Well, here we are on the final day, in fact the final hours of the non-waiver traded deadline and amazingly the Padres have yet to make a move! That’s more than likely about to change. Here is a quick summary of where things seem to stand, and where they are expected to go before the closing bell rings at 1:00 pm PST.
- HEATH BELL – Still seems to be the most likely to be dealt. All along the Rangers have appeared to be both the most needy, and the best fit with talent to be a good trade partner. Pitchers Joe Wieland, and Robbie Erlin are the names that keep coming up as possible prospects Pads would receive in return. That does not mean that there are not other interested parties, and the hope that compelling offers come in from the Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, or Angels is probably what is holding up the Rangers deal form being consummated. I know the Pads say they are willing to take the draft picks if they don’t get an offer they like, but trading for more tested talent is less risky, and I believe Heath will most likely be saying goodbye to San Diego before today’s first pitch.
- RYAN LUDWICK – The Indians, Braves and Pirates have all been rumored to have interest in Luddy’s right handed bat. The Pirates may have filled that hole with Derek Lee from the Orioles in a late night trade, leaving the two tribes as possible suitors. Not sure what either team is willing to give up, and it may not be much if they are expected to pick up his $2.27M of remaining salary. Cleveland has been the most interested from the beginning and are clearly motivated to win this year and move prospects to do it as they showed with grabbing Jimenez from the Rockies. Ryan will likely be moved but it’s not as sure a slam dunk as Bell appears to be.
- CHAD QUALLS – He’s been effective, he’s experienced, and he’s cheap…therefore he is desired. Several clubs are in need of set-up bullpen help especially the Angels and Tigers. He is the classic movable piece a this time of the year, and I expect him to be on a playoff contender before the end of the day.
- MIKE ADAMS - Coveted by all the same teams that want Bell or Qualls, but he would be more talent expensive to an acquiring club than either of his teammates because he is still under control through the 2012 season, is relatively cheap, and has been filthy as a set-up man. He’s even more appealing for a team that may already have a quasi or full time closer because he would not pose the same threat to that player as Bell would. The Padres will move him if the price is right, but right now the price appears to be a little too rich for most of the needy teams…for now. Best return for Pads may be if they can package him with Bell, and bring back a nice little trove of high ceiling talent. Better than even chance right now that Mike finishes the season as the Pads closer, but nothing would surprise me.
- AARON HARANG – The Tigers and Indians both needed another starter, but both filled the void yesterday. The Tigers grabbed Doug Fister from Seattle, and the Indians unbelievable pried Ubaldo Jimenez away from Colorado. Yankees and Red Sox are looking for another starter, but will likely be looking for a higher end guy for their rotations. Aaron is happy pitching for his home town team, and he has done a fine job as their winningest and most consistent starter – no reason for either side to part ways. However, he does have a mutual $5M option for next year that he may not exercise if he believes he can get a multi year deal for more. Pads could always trade him and sign him back next year if both sides wanted. Question now is who still needs him. Pretty good chance he stays with the team through the deadline, but afterwards if someone finds a need for a veteran starter he may get the nod.
Jed Hoyer has waited as long as he can to field as many offers as possible, and allow the lsat minute shoppers to kick the tires. It’s time to close the deal, and it will be interesting to see which ones he pulls the trigger on and what the Pads get back in return.