Thursday, December 4, 2008

Khalil to St. Louis

I wish I could have written something on this earlier in the day, but we always have to wait for the moves to be official before commenting on them. Nevertheless, late last night we agreed to trade Khalil Greene to the Cardinals for RHP Mark Worrell and a player to be named later.

First and foremost, Khalil created a lot of great memories here in San Diego. The first round pick of the Padres in 2002, Khalil quickly made his way through the minor league system and made his Major League debut at the end of 2003, never to return to the minors. In addition to stellar defensive play at shortstop, Khalil's five full seasons here resulted in 82 homers and more than 300 rbi. The Cardinals got a good player, and I would guess he's going to have a very nice year for them.

For the Padres, we bring back RHP Mark Worrell and a PTBNL. A 2004 draft out of Florida International, Mark has spent the past two seasons at AAA Memphis: 126 ip, 103 h, 56 bb, and 146 k's. Mark is a sidearmer with some funk to his delivery, but he'll still run it up to 92 mph and typically pitches around 89-90. Despite his sidearming delivery, Mark has been very tough on both left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters, and we think he has a good chance to contribute to our Major League bullpen in 2009 and beyond. He is currently protected on the 40-man roster and has options remaining.

As you probably know, I can't discuss the PTBNL. I will say that as we've done in the past, we have a few options to choose from, and we will take our time deciding in order to make the best possible decision.

In all candor, the other part of this deal is the trade of Khalil's contract which was due to pay him $6.5 million in 2009. There are times when we have to make tough choices, and unfortunately finances do play a role. The Padres certainly aren't alone in that reality. Fortunately for us, this move provides us some flexibility in our other dealings, which could be very helpful going forward through this winter and provides us some more definition as we approach next week's Winter Meetings.

56 comments:

Alex said...

Funk, eh? I like Funk, much like the righty acquired from the Yankees last year (his name escapes me).

I too expect Khalil to bounce back nicely, but the economic realities made it impossible to retain him I suppose. It's a shame he was coming off such a terrible year, because any other year he could have been a great trade chip.

Worrell's a solid pickup and hopefully the PTBNL is good, it could have been a lot worse given the circumstances

Sean Hogan said...

Paul, if you're allowed to, can you discuss the PTBNL after they're selected whenever it happens? Or could you go back and give an example of a PTBNL choice from the past? That kinda stuff is pretty interesting.

William said...

Paul
Does greene's
salary off. the books increase the possibility of Jake remaining a Padre?

Shi said...

Typically, how much of a window do you have to decide who to choose as the PTBNL? Is that a set amount of time, or is it negotiated between the two teams? Thanks.

Dan said...

I'm a fan of non-contender that never tells us squat, so I find this kind of blog very refreshing. Being frank about Greene's salary as a factor is more honest than you get out of most teams, so I say kudos to the Pads.

Though I am an Orioles fan, so my expectations in terms of respect of the fans is pretty low. I think we're the most disrespected and least appreciated fans in sports.

Anyway, that's off topic. Nice blog Mr. Exec. And congrats on having such a great position. I'm a law student and it would be my dream to be involved in the upper rungs of a MLB team. To be able to help mold a franchise must be an enjoyable occupation.

The EveryServer said...

I was a proponent of moving Greene, he strikes out way too much, is injury prone and didn't seem that interested in staying in San Diego long term, so it's nice to get something for him. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we got a whole lot. You guys couldn't put together a better deal than a AAA reliever and a player to be named later? I know you were selling low on him after a disappointing season last year, but it seems like we could have gotten a bit more in return.

Sandy Alderson, Kevin Towers and you keep saying how this club needs to build from within to be consistently successful and I absolutely agree but it seems like if that's the stated objective, you should be looking for a bit more in return when trading off your big league talent. Is there a plan in place other than dumping as much salary as possible and fielding a AAA club next year. The fans deserve more. If John Moores is unwilling or unable to put a winning product on the field as a result of his divorce or other factors he should do the right thing and sell the team to someone who will.

hector said...

Paul,

I think that with all you mentioned, this trade more than anything, gives the Padres added leverage in trade discussions for Peavy because of the payroll flexibility.

I do have a question on the Player to be named later. Is that so that the Padres have more time to scout some prospects or for the necessary time to elapse in order for the Padres to get a player that was drafted by the Cards in 08?

Dan said...

Paul,

Thanks for the update. I have been checking your site all day long waiting for the 'inside scoop'. Any thoughts that you would like to share on the shortstop position going forward?

Shawn Pesh, said...

We'll miss Khalil of '07, but not '08. I'm sure he'll fair well in the NL Central, but maybe not as well as "The Wizard". Time will tell . . .

Truthfully, I was hoping Khalil would have been packaged in a Peavy deal for Yunel Escobar, et al. in return. Guessing that Peavy's no trade requirement was a sticking point w/ Atlanta. More will be revealed . . .

Any relation to Todd or Tim Worrell? Curious to see if there's a Youkilis in the PTBNL pile ;)

Would someone tell Moore's to give the likes of Mark Cuban a call? This firesale business is so disheartening to season ticket holders like myself! I'll take the odds on Brian, Jake, & Adrian all being gone by the trading deadline.

David said...

Paul,

When will the PTBNL be announced by? Before spring training? Before next June?

What is the deadline looking like for the second player to be named and can you comment on whether it will be be a lower or upper-level player? Or will it be a Major Leaguer?

Thanks. I'm excited to see a change at SS. I was confused after the Padres didn't move Khalil after his 2007 season considering the type of offensive group the club has been attempting to assemble. KG's defense has always been overrated, IMO. He's solid, but not Gold Glove caliber.

What I do like this offseason, however, is that dating back to the beginning of 2008 we have shed salaries of Barrett, Bard, Iguchi, Greene, Maddux, Wolf, Prior, Hoffman and Jim Edmonds. That is roughly $45MM worth of players, or more, if my math is correct. Arguably only Maddux was really marginally valuable out of this whole bunch in 2008. Hoffman was a closer for a 99-loss team and Wolf's numbers were far from stellar. In fact they were painstakingly average.

David W.

Mr. Maestro said...

Spicoli was fun to watch at times but nobody killed more innings (except maybe Kouz.) Smart to get rid given penchant for getting injured and didn't listen to coaching.

friardog4 said...

Paul, trading my favorite player simply makes me sick to my stomach. I honestly feel like a fool re-upping my season tickets before the deadline. Of course that was before this trade and the Trevor debacle. Nice bait and switch too with switching the promotional nights that were unveiled recently. Interesting too that at the upcoming shareholders meeting that fan questions must be submitted in advance to be vetted. Hopefully the mob that shows up won't be carrying torches and pitchforks. I appreciate your candor, but I am hoping that something will happen here that will inspire me to come back to Padres baseball or resist asking for a full refund.

WebSoulSurfer said...

I don't have a problem with Greene being traded. I think that he needs a change of scenery and the Padres need someone at the position that can make at least occasional contact with breaking balls and change ups.

That being said I don't believe that this was done with the intent of improving the team.

We can hope that Worrell pitches as well as he whines, but there is obviously a reason he has spent the past two years in AAA and it isn't the extraordinary Cardinals bullpen.

All in all, unless the PTBNL is Tyler Herron, this trade is all about dumping salary and not really about making the team better.

Richy said...

so how low is the payroll going to be? just btwn u and me. also, what is next? kouz for a ss w/ a bat. or young sp. if someone is willing to give a top sp prospect and two position prospects for peavy then maybe, three top prospects ready to see big league pitching and hitters. is that too much to ask from these sticklers?

Everett Wiggins said...

Paul, thanks for sharing a bit of what the front office is thinking. It's obviously a rough time for the Padres, and it must be really difficult to keep putting a happy-face on these transactions.

Knowing it hurts all y'all, too, at least lets us see we're not alone in the pain--especially when there just aren't good (baseball) reasons for the moves.

The Elias Sports Blog said...

Does this allow you to keep Peavy now? Or at least open up the possibility?

Amy Cima said...

This trade is terrible in that we have no other viable major league alternatives at SS. Now the Padres will go dumpster diving for a SS. This is sad.

I have been a Padres fan since 1983. I have always been optimistic about the Padres, but this time around, my patience as a fan is growing thin. I'm losing interest in this team.

This offseason has been and I expect will continue to be sad. But, even worse, the next 3-5 years are going to be dark years in Padres history. THIS STINKS!

serialcameron said...

I understand the move sort of (except now it leaves another hole to fill with no in-house candidates)...

If Khalil wasn't in the long term plans, why wasn't this done last year when he actually had some value?

It's hard work being a Padres fan- more like an affliction

Brian said...

Hopefully you use Todd Worrell as "he sees fit" or he might just start crying about it.

GonzoSteve said...

It's disappointing to see Khalil go, because I felt when he came up to the Padres he would represent a new era of home-grown talent. He and Sean Burroughs combined to score all three of the Padres' runs in the inaugural game of Petco park. Alas, things don't always work out the way you would like. What is the plan for replacing him at SS? Does this mean that Yunel Escobar might still be in play?

Paul DePodesta said...

William,

Very simply, yes.

We never wanted to be in a position to HAVE to move Jake Peavy, and now we're not. We will still continue to explore opportunities, as we always do. Our hope is that any other deals we make this winter are pure baseball deals.

Paul DePodesta said...

Shi,

The maximum allowable window is six months.

Paul DePodesta said...

hector,

It's purely so we can get additional scouting evaluations next spring. Players drafted in 2008 cannot be traded until one full year after they signed, which will be well after we make a decision on the PTBNL.

Hiney said...

Paul, I say congratulations on moving $6.5M of dead money off the Pads payroll. Hopefully the Padres can identify some middle INF's with OBP potential, and an OF bat to increase the 2009productivity on offense.

I'm also hopeful the roster construction for next year is well underway in your all's minds. How about taking a look at some AAAA players that are free such as Jesus Guzman to fill some gaps? And if hitters such as Robinson Cano or Mark Teahen can be had for a song, maybe we take a shot?!

Paul DePodesta said...

Amy Cima,

I completely understand your frustration. After all, I have to live it all day every day. I will say, though, that I truly believe the darkest is behind us. The next five years are going to be fun, because we've finally gotten to a place where we'll be graduating large numbers of our own minor leaguers. Young teams are certainly unpredictable and there can be growing pains, but they can also surprise you.

Amy Cima said...

One thing I always liked about the Kevin Towers' leadership was that he acquired middle relievers at no expense to the team. We never spent silly money on the Jeremy Affeldts and Bob Howrys of the world. Now, we are trading parts of our core for middle relief.

Mostly, I feel bad for you, KT and Alderson as I get the feeling you have been told to try and be respectable on no budget.

BTW, thanks for the blog Paul. I love it.

Wade said...

Paul,

I take great pain with you “Understanding what we are going through.” You are a fan by job only. Most of us have been fans for years. I grew up watching the Padres with my dad, you?

Years ago we were asked to vote for a new ball-park. Ownership stated with this new ball-park the Padres could and would be able to compete, what a load of crap.

Ownership has told lie, after lie, after lie. Sell the team.

Paul DePodesta said...

Wade,

I don't think your comments are at all fair. I will never disrespect the emotional ties of being a fan - after all, I've been a fan and grew up going to games with my father and grandfather even if it wasn't the Padres. I would hope you wouldn't disrespect what it means to have your livelihood tied to a team.

As far as the stadium is concerned, the Padres had never had three consecutive winning seasons in franchise history before Petco opened. This organization then enjoyed four winning seasons in a row upon the opening of the new stadium. In fact, even with the debacle of this past season, we still have put together a five-year run in Petco that is second only to the Dodgers in the NL West over that time frame.

We're certainly not happy with what happened in 2008, and we're all frustrated about it. But I think we'll look back at the first ten years in Petco as a great time for this organization.

Wade said...

Paul,

I see it this way.

The Padres have spent no money over the past few years on this team. They made bad deal after bad deal.

Why don’t we ask Jake “what it means to have your livelihood tied to a team?” He took less to stay here, and now you guys are all over the place talking about trading him. Same with Giles, Greg Vaughn, and others who wanted to be in San Diego.

You took on this line of work, just as I took on mine. I meant no disrespect, but it is the truth. If another team offered you the GM job you would jump. We are all still Padre Fans. You on the other hand would support what ever team you went to and the Padres would be an after thought.

padresrevolution.com said...

Paul, this is a great point you make in the above response:

"the Padres had never had three consecutive winning seasons in franchise history before Petco opened. This organization then enjoyed four winning seasons in a row upon the opening of the new stadium. In fact, even with the debacle of this past season, we still have put together a five-year run in Petco that is second only to the Dodgers in the NL West over that time frame."

There is so much negativity surrounding this team right now. I don't think people realize that every team in this division has had a 90+ loss season in the last five years. The Padres have had four winning seasons and one bad one in that span. By the way, I think this team was set up to go deep in the playoffs in '07 until Bradley and Cameron were injured. That offense was scary.

This team has been more than competitive, even with just a few players from the farm system contributing (Peavy, Greene, Barfield), and without spending on big money free agents. And don't forget that the two teams in the division that like to spend top dollars have probably made four of the worst free agent signings (Zito, Schmidt, Pierre, Jones) in baseball history.

Yes, it kind of sucks to be a Padre fan right now because of the divorce or whatever is causing Moores to cut the payroll, but there is no shame in being a Padre fan. The farm system appears to be on track to graduate some very good players to SD in '10 and '11.

Let's just hope KT can work his magic and put together a decent team in 2009.

Regarding the Khalil trade, it sounds like KT is pretty excited about the PTBNL. As impatient as I am, I realize that it's not a bad idea to wait until spring training to give the scouts a few more weeks to assess who would be the best player out of the three.

Crash said...

Paul,

I have read in various places that ownership is looking to have a team payroll around $35MM. Is that figure accurate? I know ownership wants to reduce payroll but have they set a cap on the team salary? If that figure is close, how feasible is it to retain Peavy even after trading Greene? Keeping Peavy would mean you still have over $31MM tied up in four players (Peavy, Giles, Young, and Hernandez).

Paul DePodesta said...

Wade,

Even after moving signficant payroll during the 2008 season, the average payroll for the Padres for the first five years in Petco is 51% higher than the last five years in Qualcomm (which equates to tens of millions), and that increase goes far beyond the industry standard. In fact, even the lowest payroll year in Petco was almost 25% higher than the HIGHEST year in Qualcomm.

Meanwhile, we've also ranked 6th in all of baseball in spending on amateur talent since moving into Petco (not including the significant investment in our complex in the Dominican which would put us basically at the top). We are far from the sixth biggest market in the game, but we felt that a heavy investment in the future was necessary, and we will just begin to see the benefits of that investment in 2009. Obviously, we aren't the Yankees, but the move to Petco has, in fact, dramatically increased spending.

As for me personally, I've turned down multiple opportunities in the past two years for higher profile positions elsewhere in this industry, and I recently signed an agreement to stay here for the "San Diego discount". My wife's family has lived here for decades, and we're very much a part of the community. Like it or not, you're stuck with me.

Most importantly, as far as Jake is concerned. That is why he has a blanket no-trade clause. If, and I repeat "if", he goes anywhere this winter it will only be with his consent.

I don't blame you for being upset at what happened in 2008 and the decrease in payroll scheduled for 2009, but let's not be loose with our accusations.

Tom said...

The payroll numbers should also be adjusted for inflation and increased non-attendance revenue, but there's no doubt that Petco has facilitated more spending on player salaries.

The bigger problem is that despite the so-called investment in the minor league system, that system is still weak. If it doesn't get better and the budget won't allow for free agents, we're in for some very lean times. A 99 loss season is bad enough; looking at 4th and 5th place finishes for the next 2-3 years is worse. That's where we'll be if the payroll is held down and the farm stays as stagnant as it has been. The stagnation includes the New Regime years, which have produced zero quality big-league pitchers.

Last year the Padres and some very optimistic fans trumpeted the BA rankings, even though they'd been critical of those same rankings when they were harsh on the Padres. This year we're likely to be ranked close to 20th, and the only player who won't be eligible as a prospect is Headley. Will we hear once again that BA just isn't fair?

The front office deserves something of a pass for the budget issue; that was largely out of your control. But the farm should be better than it is, and you shouldn't be making so many PR mistakes. Of the top 20 ways you could have dealt with Hoffman, you picked the one that would hurt the team and your fans the most.

Paul DePodesta said...

Tom,

You're right that the BA rankings are imperfect. Everyone has a different opinion on players. The ultimate proof will be what these players contribute at the big league level (or what players they bring back in trades will contribute).

The good news is that we are certainly better off that you indicate. We have our own metrics for this, but the 2005 draft has already surpassed the 2003 and 2004 drafts in terms of effectiveness. Amazingly, the 2006 draft has also already bypassed the 2004 draft.

In fact, the 2005 draft already has a group of four players that have accomplished more in the Majors (Headley, Hundley, Venable, and Geer) as callups in 2008 than any group of four players from any Padres draft since 2000. Obviously, that speaks to the weakness of some of the earlier drafts to which you refer, but it also speaks to the strength of the 2005 draft.

Who knows how all of these players in our system will turn out, but the system is the strongest it has been in a long, long time.

Amy Cima said...

Paul,

Thank you for your response to my post. Your post was encouraging. I feel like if we can keep Jake and add a good OBP SS like David Eckstein and maybe acquire Delmon Young for Kouz, we may be a better team next year.

Boy, I hope we keep Jake...

Tom said...

Talk about a low bar. The 2003 and 2004 drafts are among the worst consecutive drafts in history. How much has the Padre 2005 draft produced compared to the Boston or Arizona picks of that year? Hmmm.....not so good. Two 2006 draftees were used to acquire Michael Barrett and Jim Edmonds. Yippee. 2006 draftee Grant Green, who went unsigned, is likely to be a top 3 pick this year. Maybe we can get him for 3x what he'd have cost back then.

It's illuminating that last year, the Padre front office made hay out of the BA rankings. There were multiple stories quoting front office sources and their happiness with BA's good judgment. Now it's back to "we have our own metrics." BA can't be valid when they reflect well on a team but invalid when they reflect poorly. And it's not just BA, I'll make a large wager that most independent, respected observers will place us in the second half of all baseball. And that's AFTER four drafts by the Committment Crew, and with Hundley, Geer, and Venable all still eligible.

How can the system be stronger than it's been in a long, long time if it's weaker than it was 12 months ago? We lack SP and up-the-middle talent. Unfortunately, those are the hardest commodities in baseball to acquire.

field39 said...

Paul,

Based on the current payroll, will your first round draft pick be a "Baseball Decision"?

The EveryServer said...

Paul,
In your last post you said that by the team's metric the farm system is much improved (I would agree, I've been watching the Padres a long time and we rarely graduate major league caliber players out of our system). Can you give us some insight into what those metrics are? How they differ from BA's? Maybe profile a couple of the young guys and give us a peek at the organization's scouting report on them? Just give us a little hope.

Also, has the team started thinking about the amateur draft in June? With a pick that high it would be nice to land an impact player, unlike the last few times we've picked near the top of the draft. Please, no more Tim Stauffer or Matt Bushs.

Tom said...

Although I'm disagreeing with Mr. DePo on the state of the farm system now, and have disagreed with him on tactical matters before, I'd like to say that I'm very happy the Padres are stuck with him and (hopefully) the current front office. I'll put my money on smarts over luck any day, and the Padre front office is smart. No organization fares well when ambushed financially by the owner. But even without budget concerns, the front office isn't running anywhere near peak efficiency, not in baseball ops nor in marketing the team to fans. A healthy organization doesn't lose 99 games AND see its farm system regress to the third quartile AND alienate much of its fan base AND slash payroll by close to 50% in a 10 month stretch. Our particular front office is more capable than most of overcoming some of those problems, but more candor and less patronization would be appreciated by some.

JamieMHoyle said...

I have a few random thoughts about Khalil and the Padres ability to draft and develop young players.

First, I find it odd that no "experts" have assigned some of the blame for Khalil's offensive shortcomings on the padres as an organization. I am not referring to the way they designed PetCo, but rather the fact that he only had 660 minor league at bats. He never spent a full season at any one minor league level and, as a result, never had to learn how to deal with failure and an endured slump.

I wonder how Paul would respond to the assertion that, in their haste to prove their minor league system had improved, the Padres ultimately restricted Khalil's ability to deal with slumps and make the appropriate adjustments. And, I would point out, the year in which they so urgently rushed him up coincided with the opening of PetCo. One thing is certain; it was unrealistic to expect him to be able to handle big league quality off speed and breaking pitches when he had limited experience in AAA against some up and coming big league pitchers. (Same can be said for Burroughs)

Second, Khalil proved himself to be inflexible when it came to accepting hitting advice, and clearly was not part of the team's stated objective of developing guys who find ways to get on base. In that regard, I have no problem with trading him.

Third, I would have preferred to see them trade him prior to last season when it was clear he was not going to sign a long term extension. He was coming off of a career year and would have brought back a better return than a AAA reliever and a PTBNL.

Fourth, I think Padres (and Cardinals) fans who are expecting to see him "bounce back" in St. Louis are not being truthful with themselves. Regardless of whether he's playing in STL or SD, the fact remains that he is a human windmill, still cannot hit anything with a tilt, and has no command of the strike zone. Ultimately, a slider is still a slider, a curve is still a curve, and he still has no clue.

Paul, Doesn't it stand to reason that if the team had not taken the hardline approach of filing a grievance against him and making your displeasure with him so public, you may have been able to get more back for him? It seems that the approach the team has taken in all endeavors this offseason has been nothing but counterintuitive and prevented them from reaching their stated objectives.

Lastly, while I was a Khalil fan at first, it didnt take long to grow tired of his approach at the plate (or lack there of). It seems odd to me that other Padres fans were unable to see past his status as a "homegrown guy" and see him for what he was - Rob Deer playing SS. But then, I guess when your system has been so bare for so long, it's easy to grow attachments to "your guys".

Sean Callahan said...

Paul,

For the 2009 season for $6mil, the Padres had two options:

- keep a 29 year-old shortstop under contract through 2010

- keep a 37 year-old right fielder with full no-trade rights (I think) who is a free agent at the end of the year

For those $6 mil, there are four possibilities in 2009:

- Giles plays like 2008 and Khalil plays like 2007
- Giles plays like 2008 and Khalil plays like 2008
- Giles declines to something like .260/.360/ .380 (e.g., 2006) and Khalil plays like 2007
- Giles declines and Khalil plays like 2008

The only scenario the Padres come out on top now is the second one (the third and fourth are basically a push). Even then, the payoff is low - the Padres are pretty much writing off competing in 2009 (using payroll slashing as the indicator).

Why does it make sense (financially or competitively) to spend the $6 million on the 37 year-old who will have no value at the end of the year?

Yes Brian Giles has much better offensive numbers, but I believe we have more options for right field than we do for shortstop.

There is a very high risk that 2007 was the outlier and that Khalil has peaked and will never reach those levels again. But the reward if he did get back to 2007-performance is so much higher than it is keeping Brian around for a lost season.

Sean Callahan

JamieMHoyle said...

Paul,

Since you mentioned them below, I'm curious to hear what your (the team's) thoughts are on Headley, Venable and Hundley. Does the organization believe all three have the tools to be productive, reliable everyday players at this level?

Do you really believe Venable is the future CF, or is he better suited for a corner spot? So you see him developing enough pop in his swing to hold his own in a corner OF spot? (I like his swing a lot, just not sure how much juice he has)

Do you view Hundley as strictly a defensive catcher? Or do you project an above average offensive cieling (say .270, 15 HR, 70 RBI) with seasoning?

Isnt the team concerned Headley will hurt himself in a Nevin-esque manner playing LF full time? He takes some odd routes to balls and tends to attempt very awkward (and painful) diving/sliding catches. Also, what can the coaches do to help him lay off that hard slider/cutter/curveball under the hands (when hitting lefty)?

Hawkins1701 said...

"I don't blame you for being upset at what happened in 2008 and the decrease in payroll scheduled for 2009, but let's not be loose with our accusations."

God bless you, Paul, for trying to talk some sense into the fans who want to believe the worst about the Padres brass.

Facts, logic, and the success prior to this year is a hard sell sometimes with those who believe what they want to. Pitchforks are the "in" thing in SD right now.

That's not to say that I haven't been frustrated myself, or that I haven't entertained ideas that it's time for Moores to consider selling. (He really DOES need to address the community about all this. His silence has been deafening.)

But, I have never once believed that Moores, K.T., and Alderson do not want to win.

This year was horrible, and the organization is taking its lumps for it.

But people seem to forget what a disaster the Dbacks had not too long ago. Hate to break it to people, but 100 loss seasons (near so in the Pads case) can happen with any ballpark, and any revenue stream.

They didn't lose 100 games of course, but ask the Yankees how much $200 million got them this year. For that matter, ask them how many world championships Steinbrenner's money got them this decade.

The Yanks got smoked by a team playing with one-fifth of those dollars. A team that stuck to its plan even as it was constantly a national punchline. (And what a good thing for baseball, if not playoff ratings, the Rays finally breaking the New York-Boston never ending back and forth in the AL East was.)

All this said, regarding Khalil, as a fan reacting on pure emotion, this hurts. Big time.

Seeing yet another homegrown San Diego product depart this town for one of the storied franchises (a la Winfield and Smith) feels like deja vu. (Full disclosure, wasn't alive to see Winfield and Smith, but it's always good to know your history.)

But, the rational side of me knows that Khalil was fragile, not once completing an entire season with some injury.

And, for all his acrobatics in the field, figuring out the breaking ball consistently eluded him. As did any semblance of on base percentage, taking a walk, or approaching a .300 average.

And, it tempers the disappointment a bit to know that this makes Peavy easier to retain.

I've no guilt whatsoever in thinking that we need to get a LOT more for Peavy than has been floated in all the reports. And it seems this trade will make that a reality if Jake indeed goes.

In a choice between Khalil and Peavy, there is no choice.

It's going to be tough to see Greene in a Cards uni.

It's going to be tough watching him potentially reach 30 home runs in Busch stadium (although I read in the Padres fan forum that it's actually 22nd in "hitter friendly" parks, so its bandbox nature is overrated).

But, the Padres tried to keep him, gave him a pretty good offer, and at least now they're making it easier to keep Peavy (if not getting something in return that I think is worth it for Greene).

I do agree with other comments that this was a salary dump, and I shall call that spade a spade.

But, as a salary dump, the Pads could have done worse, and I can appreciate the upside.

My heart goes out to the Padre marketing department.

Selling next season to the fan base right now is Mount Everest.

I do not envy the work you have ahead of you at all.

Hawkins1701 said...

"But, the rational side of me knows that Khalil was fragile, not once completing an entire season with some injury."

Error in my comment: Should have read "without" some injury.

mweldon said...

I have to agree with one thing Wade said. The team needs to be sold to someone who cares more about winning than his bottom line. But I also realize that the guys running this team are doing about as good as can be expected under the current circumstances.

ahwestrich said...

understand the reasons, both competitively and financially, why Jake Peavy should be traded. But you've got to hear me out on why the Padres should wait a few more months to do it.

Sources say Jake Peavy is set to make $8-11 million next year, keeping Peavy until midseason (trading deadline) would be the smart move for the following reasons:

Peavy won't cost much for a half season ($4-6 million) and will almost singlehandedly offset his salary by the revenue he will bring in.
Teams are willing to give up more for Peavy at the trading deadline because of the sense of urgency to improve, in addition to taking him away from other competitive teams.
Value of return coming back to the Padres won't be any less since Peavy would have another 4.5 years left on his deal
Peavy will make more of a direct impact on the 2009 Padres than the young prospects in return and give them the chance to be the 2009 Cinderella Team. The Padres have the talent to surprise all expectations and this would be a low cost risk.
Gives Padres the chance to scout the return value for an additional half-season to see live, more accurate assessment of talent.
Peavy will pitch in the WBC as a representative of the Padres thus increasing PR

Seems like there are a lot of low-ball offers. This makes sense, since there is not a sense of urgency and there are other starting pitchers on the FA market. In my opinion, keeping Peavy for another half-season is the best way to play out this situation.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this idea.

Thank you for your time,
Adam

Paul DePodesta said...

field39,

Yes. Baseball decision.

Paul DePodesta said...

TheEveryServer,

I can't share exactly how we break it down, but here's a simple one...

Only three teams in all of baseball (I believe) have had more than two of their 2005 draftees already make it to the big leagues. Only two teams have had as many as four players - the Padres and the Red Sox.

I know Tom is down on our system, but getting four players to the big leagues (Headley, Hundley, Venable, and Geer) within three years of the draft is pretty extraordinary. Incidentally, I didn't even work here then, so there's no self-promotion here.

Two more points in regard to that draft: 1) Carrillo and Ramos, the first two picks, have not yet made it, but both should be close (Ramos had a solid year in AAA and Carrillo pitched well in the AFL as he continues his comeback from TJ surgery), and 2) Boston's four guys were all among the top 50 picks in the country. That's not taking anything away from the Red Sox draft, which was extraordinary - they may have had a lot of early picks, but they basically didn't miss. However, our four guys who have already made it were selected 66th, 76th, 98th, and 218th overall. Again, that's pretty remarkable work from Grady Fuson, Bill Gayton, and the entire scouting staff.

Paul DePodesta said...

Sean Callahan,

Your examples aren't exactly correct, but I like your thought process.

First of all, both Khalil and Giles are free agents after 2009, though you are right about Giles' no trade rights. Second, by trading Khalil, we did get players in return, one of whom we expect to be in our ML bullpen in 2009, whereas declining Giles' option would have meant nothing in return to the club. That definitely needs to be factored into the equation. Finally, Giles' offensive track record far surpasses Khalil's, so even a decline in Giles' performance might still be better than Khalil.

Where you are absolutely correct, though, is that we do have more options in the corner OF than we do at SS. Hopefully that's something we can figure out between now and Opening Day.

Tom said...

It ain't (just) me, babe. Baseball America, BP, Sickels, etc. are all less than impressed with the current Padre farm system.

As for the "extraordinary" spectacle of promoting four 2005 draftees in 2008 (07 for Headley), let's temper our adjectives. When you draft almost entirely from the polished collegiate pool AND your major league squad needs anyone who can fog a mirror, promotions happen. With the Wild Card, fewer teams are positioned to promote prospects willy-nilly and give them extended time. Of course a team that was out of the race in June would get more contributions than most.

serialcameron said...

If trading Khalil freed up enough $$ to hang on to Peavy, why did trading Peavy become such an open process? Why was KT on the radio saying he can't even think about trading Greene until the Peavy situation was resolved? It was obvious to everybody that Khalil wasn't going to be on this team, so wouldn't it have made better economical sense to not file the grievance against Khalil and make trading him a priority- while taking the position that you'd be willing to listen to offers for Jake, but only if you were overwhelmed? The idea that trading Khalil minimized the urgency to trade Jake seems disingenuous.

Also, the notion that the last 4 years have been the best stretch in Padres history really doesn't count for much. The Padres have a history of losing, so winning 1 playoff game is not very satisfying. There were opportunities over the last couple of years to really make a run- to really make an impact but the Padres chose to do nothing. These last couple of years should not be considered successes, but rather missed opportunities.

I think most Padres fans would consider 1998 the pinnacle, not 2004- 2006.

Mimi said...

Paul,
You said, "I know Tom is down on our system, but getting four players to the big leagues (Headley, Hundley, Venable, and Geer) within three years of the draft is pretty extraordinary."

Are you saying that all four of them would have come up to the Major league level and stayed for as long as they did, if we hadn't been so decimated by injuries? You can't possibly believe that ANY of them (with the possible exception of Headley) is READY to compete at the major league level.

Yeah, they did play in the majors last year and we all saw the results too.

Paul DePodesta said...

Tom and mimi,

Your pessimism is starting to depress me!

Seriously, did these guys really do that badly upon their first callup to the big leagues?

I won't talk about Chase, because I don't think there's any question that he was brought up because he was ready (Texas League MVP, mashing in AAA) and because as an organization we were derided for waiting so long to bring him up.

As for the other three, it's true that Hundley was brought up in the middle of the season due to injury. However, he played excellent defense behind home plate, single-handedly slowed down the running game that had plagued us for a couple of years and also hit 5 homers en route to a .637 ops. Is .637 that impressive? Certainly not in a vacuum. But considering those were his first ML plate appearances and considering that the average OPS for catchers the past two years is about .712, it's pretty darn good.

Venable was coming up regardless after having a great year in AAA but he certainly got to play more due to some injuries. Nevertheless, he hit .264/.339/.391 while playing extremely well in CF. Again, for his first exposure to big league pitching, that's outstanding (league OPS for CF's is about .750 and Will was .730).

With both of these guys, we're talking about demanding middle-of-the-diamond defensive positions, and both of them more than held their own.

The last one, Josh Geer, came up and posted a 2.67 ERA in 5 starts. There can't be any complaint with that.

In summary, the idea that these four guys were charity cases or were completely ineffective isn't correct. As with all young players, we anticipate some growing pains at the ML level, but they'll get better (well, Geer won't likely improve on a 2.67).

Players who come to the ML and immediately produce at an above average level are the EXCEPTION, not the rule. We have to be patient with young players, but that patience can really pay off.

Tom said...

It's an -ism, but it's prefaced by real-, not pessim-.

I have no problem with Headley's promotion, only his position. But even Headley wouldn't have been promoted if the team had been more competitive.

Wait....NOW it's important to slow down the running game? A catcher's bat outweighed his defense for the last four years, but when you want to sell people on your prospects, it's not? Hundley's minor league track record shouts "backup," unless you have enough real studs to make up for his offense.

Venable had a very nice audition at the plate and in the field, in a very small sample. His bat will play in CF, if his defense will let him stay there. But he's another player who wouldn't have needed to wear his cleats in September on a more competitive team.

Josh Geer should have been traded after 2007. He continued to not strike guys out in AAA and the majors. His ERA was very lucky given his peripherals, and I'm sure you know it. And yes, he's another guy that would have been used for mop-up duty on a team with even a sliver of hope.

So what we have is a contention that we received great contributions from prospects in 2008, and THEREFORE our minor league system is strong. That THEREFORE is the key, and it's unfortunately wrong. We got more from those draftees because we were hovering between life and death and because 25 other teams didn't want to promote their players, not because our farm system was or is bursting with talent.

Tom said...

To be clear, I don't think anyone said anything about charity cases. For my part, I said that a team that drafts polished collegians AND is dead in the water is going to get more contributions from prospects than most squads. That's true even if the prospects stink (which ours did not). It's sleight of text to claim that our farm system is strong because we got 600 decent at-bats and 40 or so decent innings. You're basically using counting stats for a cohort that was much larger in our case than for any other major league team.

As for being depressed...gee, I wonder if any Padre fan can identify with that feeling.

Didi said...

Paul,

are you really that high on Geer?
I saw his two starts at Petco and completely not impressed.

The numbers seem to bear this out, 1.41 whip, 5.3 K/9IP, 3.0 BB/9IP with 28.3 LD% do not point to the ERA he ended up with. At best, he'll be a 5th starter and the Padres already has Baek for that.

The other three you mentioned do seem to be getting along fine for a first year MLers. I hope they'll improve but wish that Headley would move off LF before he gets hurt there.

I wish Khalil the best for he is the best SS in Padres history and he steadied the position during his stay with us.

Thanks for the blog, Paul. I hope Peavy doesn't get traded in this winter meeting.