Pitching? Yes. But at what cost?

Like (seemingly) everyone else, the Padres are pursuing starting pitching help to aid their starting rotation.

Sounds simple enough, right?

It’s not, for several reasons. Finding the right trading partner is one thing, agreeing on a package of prospects — the players the Padres would part with to get an arm to solidify their rotation – will be the hard part.

The Padres have gone to great lengths to build their farm system from one that was largely devoid of talent to one filled with good players — not great or marquee players, mind you — but players who can help them in the future.

The Padres, in a perfect world, would like to add a pitcher they could have control over beyond 2013, a pitcher who could be a part of the starting rotation moving forward.

This doesn’t mean the Padres are opposed to a rental, but if they’re going to part with good prospects, they’ll need a controllable arm in return.

“As with most teams, we’re not going to be totally short-term focused,” said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes. “We still have to balance the short term and long term. Giving up prospects is a big deal to us and getting a player back who might only be here half the year … we’ve got to balance all of that out.”

One pitcher who could hold value to a rebuilding team is 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Keyvius Sampson. Sampson’s value has never been higher, as he’s allowed one run in his last 14 innings on four hits with 22 strikeouts for Double-A San Antonio.

Outfielder Reymond Fuentes, also 22, could be a player the Padres opt to move — alone or in a package — to get an arm. Fuentes is hitting .332 at San Antonio. He’s got a .419 on-base percentage and 23 steals.

These two alone might not get you the arm you need. Together? It’s a start.

Stay tuned. It could be an interesting month for the Padres.

— Corey Brock


Pingback: 7/1 Afternoon roundup: Braves, Padres buying; Brewers selling? « Trade Deadline 2013

My personal opinion, for a team like the Padres – a low-budget team competing with a high-budget team in their own division, and one who has a history of not being able to keep the players once they hit free agency – any reasonable trade has got to be for rookies or minor leaguers; MAYBE second-season players. Otherwise you’re giving away time (the classic ‘rental’ situation writ large) because 90-someodd percent of the time, they can’t resign free agents, and the only way you can compete with the Dodgers’ checkbook is to moneyball it with younger players.

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