Padres Points: Buy Or Sell, Thayer, International Signings

The San Diego Padres currently sit in fourth place in the National League West with a disappointing 38-43 record and with back-to-back shutouts to the Mariners on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team is at one of its lowest point all season. The Padres embark on a ten-game road trip against the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Texas Rangers. The Padres took the first game of the road trip against the Cardinals in extra innings, 5-3. If this trip ends with a .500 record or worse, the team looks more likely to sell than buy this season.

Many national reporters around the league see them as selling partially, but not going into complete “fire sale” mode.

  • Bob Nightengale of USA Today said they should “hold tight” when discussing the topic of the Padres buying or selling, though this came earlier in the week (Interview Link).
  • Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com said the Padres shouldn’t be buyers or sellers when it comes to the trade deadline (Interview Link).
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says that the club has at least considered selling off pieces. Heyman mentions Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, and Joaquin Benoit as obvious trade chips. He also discusses the idea of trading a young pitcher such as Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross (Article Link).

Mike Dee discussed in a recent interview that these next ten games prior to the All Star Break are crucial, but says that the players brought in last offseason were to help establish a core group that would be here past 2015, mentioning Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, and James Shields.

Based on the interview, Dee and the front office still continue to believe deeply in the product they put on the field and hope for a last-minute season turnaround.

Finally, from the fans’ perspective, the people still want to see the Padres contend for a playoff spot, even if they are in a difficult place with their current record. In a Padres fan poll that I conducted on Twitter, approximately two-thirds say that the Padres should still buy and contend, while one-third say they should sell some pieces from the roster.

Injury Notes

  • Will Middlebrooks remains sore after tripping on a bat in the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, tweets Marty Caswell of Mighty1090.com. He’s hoping to avoid a disabled list stint and is feeling better overall, according to a report from Dennis Lin.
  • Tim Federowicz (torn meniscus) who has the possibility of heading out on a rehab assignment, will not. Instead, he will travel with the team on this next road trip and won’t likely start a rehab assignment until after, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune.
  • Also from Lin, Dale Thayer (strained right shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A San Antonio this weekend. In 29 innings this season, he’s 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA, striking out 19 batters.
  • Finally from Lin, Brandon Morrow (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session Wednesday and will throw another one on Saturday in St. Louis.

Friar Notes

  • The international signing period began yesterday and the Padres were very active in the market. They’ve signed multiple Latin American prospects, including agreeing to terms of infielders Kelvin Melean ($500K), Kelvin Alarcon (400K), and Reinaldo Illiraza (300K), tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. These signings were written about earlier last month and were first reported by Devan Fink of CoverThoseBases.com.
  • Also from Sanchez, the Padres signed left handed pitcher Jose Cabrera ($400K) and right handed pitcher Andre Munoz (700K), a top prospect from Mexico (Twitter Link). Finally, the Padres signed right handed pitcher Henry Henry (400K) (Twitter Link).
  • Craig Kimbrel may be a name the Padres will look to trade come the deadline and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com mentions it as a possibility in a recent article. “It’s not far fetched as one may think (on the idea of reacquiring Kimbrel),” a person with knowledge of the Braves intentions said to Heyman. He’s under team control through the 2017 season with an option for 2018 and one has to wonder if the Padres will trade Kimbrel, given the fact they discussed remaining committed to staying competitive.

Friar Moves

  • The Padres announced that they placed infielder Cory Spangenberg (left-knee contusion) on the 15-day disabled list. In a corresponding move, the Padres recalled infielder Jedd Gyorko from Triple-A El Paso. Since returning to the club, he’s 2-12 with a double and three strikeouts.
  • The club released left handed pitcher Jeffery Enloe (37th round, 2013 draft) and right handed pitcher Tyler Wood (37th round, 2014 draft), according to Matt Eddy of BaseballAmerica.com. Enloe had a 4.99 ERA across two seasons in the minor leagues while Wood had a 4.62 ERA in one professional season.
  • The club released outfielder Rico Noel (5th round, 2010 draft) according to the Pacific League Transaction Page. He was known for his speed and hit .242/.333/.288 in Triple-A. He stole 10 stolen bases this season in El Paso.

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