The Padres have dominated recent news with their hiring of new GM A.J. Preller. One of the main tasks set before Preller is to turn the current roster into a contender. The Padres have never won the World Series, and it will be Preller’s job to guide them through October. His first assignment – evaluate the club’s current assets and identify potential August trades.
A few players stand out as potential trade assets. They are unlikely to contribute to the next great Padres roster. As such, it might be best to get something back for them while it’s possible. As the club learned with Chase Headley, baseball assets can spoil unexpectedly.
Two players stand out as particularly valuable, although both are controllable through 2015. Ian Kennedy has recovered his career in San Diego, with a 3.51 ERA, 9.53 K/9, and 3.08 BB/9 through 146 and one-third innings. He has one more year of arbitration, and he’s likely to earn around $10MM. As such, he represents a substantial but potentially valuable financial investment. His struggles in Arizona and New York may give contenders pause before they buy his 2014 numbers.
The other top asset is closer Joaquin Benoit. He was a much rumored July trade candidate along with former closer Huston Street. Most clubs preferred him as a setup man despite closer quality numbers. His contract might explain why. Benoit is owed $8MM next season with a $8MM option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed with 55 games finished in 2015. The details of his contract could help him to pass through revocable waivers.
Even if both players are claimed, the Padres may have the opportunity to swing a trade with the claiming team. Other Padres like Will Venable could hit the market too, although they’re unlikely to return anything noteworthy.
For a more complete explanation of how revocable trade waivers and August trades work, check out MLBTR’s August Trades primer. You can also check out MLBTR’s list of players that have cleared revocable waivers to see who is eligible to be traded to any team.