The Padres are currently dead last in on-base percentage in the National League, at .313. They’re fourth from last with a .390 SLG (and the Pirates are threatening for that #13 ranking). The road rankings are a tad less bleak, as the Friars are 11th in OBP and 6th in slugging. On the other hand, the Padres easily have the best pitching in the NL.
Nonetheless, Padres GM Kevin Towers is focused on adding a starting pitcher and a bench player. To be fair, he’s still waiting to see what kind of boost recent additions Michael Barrett and Milton Bradley can bring.
Knowing Towers’ favorite trading partners, who might he hit up for the starting pitcher? Since 2001, Towers has made multiple trades with the following GMs: Brian Cashman (5), Theo Epstein (5), Bill Bavasi (4), Billy Beane (3), Omar Minaya (3), Jim Hendry (3), Jon Daniels (2), and Walt Jocketty (2).
Bavasi and Minaya are probably both in the market for starters, so we can count them out.
One intriguing name is Andy Pettitte, but the Yankees would be conceding the 2007 season. Their playoff chances are still in the 14-21% range, according to Baseball Prospectus. So don’t count on this one.
Fun idea for an August trade: the Padres bring Matt Clement back. His salary would easily get through waivers. Clement is currently at about 70% effort right now, so he’s a long shot to help. But it would be kind of cool.
The A’s could trade southpaws Joe Kennedy or Lenny DiNardo. Esteban Loaiza is an option; he could be back by the deadline. He’s another possible August trade candidate, with $7MM coming to him in ’08.
Jim Hendry’s been trying to unload Wade Miller for a while now, but like most of the names I’ve mentioned, he’d hardly be better than what the Padres have in-house. Jon Daniels might unload Jamey Wright, while the Cardinals are probably getting sick of Kip Wells. Nothing to see here.
Towers last dealt with Brian Sabean of the Giants about four years ago, getting Clay Hensley for Matt Herges. The pair could match up again on Matt Morris. I don’t believe Towers has ever made a deal with Tim Purpura, but the Astros likely deem Jason Jennings and Woody Williams expendable.
Towers last made a deal with Kenny Williams five years ago, sending him D’Angelo Jimenez. The two GMs should have plenty to talk about this month, as Williams has many starters to offer. [Correction: it seems the two GMs last hooked up on the Geoff Blum deal in ’05. Thanks to Nicholas for the tip.]
The problem is that the Padres don’t have much to deal with given their prospects. They need Kevin Kouzmanoff. Cesar Carrillo had TJ surgery. Cedric Hunter has been disappointing. Kyler Burke is with the Cubs now. Towers could trade an infielder – Matt Antonelli or Chase Headley. Outfielder Chad Huffman and catcher Nick Hundley also look promising.