As most of you already know, the Padres have just traded their hot-shot young Pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Sure the trade itself sounds great on paper and could inevitably . The Padres will receive a former All-Star in Volquez, get bats in the form of the 1B/OF Alonso and C Grandal, and hold out hope that Boxberger can become a stellar relief pitcher. I however see things a bit differently, and hope that by shipping Latos off to “The Queen City,” the Padres aren’t continuing their longstanding trend of trading away or letting their fantastic players walk away in Free Agency.
The Padres have been a “farm system” to Major League teams over the years in terms of developing amazing talent and then letting them go. The Padres have let Hall of Famers like Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, and Roberto Alomar go in trades and in Free Agency. They’ve let Postseason legends like Joe Carter and David Freese walk for almost nothing in return. And the two guys they traded for when they unloaded Alomar and Carter? Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. Both guys won World Titles elsewhere when the Padres got rid of them. They traded Gary Sheffield for Trevor Hoffman who ended up being a solid player for the franchise, but a “goat” whenever the Padres desperately needed him. For the sake of brevity I won’t go on, but I hope you can see my point: As a Padres fan I’m sickened yet again to see another fantastic player go.
If Alonso can’t play the Outfield, the Padres already have a glut of guys at 1B. They have Jesus Guzman, Kyle Blanks, Anthony Rizzo, and even Mark Kotsay. What makes me even more sick is even though they be able to move Rizzo, that leaves Casey Kelly and Raymond Fuentes as the only guys that can make a difference for the club that are left over from the Gonzalez deal. And both of those guys are still in the minors. Essentially, they let Gonzalez walk for nothing.
Moreover, why would they want Grandal if they had already signed John Baker as a Catcher behind Nick Hundley? I guess its nice to have depth, and Grandal still needs some seasoning in the minors, but I guess the writing is on the wall for the future of Hundley.
But the thing that really chaps my hide is the fact that they got Volquez in return for Latos. Sure, Volquez may have been an All-Star back in 2008, but is he really worth giving up Latos? He has gotten hurt, and he has failed an MLB Drug Test when he tested positive for PED’s back in 2009. Is this a guy that can be the “Ace” of the Padres’ Pitching Staff in 2012? Sure the Garza-for-Rizzo etc. trade sounds nice, but give me Garza and Latos, not Garza and Volquez.
To me, it just seems the Padres are just making lateral moves with trades such as this. If Alonso and Grandal can add some pop to this anemic lineup I’m sure I will inevitably feel better. But those guys still have to prove that they can, a) Make and Stay on a Big League ball club, and b) hit at the Big League level.
I understand that the Padres and Byrnes had the best intentions in mind when making this deal. But I’m sure that’s exactly what the Front Office had thought in the past when they unloaded the aforementioned players that turned into Hall of Famers, Postseason Stars, and All-Stars. Only time will tell, but for right now I’m a bit salty.
Let me hear your thoughts Padres Fans, and let me know if you are as frustrated as I am now.
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