped Again

The Padres continued to trudge through July, dropping their series opener to the Astros 7-1. David Wells allowed 7 runs in three innings while walking four. His 28 walks allowed thus far in 2007 exceeds any season total he has allowed since 2002. Clay Hensley pitched three solid innings while side winding newcomer Joe Thatcher and Doug Brocail posted a perfect innings. The Friar's lone run came on Mike Cameron's shattered-bat double in the first frame.

Besides Thatcher's debut, the lone Padre highlight was supplied by Milton Bradley. In the bottom of the second, Lance Berkman squeezed a hot grounder between diving Kevin Kouzmanoff and the third base line. A fan reached over the railing and grabbed the ball, killing the play and giving Berkman a fan interference induced double. While the fan pled his case to security, Bradley came trotting up and grabbed the ball right out of the fan's hands.

Interestingly, the Astros broadcast team made no mention of the rumored trade of Mark Lorreta to the Friars.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reflecting on KT's Big Day

After a rash of sizable roster moves, the dust is beginning to settle. New southpaw reliever Joe Thatcher looks to be the statistical equivalent of Heath Bell. Both were acquired for their excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios in the minors. In 2006, Bell posted a 4.8 ratio splitting time between the Mets and AAA Norfolk. Thatcher sports a nearly identical 4.7 ratio thus far in 2007 for the AAA Nashville Sounds.

Towers also installed Clay Hensley into the bullpen today, optioning Terrmel Sledge back to AAA Portland. Hensley reports that rest has served him well and Padre fans would all like to see him regain his status as a bullpen stalwart.

FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that the two prospects obtained with Thatcher are well regarded by Padre brass while continuing to fan the flames of the rumored return of Mark Loretta and Ryan Klesko to Petco Park.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Loretta Rumor Persists

The rumored acquisition of Mark Loretta continues getting press. I believe there was a blurb from ESPN's Buster Olney about Loretta in conjunction with the Padres in the most recent The Magazine issue as well. Not sure I see where Ryan Klesko or Mike Piazza fit into the equation at this point...

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mark Loretta to San Diego?

Continued rumblings of Mark Loretta heading back to San Diego may be supported by Astros' GM Tim Purpura, who is looking for help in the bullpen. The San Diego Union-Tribune also hinted at Loretta's return trip last week. While there are some rumblings that Loretta could be dealt in return for Scott Linebrink, it doesn't seem to be in the interest of the Astros to pick up Linebrink unless they can extend him for 2008 or beyond. Loretta will also be a free agent at the end of the season. From the Pads' perspective, one must wonder which player could result in a higher compensation draft pick when they move on for 2008 - an aspect that Kevin Towers and team will surely consider.

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