Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Matt Bush to TOR

Today we traded RHP Matt Bush (yes, RHP) to the Blue Jays for a PTBNL. This comes after we designated Matt for assignment last week which gave us 10 days to trade or release him. According to the rules, we'll have to decide on the player within the next six months, but we don't anticipate it taking quite that long.

I could spend more time on the subject, but my sense (having only arrived here in 2006) is that San Diego fans are pretty tired of this topic. Yes?


Bradicus said...

The worst part about Matt Bush isn't that, for the purposes of his time "as a Padre," he appears to have failed out of being a ball player. What really makes us want to forget him is that his attitude and personality represent the anti-Padre. The way he conducts himself is the absolute antithesis of what guys like Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Maddux, and Peavy represent. Who wants to think positively and pull for a guy who acts like Bush does?

I can handle a guy who's drafted and just doesn't work out, even if he's the first overall pick (though that's obviously harder to swallow). But to throw $3 million dollars at a kid in high school and watch him turn into this, while giving near zero return, is really frustrating. So yeah, the whole thing is such an embarrassment, I think lots of folks would rather just pretend he was never associated with the organization. Onward and upward, I suppose!

Jeff said...

How do PTBNL's work? Does Ricciardi choose someone from a minor league affiliate, or is there some sort of list that you guys choose from after a period of time? I assume there are many different ways, but I'd like to hear how it generally works.

David said...

It's a good thing that you reminded us that you've only been here since 2006. The idea that we could have had Justin Verlander or Jered Weaver on the hill is painful. I give them a pass on Drew as he was going to be expensive, plus we all thought KG would eventually learn to lay off the down and away breaking ball. So who is the PTBNL going to be? You'd be lucky to get a snowglobe of the CN Tower is my guess.

On a more serious note: I know it's difficult/impossible for you to comment on specific players, but Adam Dunn would look awfully good right about now. His power is Petco-proof, he's a high OBP guy. I realize Giles is already in right, and that Dunn's defensive metrics are less than spectacular (thought significantly better than Giles), but it seems to me in this type of market, he is probably going to turn into a huge discount for somebody, I just hope that somebody is not in the NL West.

Paul DePodesta said...


You're absolutely correct that it can work in different ways. Sometimes the teams agreed upon a list of players and one of the teams gets to choose a player from that list by a specific date. This often allows for additional scouting.

In some cases, like the days leading up to the Rule 5 Draft, certain rosters are frozen so particular groups of players can't be traded during that time period.

In still other situations it can be based on organizational need. For instance, let's wait to see where we are at the end of spring training so that we may better determine our needs.

In essence, the PTBNL just creates deal flexibility.

David said...

One more random question: We're beginning to hear a lot about how certain free agents are being hurt in this market due to the fact that they have Type A status (such as Orlando Cabrera and Juan Cruz) and teams aren't willing to part with a RD1 for them. Does there ever reach a point in time where that tag is removed and the compensation is eliminated/reduced? Just curious.

Paul DePodesta said...


Good question. We've never really been confronted with it before, however, it is our understanding that the compensation disappears with the passing of the amateur draft (early June).

Chris said...

Just curious...why would anybody trade for a DFA? Why not wait until he's released and then sign him without giving anything up??

Jeff said...

Paul, is there a reason to go with one team's PTBNL over another?

Paul DePodesta said...


Once the player is released, he can sign with anybody so there's no guarantee that you'll get him even if you want him. Therefore, by trading for him you avoid the competition.

Melvin Nieves said...

I mean, um, er..hey guys, did you hear the Padres passed on Stephen Drew? No, you haven't heard that yet? Allow me to express my opinion on the subject...

Melvin Nieves said...


"I realize Giles is already in right, and that Dunn's defensive metrics are less than spectacular (thought significantly better than Giles)"

What defensive metrics are you looking at?

fwbaseball said...

Living in Fort Wayne, we've seen Bush probably more that most (given his three stints here). I gotts say that I am very disappointed that things have not worked out with him. But I was shocked to see that Toronto released Hayhurst to make room for him. Sure Hayhurst isn't a #1 starter, but the speed with which they picked him up seemed to indicate they were waiting for him. I hope Dirk catches on with an MLB club and doesn't have to become a non-prospect for an Indy team.

Hawkins1701 said...

I've read a few in the signonsandiego.com forums chastising the Padre organization for this move, citing Bush's youth and the "What more do we have to lose?" aspect. You know, the "OMG THE PADRE ORGANIZATION IS SKAAAAAA-WEWING UP SOOOOO BADLY NOW ARRRRGGGHHHH!!" variety.


With this latest off-the-field police incident, it was time to cut losses and move on.

It would be one thing if it were "only" a matter of Matt Bush showing little to no potential as a big league ballplayer.

But the bad attitude, bad actions, and bad image for the Padre org from day one made this untenable.

I commend the Padres for making sure that there would be consequences for M. Bush's actions. He's lucky any MLB team was willing to roll the dice on him.

The chapter of the 2004 Padre first round draft choice cannot be closed fast enough.

(.............Peavy, Young, and Verlander.


Tom said...

The odds of Bush, with barely 7 pro innings, ever being an adequate big-reliever are long. A 97 mph fastball isn't common, but plenty of guys have failed to reach the majors despite a 97 mph fastball and hundreds of minor league innings. We didn't lose anybody in the Rule 5 because we protected Bush. What's the hue and cry?

On the draft topic but off the Bush topic: What happened to Keith Conlon? College senior drafted in 2007, had a very good season in Eugene (not so great in the MWL, but only a handful of games), and doesn't seem to have played at all in 2008.

Chris said...


Paul R. said...


Greg said...

Paul, can you say anything about the decision to move Bush from shortstop to pitcher? I think you were here when that decsion was made.

matthew houskeeper said...

In your poll about young Padres having breakout seasons, you include Luis Rodriguez (29 this June), and Kevin Kouzmanoff (28 this July).

How are they considered "young Padres"???

Paul DePodesta said...


I was here when Matt made the transition to the mound. I think the thought was that he just wasn't making that much progress with the bat, but our development people thought he had a chane to move quickly as a pitcher.

Their instinct proved correct based on Matt's early appearances.

Paul DePodesta said...

matthew houskeeper,

Haven't you heard that 28 is the new 24?

That's a fair question. In baseball age, those two players would generally be considered 27 and 28 for this season, but I was pointing more toward their lack of ML experience. Rather than "young", I should have said, "inexperienced". That said, they should both still be on an upward career trend as far as their ML performance, which makes them candidates for a breakout year (though Luis didn't get a whole lot of support out there).

neifichicken said...

Re: The poll

I think if we tracked down the 12 guys who voted for Luis Rodriguez, they would pretty much be his immediate family and friends. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if some of his family voted for Headley.

Speaking of Headley, is there any concern that keeping him in LF could potentially deteriorate his 3B defensive skills? I'm sure he still takes grounders at third all the time, but I'd also guess he spends more of his time focusing on how to be a better defensive left fielder. I can't think of many players who started in the OF only to ultimately revert back to 3B, SS, or 2B, it's usually the other way. The closest player I could think of is Pedro Feliz, who played over 70 games in Left Field in 2005 and then became an elite defensive 3B in the following 3 years, but he had also been in the league for a few years and had played primarily at 3B to that point

David said...

Melvin Nieves,
I may have exaggerated. Dunn was probably not "significantly" better than Giles last year, but he was better. He had a RZR of .899 to Giles .895. He did play a less demanding position but at the same time Giles' position exposed his other glaring weakness, not covered by RZR. He had 3 outfield assists. For a RF that's unfortunate. Dunn had 5 assists. I don't believe that tells the whole story though. For example, I would imagine teams went first to third on us more than average as well but I can't find that anywhere. But most importantly, Dunn has Giles OBP with a lot more power. Alas, Dunn is (for some reason) a Nat, so the point is moot.

Greg said...

Paul: thanks for your reply. By the way, I just happened to have spent the week at your old stomping grounds -- great weather actually (snow on the ground, but warm).

David: Dunn @ 2 yrs, $20 million and Abreu @ 1 yr, $5 million vs. Giles at his one year option price does make you wonder. I wish that the team had not been slashing payroll this year; I think that they could have filled a lot of holes given even the same resources that were available last year.

David said...

I think you make the point that a lot of us long time Padres fans are most frustrated with this off-season. For a team that relies on making smart/cost-conscious decisions (a philosophy I have no problem with) this was the perfect market to take advantage of, particularly with an extremely vulnerable NL West. Just look at the guys the Red Sox have signed to short term deals. Now, granted, health is a gigantic concern but if at least some parts of that pu-pu platter remain healthy, the $441M the Yankees have spent won't matter. What's more, with all the short term deals being signed by outfielders this winter (not to mention Holliday's expiring deal), I have a suspicion Giles' trade value at the deadline is going to be just barely north of Matt ****ing Bush's.

padredude said...

Matt Bush was maybe the low point of Padre drafts, and that includes a lot of bad picks. All things were pointing to the organization finally getting their act together, when, just like the old days, they went for "signability". Hopefully that money went into the DR facility, although that will take years to pay dividends.

Will the Padres be looking to try to pick up a #4 or 5 starter in this low budget free agent crop? There are still some arms out there that could help us. We know we can win with good pitching, but I think we are a little short right now.