Despite being 50-53 and an afterthought in the playoff race, the Padres surprisingly opted not to sell at the trade deadline yesterday. Here more on what they did, or didn’t do.
- One of the most discussed aspects of the Padres’ decision not to sell was that they asked the Diamondbacks for Paul Goldschmidt in return for Craig Kimbrel, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. D-backs GM mentioned the Goldschmidt discussion on KTAR-AM and clarified it later. The Diamondbacks, of course, couldn’t reject the deal fast enough. “[W]e don’t talk about Goldy in any deals and no team has approached me in the almost year that I’ve been here about Goldy, so I was kind of shocked to hear that,” said Stewart. “Like I said, I don’t know if there was sincerity in it, but, yeah, the name did come up.” Piecoro notes that the Padres deny the request was serious, and it surely wasn’t. As FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel tweeted yesterday, it’s not uncommon for GMs to make wild offers. What is perhaps uncommon is for other GMs to reveal them. What the Goldschmidt discussion might suggest, though, is that the Padres were not particularly interested in trading Kimbrel.
- There are a number of hypotheses as to why A.J. Preller and the Padres decided not to sell, as ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. “They never knew what they really wanted,” says a rival executive. It would take a brilliant stretch run for the Padres to make the playoffs, and they’ll be in a tough spot — they won’t have gotten anything (except a draft pick) for free agents like Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy and Will Venable, and they’ll still be on the hook for Kimbrel, James Shields, Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton, who will be so expensive collectively that they might have trouble making other moves to get better. They’re putting themselves in a difficult position, and Stark writes that the other teams are mystified by what they’re doing.
- The Yankees were willing to give up shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo and to take on at least part of the Jedd Gyorko contract in order to acquire Kimbrel, but the Padres declined, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Gyorko is in the midst of a second consecutive disappointing season and has $33MM remaining on his contract beyond 2015, so such a move would likely have helped position the Padres for the future. Mateo, meanwhile, ranks third on MLB.com’s list of the Yankees’ top prospects, earning praise for his outstanding speed in particular. He has a ridiculous 70 stolen bases and a .271/.341/.379 line at Class A Charleston this season.
- It might also been seen as strange that, given the Padres’ decision not to sell, they also didn’t really buy, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out. They only added Indians reliever Marc Rzepczynski. “You have a lot of teams that are in the hunt,” says Preller. “That makes it harder for teams to really look at moving a lot of their pieces, because I think a lot of people, rightfully so, think they’re in contention.” One might think, though, that such conditions might make the more obvious route of selling even more attractive. “We were working through all different scenarios to try to add the club and other scenarios in which other teams were asking about our guys,” says Preller. “Ultimately, we didn’t feel like we got the value that we wanted to get to.”
- Unsurprisingly, Padres players and management seem excited the team didn’t move any of its top players, as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports. “It’s a relief,” says Justin Upton. “I think just the sense around the clubhouse is that this front office wants this group, so we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that they didn’t make the wrong decision.”