As the clock ticks ever closer towards the July 31st trade deadline, the Padres did little tonight to dissuade A.J. Preller from making impactful changes if he so desires as they dropped the series opener to the Mets 4-0.
Several Padres who are rumored to be trade candidates had good nights, including James Shields who pitched effectively into the 8th inning. After he allowed two runs in the first on a Duda HR, Shields buckled down and held the Mets in check for the next six innings. It was the seventh time this season that he had pitched through the 7th inning, and was taken out in the 8th after he allowed a lead off double to open the 8th. That runner would score when Kelley, who came in to relieve Shields, allowed the second Mets 2-run HR of the night, this time off the bat of Granderson. That bomb put the game out of reach 4-0.
So, what went on with the offense tonight that left the Friars shutout for the 15th time this season? Answer: Noah Syndergaard. Yes the rookie right hander was dominant tonight with his 96-98 MPH fastball, but more important than the velocity was the command of that heater. The last time the Pads faced him they tagged 7 runs and 10 hits on him with that same velocity. This time he was living on the corners in and out, and elevated at times when ahead. He complimented the cheese with a slurvy curveball that at 83 MPH, although not 12/6 sharp, was still late and again well located generally down. Sprinkle in a few changes and his newly added slider, and you have a recipe to take perfect game into the 7th, which he did.
Will Venable finally broke up the perfecto and no-hit bid with a clean single up the middle to start the 7th. While he spoiled the chance for the Metropolitan right hander to make pitching history tonight, Will may have simultaneously increased his chances of becoming a teammate of Syndergaard’s. His name has been frequently mentioned among those who could change teams this trade period, and the Mets have been rumored to be one of his potential suitors.
With the loss the Friars now trail the Dodgers by 8.5 for the division lead, and also find themselves 8 games out of the second wild card spot with four teams ahead of them.
The trade news and action has picked up in the last 24 hours, with Tulowitzki being sent to the Blue Jays, Papelbon going to the Nationals, Zobrist joining the Royals, and the Angles acquiring David Murphy and David DeJesus today. So what are the latest Pads trade rumors?
- Rotation: There are lots of teams, including Rangers, Cubs, Blue Jays, Astros, Dodgers, Orioles, rumored to be interested primarily in Ross and secondarily in Cashner, each of whom are controllable, effective, and affordable. Kennedy could have appeal to a team looking for a short term rental. Shields is also rumored to be available and could have some appeal to a team looking for a battle hardened playoff pitcher but falls short of getting one of the two available Aces in Hammels and Price, but his back loaded contract will be viewed as a hindrance.
- Bullpen: Kimbrel is the prime piece of course. With Papelbon’s move to the Nationals the Pads lost one of the most highly rumored suitors. The Blue Jays, Astros, and Yankees have also been reported to have inquired about the closer. Kelley‘s name has come up and been associated to the Twins and Pirates. Benoit is also understandably a name that comes up when right handed relievers are the topic and could be a match with the Twins, Cubs, Jays, or Dodgers who’ve had interest in him previously.
- BATS: Upton‘s name surfaced earlier with the Mets but has been quiet the last few days, and the Orioles were also mentioned as possible place that could be a good fit, but he could very well finish the season with the Pads so that they can either collect the draft pick or sign him back as a free agent if he has any interest in returning. Venable as noted above has been mentioned with the Mets, and Nationals. Barmes‘s name came up related to the Pirates last week, but nothing more has been heard. Gyorko and Upton Jr.’s names have also appeared in the rumor print of late, but only in passing speculation and neither contract would be easy to move right now unless they were attached to another significant piece..
Again these are all just rumors, and speculations as to which teams might be possible matches for some of these Friars players, and come from a host of different sources. Who knows what meaningful conversations AJP is really having, and which triggers will actually be pulled?
Interesting times for the Padres to say the least!
One thing we know for sure is that Ross is scheduled to go to the bump for the Friars tomorrow, the first pitch should cross the plate at 4:10 PST, and Ted Leitner and I will be delighted to have you join us for the action on the Mighty 1090!