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Storylines: Padres loading up on bats

Storylines: Padres loading up on bats
Justin Upton (Darren Carroll/ESPN The Magazine)
December 20, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Friday Dec. 19. 

Top Stories:

  • The Padres' roster overhaul is not yet finished, as the team struck an agreement to acquire Justin Upton from the Braves. San Diego will send a sizable haul of left-hander Max Fried, second baseman/shortstop Jace Peterson, third baseman Dustin Peterson and outfielder Mallex Smith to the Braves in exchange for Upton and right-handed pitcher Aaron Northcraft. Upton will be the third right-handed corner outfield bat acquired by the Padres in the past couple of days when the trade is finalized, as the team has announced the Matt Kemp deal and is on the verge of announcing the three-team Wil Myers trade as well. Obviously, the Padres have more corner outfielders than spots available, so the defensive alignment they'll deploy is up for debate. ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that the Padres had decided weeks ago they were OK with playing Kemp in center field, if need be. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports heard that Myers will likely be the one to handle center at Petco Park in 2015.
  • The Padres and Red Sox are agreed to a deal that sent catcher Ryan Hanigan from San Diego to Boston in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan. Hanigan, 34, is an excellent defensive catcher coming off a season in which he batted just .218/.318/.324 in his first season with the Rays. He's owed a total of $8 million over the next two seasons (including the $800,000 buyout on a $3.75 million club option for 2017) and could pair well behind the plate with Christian Vazquez in Boston. The 26-year-old Middlebrooks was once one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization, but he's yet to replicate the .288/.325/.509 batting line he put together in his rookie season of 2012. Since that time, Middlebrooks has dealt with injuries and a rapidly rising strikeout rate, both of which have contributed to a paltry .213/.265/.364 batting line from 2013-14.

News and Notes:

  • The Yankees and Marlins agreed to a deal that sent Martin Prado to Miami, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald heard that the deal would have Garrett Jones and Eovaldi going to New York for Prado and pitcher David Phelps. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that the Yankees will also receive right-hander Domingo German in the trade. GM Brian Cashman told reporters that the Yankees are including $6 million in the deal – $3 million this year and $3 million next year – to help cover Prado's salary, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.
  • The Marlins and Giants are closing in on a deal that would send third baseman Casey McGehee to San Francisco, Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel reported on Twitter. Righties Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo are coming to Miami from the Giants in the deal, Rodriguez tweeted.
  • Pitcher Jake Peavy agreed to a deal to return to the Giants, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It's a two-year, $24 million deal with a full no-trade clause, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Peavy will be paid a $4 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million in 2015 and $13 million in 2016, Crasnick wrote.
  • The Pirates announced that they signed free agent Corey Hart. Hart could serve as a platoon partner with Pedro Alvarez to help make up for his shortcomings against lefties. He will earn $2.5 million in base salary and can double it with another $2.5 million in incentives, according to Jon Heyman of To make room on the 40-man roster for Hart, the Pirates designated right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet for assignment.
  • The Cubs agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with catcher David Ross, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. Reports emerged earlier yesterday suggesting that the veteran was headed to the Padres, but indications are that he is in fact set to join former teammate Jon Lester in Chicago. Before joining the Red Sox in 2013, Ross spent four years as the reserve option for the Braves. He slashed a robust .269/.353/.463, but never made more than 200 plate appearances in a given season. Ross has fallen back to a .650 OPS over the last two seasons in Boston, over 287 plate appearances. Defensively, Baseball Prospectus did not value Ross's work very highly last year.
  • With the posting fee bids submitted for infielder Jung-ho Kang, the KBO's Nexen Heroes are expected to accept an approximately $5 million bid for the right to negotiate a contract with the Korean star, as the Yonhap News Agency reported. The MLB team with the winning bid has yet to be reported. If that club is unable to work out a deal with Kang, it would be refunded the amount of the posting fee. Otherwise, the team would owe that $5 million on top of whatever contractual terms it reaches with Kang.
  • After more than a week of anticipation, the Phillies announced that they have traded shortstop Jimmy Rollins and cash considerations to the Dodgers in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and left-hander Tom Windle. There was a significant hold-up in the trade, as the Phillies had to wait for the Dodgers to finalize their Matt Kemp trade with San Diego due to the fact that Eflin was part of the Dodgers' return in that deal. Kemp's physical dragged out the process for both trades, but each has now been announced.
  • The A's will release Nick Punto to clear a roster spot, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland will be on the hook for his $2.75 million salary in 2015.
  • The Red Sox agreed to sign lefty Craig Breslow to a one-year, $2 million deal, Rob Braford of reported.

User Comments

December 20, 2014 - 9:52 PM EST
*Indians keep things quiet, so there's that.*
December 20, 2014 - 9:50 PM EST
I think the Padres are just concerned about manufacturing runs. Obviously, they are not done with all the excess OF (Maybin, Venable, Smith, Quentin). Have to think they will try to trade at least two of them....with some SP prospects coming back.

Other thoughts...

Just about every team that "had interest" in Kang didn't who's the mystery team? Maybe the Giants, possibly the Indians. Btw, the Indians keep things on the hush so there

I hope it was/is the Indians, because Kang seems like a unique opportunity to add some RH power with positional flexibility. Considering the prices of these bats, he could be a bargain.
Jeff P
December 20, 2014 - 7:10 PM EST
Cashner was hurt a good bit last season. When 3/5 of the desired rotation is coming off injury, I think that qualifies as a question mark,and Kennedy and Ross are not front end guys. Yes, they have some guys with some name value like Venables and Maybin to deal, but they carry decent salaries and are coming off awful years. I think Smith winds up at 1B as they need at least one decent LH bat. Their OF defense will be just plain awful
December 20, 2014 - 5:46 PM EST
Seems like the Padres could trade Seth Smith for a SP. Maybe Cameron Maybin for a SP prospects, same could be said for Rymer Liriano. They still have Matt Wisler, and Casey Kelly and Corey Luebke recovering from TJ. Then they've signed Anthony Morrow, are are close on Josh Johnson. Plus, they've retained Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, and Tyson Ross. Then there's O.Despaigne, Robbie Erlin and prospect Keyvius Sampson. So, they are hardly bankrupt in the pitching department. They have depth, but lots of question marks past Kennedy, Cashner, and Ross.

Btw, would have liked to got Burch Smith or Joe Ross from the Padres...two talented arms.
Jeff P
December 20, 2014 - 5:03 PM EST
Sorry GSon, that was from me
December 20, 2014 - 5:02 PM EST
Who are their 4th and 5th starters? The guys they had in the OF before couldn't hit but they could catch it. Clint Barmes is the starting SS. Norris couldn't throw last year behind the plate and even if Middlebrooks does hit again he's the equivelant of Lonnie in the field. Sticking by my statement
December 20, 2014 - 4:24 PM EST
@Jeff P.. The Padres did send away anyone on their starting pitching staff.. one that was top 8 in most of the plus categories (runs allowed, hits allowed, WHIP etc.. etc) and were both third of MLB in Hits Average and Walks.. They have Buddy Bell as their able skipper and pitch pretty darn well.. The defense will be a bit worse.. probably.. but the pitching staff has been superb..
December 20, 2014 - 4:23 PM EST
I think it's almost a guarantee the Padres will be asking for pitching in about any trade they make outside of potentially adding a SS.
Jeff P
December 20, 2014 - 3:37 PM EST
The Padres resulting team is light on pitching and will be beyond atrocious defensively. 2015 Pads are the 2013 Blue Jays. A lot of noise with little bang
December 20, 2014 - 2:19 PM EST
@Homer & WHO... in addition to the prospects stated, the Padres appear to have raised their payroll from the modest $ 90MM in 2014 to an approximate $ 115 MM in 2015, give or take. This 25 MM increase seems light compared to the resulting team that has been assembled...
December 20, 2014 - 2:13 PM EST
Seems as if more than half the teams that at least feigned interest in Kang have a tweet by a close associated media member claiming it's not them.. or per MLB Trade Rumors:

The team that posted the winning bid isn’t yet known, but it isn’t the Mets, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin writes. It also isn’t the Padres, tweets CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. The Orioles aren’t the team, either, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets, and it’s not the Blue Jays, according to Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner (on Twitter), or the Yankees, via ESPN’s Jim Bowden (on Twitter).

So.. we know who it isn't...
December 20, 2014 - 2:01 PM EST

IDK, they gave up Hahn and Freid. That's two talented arms to lose.
C L Who
December 20, 2014 - 1:36 PM EST
San Diego would appear to have made a huge improvement in its ability to score in 2015. I hope the team has a reasonably good rotation to go with it, so that the NL West is more than a Dodgers - Giants battle.

By now the Padres farm must be cleaned out of solid prospects.
December 20, 2014 - 1:33 PM EST
San Diego has done an amazing job this off season..... to get all the talent they did and NOT lose their great young Hats off.
December 20, 2014 - 12:14 PM EST
Re: Kang

Unless there's a mystery team involved I'm guessing it is the Indians, A's or Giants.

Kang could be a steal if he becomes at least a platoon type player or better.
December 20, 2014 - 10:59 AM EST
@Homer... Several teams that were said to be interested have been eliminated from the bidding. It appears that acquiring Kang would involve a commitment of about $ 18 - 24 MM over four years, total. This shouldn't be an obstacle from a financial perspective.. it will come down to whether the Indians front office and player personnel evaluators believe he can play..

From what I've seen.. he can...
Jeff P
December 20, 2014 - 9:35 AM EST
Steve, just a wild guess here, but equal value to the SD package may have looked something like Justis Sheffield, Dorssys Paulino, Levon Washington, and Ronny Rodriguez. The only top tier prospect was Fried who is a number one pick coming off TJ surgery
December 20, 2014 - 9:30 AM EST
I hope the Indians won or at least bid on Lang. RH power is hard to find. He has it, and some position flexibility.
December 20, 2014 - 9:28 AM EST
The Indians could have beaten the Padres deal with the exception of the SP. However, the Indians could have built a deal around Frazier, and Anderson, add two more prospects in the 10-20 range and that would have been competitive.,
December 20, 2014 - 8:35 AM EST
I agree about Hart. 2.5 million seems like a steal for someone with his power potential. Would of given us insurance in case Swisher gets hurt again or is just as bad as last year.
Steve from Orlando
December 20, 2014 - 7:35 AM EST
I am not familiar with San Diego's farm teams - what would be the equivalent from our team to have gotten Justin Upton ? Also did we kick the tires on Corey Hart, would he not be a better RHB corner OF than Raburn ?
Devin R
December 20, 2014 - 2:50 AM EST
I'd love to see us go after Maybin or Liriano...

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