According to Buster Olney, Michael Barrett has just been traded to the Padres. The Padres will also receive cash in the deal. Ken Rosenthal believes the amount of cash is greater than $1MM, since it needs approval from the commissioner’s office. In return, the Cubs received backup catcher Rob Bowen and a young outfielder named Kyler Burke.
Burke, 19, was drafted 35th overall out of high school last year based on his huge power potential and athleticism. He hasn’t shown anything against pro pitching yet. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus says Burke has an "enormous ceiling" with a strong right field arm. This is an upside play by Jim Hendry – Burke could be a star or a complete bust.
Bowen will provide the Cubs a mostly defensive-minded backstop, although that’s what they have already. He was once seen as a future starter as a Twins minor leaguer, but his bat never panned out. Bowen has teamed up with Henry Blanco before, when both were Twins. Bowen was a waiver claim for his last two teams, so that gives you an idea of his value. On the plus side, he’s speedy for a catcher and a switch-hitter.
The Padres, meanwhile, are looking to bolster their offense in the present and Barrett should be able to help despite his poor start to 2007. I’m not too worried about chemistry issues despite Barrett’s recent incidents. Barrett is reunited with Greg Maddux, who he caught from 2004-06. Barrett is a free agent after the season.
Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers matched up last year, as the Cubs dumped off veterans Scott Williamson and Todd Walker to San Diego for some arms.