The Padres are reluctant to deal from apparent pitching depth, even though it may be the easiest way to acquire the bats they clearly need. Padres GM Jed Hoyer admitted to Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune that the club needs offense, but explained that he's uneasy trading pitchers.
“Pitching depth can evaporate faster than anyone can imagine," Hoyer said. "I’m not ruling anything out, but you have to be careful when you start trading your quote-unquote ‘pitching depth.’"
When Hoyer was in the Boston front office last year, the Red Sox appeared to have more arms than they needed. But Brad Penny and John Smoltz disappointed and the club's depth disappeared. Sometimes a team truly has enough pitching to trade from depth (the 2010 Braves come to mind) but most clubs don't find themselves in that position.
“Everybody wants pitching depth," Hoyer said. "I’d rather have pitching depth than bring in one more bat that may not help us in the long run. I’m not saying I won’t do it, but it’s risky."
No winning team has scored fewer runs than the Padres this year, but they have the best run prevention in all of baseball. The team's starters have a 3.26 ERA, and the bullpen (2.66 ERA) may be more impressive. Mike Adams, Heath Bell, Luke Gregerson, Edward Mujica, Joe Thatcher and Ryan Webb have been a dominant group. Relievers like that could help Hoyer find a bat if the Padres decide they can sacrifice some pitching depth.