“Oh, this is a terrible thing for the Padres.”
The San Diego Padres have relieved radio play-by-play commentator Andy Masur of his duties after six years with the club and eight with the Chicago Cubs. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, though Masur was clearly emotional about his departure from the team.. Changes happen every day in the broadcasting world.
But digging a little deeper, things get a little more interesting… and slimy.
The Padres CEO is a man named Mike Dee, who took on the new role in July of 2013. Dee’s former job was as CEO of the Miami Dolphins. With the Dolphins, Dee was unable to coerce local and state governments into giving the team between $350 and $400 million to upgrade Sun Life Stadium, likely because of the complete disaster that is Marlins Park. Ironically, Dee was replaced as Dolphins CEO by Tom Garfinkel, who formerly served as Padres CEO and famously blamed Zack Greinke for inciting a Dodgers-Padres brawl last April.
Anyway, the man chosen to replace Masur on Padres broadcasts is Jesse Agler. Who is Agler? Well, he’s a former host and commentator for… the Miami Dolphins. Padres CMO Wayne Partello is spinning Agler’s hire as one that will be a multi-faceted role, encompassing television, radio, and social media roles.
The Rays have acquired infielder Logan Forsythe from the Padres as part of a seven player trade.
Reliever Alex Torres heads to San Diego as part of the return package, along with right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn.
In addition to Forsythe, the Rays also get infielder Maxx Tissenbaum and pitchers Matt Andriese, Brad Boxberger and Matt Lollis.
Forsythe, age 27, is coming off a 2013 season in which he batted .214/.281/.332 with six home runs in 75 games. For his career, he’s a .241/.310/.349 hitter (88 OPS+) across parts of three major-league seasons. As well, Forsythe is capable manning shortstop, second, third and the outfield corners….
As for Torres, the Padres are getting a 26-year-old lefty who last season pitched to a 1.71 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 19 unintentional walks in 58 innings of work. In parts of two MLB seasons, Torres boasts an ERA+ of 201 and an opponents’ batting line of .172/.269/.233./blockquote>
The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Jerry Coleman. We send our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Coleman family, including his wife, Maggie, his children and grandchildren. On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre
Jerry Coleman was the voice of the Padres forever, except for that year he was the manager. I learned to love baseball listening to his voice.
A person familiar with the situation says the San Diego Padres have agreed with former Detroit Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit on a $15.5 million, two-year contract.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal is pending on Benoit passing a physical.
In his first season as Tigers closer, Benoit had 24 saves in 26 chances. But in Game 2 of the AL championship series, he allowed a tying grand slam by Boston’s David Ortiz that was a turning point in the series.
Benoit, who turns 37 on July 26, is expected to replace setup man Luke Gregerson, who was traded to Oakland for outfielder Seth Smith.
The Tribune confirmed a Twitter report by Mike Beradino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who said he ran into Prior in a hotel lobby at the winter meetings in Florida and was told that the 33-year-old right-hander is “officially retired” after his latest setback while with the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A team. Beradino reports that Prior is considering a position in the San Diego Padres’ front office.
Winfield spent 15 of his 22 big league seasons as a player representative. He also served as a founding member of the advisory board of the Major League Baseball Players Trust, which was founded in 1996.
“As a former union leader, I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks of the most accomplished and respected sports union in the country to help provide a generational link and historical perspective to today’s players,” said Winfield in a statement Thursday.
Wonder if Bill James was jadingly pleased that Elias Borunda went 0-9 his final season at AAA…
TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Austin Hedges, c
2. Matt Wisler, rhp
3. Max Fried, lhp
4. Hunter Renfroe, of
5. Casey Kelly, rhp
6. Rymer Liriano, of
7. Jace Peterson, ss
8. Burch Smith, rhp
9. Keyvius Sampson, rhp
10. Joe Ross, rhp
Down on the farm, the Padres have one of the top catching prospects in the game (Austin Hedges), one of the top lefthanders (Max Fried) and one of the most unheralded righties (Matt Wisler). Hedges and Wisler lead the next wave of talent headed for San Diego after helping push Double-A San Antonio to the Texas League title. The Missions have won the TL three times in seven seasons as a Padres affiliate, including two out of the last three years.
The system doesn’t feature as much upper-level depth as it did two years ago, when Alonso, lefty Robbie Erlin, Grandal, Gyorko and Rizzo all qualified for this list. All but Gyorko, a 2010 second-rounder, had been acquired in a trio of 2010-11 trades in which the Padres parted with veterans Mike Adams, Adrian Gonzalez and Mat Latos. San Diego also acquired prospects Kelly, Reymond Fuentes and Wieland in those trades, but the rest of the current Top 30 consists of players signed or drafted by the Padres.
I do subscribe to the theory that Padre relievers are made-up people.
Clearing out their outfield logjam a bit following the deal for Craig Gentry earlier today the A’s have traded Seth Smith to the Padres for reliever Luke Gregerson.
Smith put up some big numbers in Colorado early in his career, but hit just .246 with a .738 OPS in 242 games for Oakland during the past two seasons…
Gregerson has posted consistently excellent numbers as a setup man for the Padres, including a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the past three seasons and a career strikeout rate of 9.1 per nine innings. However, much like Smith’s numbers were once helped by Coors Field, his career ERA away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park is 3.85.
One large omission is how Jeffrey Loria ended up getting the Marlins.
“The trouble with scouts is that they seldom believe what they see,” Richard Pohle once said. The remark was true long before Moneyball. So Pohle, a 36-year-old baseball washout, decided to transform his aging body into the one thing scouts couldn’t resist. Pohle became a 21-year-old phenom. He was Rocky Perone … from Australia. To complete the hoax, Pohle wore a shaggy, Pete Rose hairpiece. A Dutch Boy painter’s hat. He taught himself ‘70s dugout chatter like, “He brings it.” (A final, ingenious touch was that he bunted badly. Pohle figured no 21-year-old phenom knew how to bunt.) In 1974, a bewitched Padres scout signed “Perone.” He made it to Class A and even reached base before a manager recognized the ruse. In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that a 71-year-old Pohle was helping other aging players to penetrate pro ball. “Guilt?” Pohle scoffed to the paper. “What guilt?”
The Pirates on Monday traded outfield prospect Alex Dickerson to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jaff Decker and right-hander Miles Mikolas. In a corresponding move to make room for the pair on the club’s 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Garrett Jones and righty Kyle McPherson for assignment.
Knowing the Blue Jays luck, Johnson is a good bet to win the 2014 Cy Young.
The Padres and free-agent right-hander Josh Johnson have agreed to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $8 million, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, whose source also tells him that Johnson’s contract will include incentive clauses based on games started. The deal is expected to be announced on Wednesday.
Johnson, 29, is coming off a 2013 season in which he struggled badly with the Blue Jays: 6.20 ERA, 1.66 WHIP in 81 1/3 innings. Over the first eight seasons of his career, however, he pitched to a 3.15 ERA in 154 games, 144 of which were starts. He has had injury concerns throughout his career and in 2013, which is largely why he was reduced to accepting a one-year deal on the market.
The El Paso Chihuahuas is the newest Triple-A Baseball team in the country and will compete in El Paso’s new downtown ballpark as the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres starting in the Spring of 2014. Why the El Paso Chihuahuas? For starters, El Paso is located in the Chihuahuan desert. El Paso is a border town. Their sister city in Mexico is Juarez. With a fan base that will include a large cross-section of Mexican-Americans, new Mexican immigrants, and citizens of Mexico, the name had to work in both Spanish and English. We also love it for the story it tells. It’s a story unique to the Minor League Baseball brand of entertainment. With teams names like the Toledo Mudhens and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, it’s the story of the mascot that seemingly isn’t the toughest species on the block, scrapping for the respect it deserves. It’s the story of the Minor League players, fighting to earn their spot in the Big Leagues. It’s the story of America, the little guy pulling up their bootstraps and making something of themselves — ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And most importantly it’s the story of El Paso, a town, that for too long, hasen’t got the respect that it deserves. It’s a really cool town and one that is scrapping for the respect that it deserves. Just like our scrappy Chihuahua!
Perhaps the only offense in Detroit being talked about more than that of the Lions is that of the Tigers, who begin their playoff series with the Oakland A’s this Friday. Bush, a baseball fan, said he will be going to one of the games in Detroit – either Monday or Tuesday, game three or four of the series – and that it will be the first Tigers game he has attended.
“I look forward to going to the game and seeing those guys knock some out of the park, see the pitchers do their thing,” Bush said. “I’m excited. I think they’re going to play well. Hopefully they go all the way.”
Growing up, Bush did not enjoy such a prosperous baseball franchise. He said he was unfortunately – his words – a fan of the San Diego Padres.
“We didn’t win anything,” Bush said, laughing. “Growing up as a kid, the last time they were good is when they had Tony Gwynn, even going back before him Fred McGriff. It always seemed like, like that the Padres had good players but they would like let them go to other teams and that those guys would go on to be great players, so the Padres, we struggled, they struggled for a while.”
“The new-and-improved Will Venable explains his secrets”
Venable’s OPS+ this season is 131, good for seventh among major league right fielders. Part of that is his success against lefties. Venable has improved from his career .649 OPS against them, actually posting a better OPS against lefties in 2013 (.838) than righties (.808). He’s already up to 21 home runs, well beyond his career-high of 13. And with regular center fielder Cameron Maybin battling injuries all season, Venable has played a career-high 69 games in center, putting up plus defensive numbers, according to the defensive metrics.
It isn’t any surprise that Venable, a two-sport star at Princeton who gave up basketball for baseball, was well aware of the areas he needed to improve. That it all came together for him at 30, later than it does for most players, didn’t take away from his belief that it eventually would.
“Once I decided that baseball was what I was gonna do, and I quit basketball, that’s been the plan,” Venable said. His lanky 6’3” build stretched out beyond the sofa where we sat in the Padres’ clubhouse before Wednesday’s game against the Phillies. He’d rub his chin or forehead deliberately as he spoke about his season with me, then seem to adjust his answers for clarity as he went, not unlike the season-long process hitters face with pitchers. “I think everyone kind of has that career path that they’ve cut out for themselves. Whether they get there or not ... I guess all I’m trying to say is, I didn’t choose baseball all that time ago not to get to this point.”
Ryan Ludwick and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal was pending a physical and no announcement had been made by the team.
An All-Star in 2008 with St. Louis, the 33-year-old Ludwick was traded from San Diego to Pittsburgh at the July 31 deadline last season. He batted a combined .237 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs.
Ludwick could give the Reds the right-handed bat they’ve been seeking to complement lefty sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He figures to see playing time in left field, a spot filled mostly by Chris Heisey down the stretch last season after Cincinnati traded Jonny Gomes to Washington in late July.
Major League Baseball has been embarrassed in recent years by financial debacles surrounding the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. And baseball is determined to avoid being burned again, Forbes.com reports.
That’s the real reason owners tabled approval of the sale of the San Diego Padres to Jeff Moorad at last week’s owners meetings, the report says. Commissioner Bud Selig is not convinced of the net worth of Moorad’s limited partners and is putting them “under a microscope,” Forbes reports.
With the Hall of Fame results being announced today, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and dig up some old scouting reports from the Baseball America archives on some of the ballot’s notable candidates. . .
8. Barry Larkin, ss, 21, 5-11, 175, R-R
Larkin looked right at home in AA, hitting .267 for Vermont. He didn’t show power (one home run in 255 at-bats), but that will come. The key for him was just getting his feet on the ground, and he was not overpowered by the high level of competition (21 strikeouts in 255 at-bats). He will have good power for a shortstop.
6. Edgar Martinez, 3b, 25, 5-11, 175, R-R
Martinez’s discipline will produce runs. He’s averaged 70 RBIs the last four years. In the field, he’s solid, with good reactions and the soft hands of a middle infielder.
Theo: You’re looking good, Riz.
Rizzo: Eat your heart out.
Theo: And sloppy seconds are my style!
The Cubs acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates from the Padres on Friday, sending right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to San Diego.
The 22-year-old Rizzo batted .331 with a 1.056 OPS, 34 doubles, 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Tucson last year… Rated the top first-base prospect in the league by MLB.com, Rizzo struggled during his brief time in the Majors last season batting .141 with one home run and nine RBIs in 49 games…
Cates, 22… made his professional debut last year, posting a 4-10 record and 4.73 ERA in 118 innings over 25 starts for Class A Fort Wayne. He struck out nearly a batter an inning and allowed only four home runs on the year.
Cashner, 25, went 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 60 big league appearances with the Cubs, including one start, over the last two years….he was limited to just seven outings in the Majors last season due to a right shoulder strain.
Na, 20, hit .268 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs in 83 games between four different teams in the Cubs’ Minor League system last year.
DL: Should you pitch more to contact in Petco than in other ballparks?
BB: I think that you can, but there are a couple of ways to look at that. You don’t want to lay the ball in there. But I do think that it can help you mentally — knowing that if you throw the ball to certain spots — you can feel good about it. When you’re behind in the count, you can throw to certain spots, as well.
More than anything, if you’re a strike-thrower… that helps you at Petco. If you’re an extreme fly ball pitcher, that helps you at Petco. When the ball gets hit into the air, it hangs up and maybe doesn’t travel as well because of the coastal situation we have — the heaviness of the air. It’s not unlike San Francisco or Dodger Stadium.
Some pitchers might be hurt because they’re fly ball pitchers. That doesn’t apply to us as much because we play 81 games in our park, plus nine more in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
DL: Do you want fly ball pitchers on your staff, as opposed to guys who tend to keep the ball on the ground?
BB: Not necessarily. It’s whatever a pitcher has results with. It’s simply that a fly ball pitcher isn’t effected as much in Petco as he would be in a place like Cincinnati, Philadelphia or Toronto.
There is a whole lot of talent changing hands here.
The Reds and Padres announced a five-player deal Saturday, as Cincinnati sent right-hander Edinson Volquez and three of its top 10 prospects to the Padres for right-hander Mat Latos.
Along with Volquez, the Padres acquired right-hander Brad Boxberger, infielder Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal. All were recently named among Cincinnati’s top 10 prospects by MLB.com (Alonso second, Grandal fifth and Boxberger sixth).
System In 20 Words Or Less: Not star-studded but loaded with depth, as you could jumble numbers one-to-seven in any order and not get a big argument.
1. Rymer Liriano, OF
2. Robbie Erlin, LHP
3. Jedd Gyorko, 3B
4. Cory Spangenberg, 2B
5. Joe Wieland, RHP
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Casey Kelly, RHP
8. Austin Hedges, C
9. Joe Ross, RHP
10. Keyvius Sampson, RHP
11. Donavan Tate, OF
12. Jaff Decker, OF: Outfielder with power, walks and the athleticism of a beer-league softball player.
13. Reymond Fuentes, OF: Outstanding defender in center with speed; big questions about bat and power.
14. James Darnell, OF: Great year at Double-A, but it was a level repeat and he’s no longer an infielder.
15. Blake Tekotte, OF: Hard not to love for effort; good fourth-outfielder skills.
16. Edinson Rincon, OF: Scouts like the bat, but power is debatable and defense is ugly.
17. Jonathan Galvez, 2B: Gap power and speed, but bad approach and poor defense.
18. Matt Lollis, RHP: Right-handed has the size of a defensive end, but needs to harness his stuff.
19. Adys Portillo, RHP: Progress is disturbingly slow, but upside is still there.
20. Simon Castro, RHP: Has gone backwards from big prospect days, as fastball is only dependable pitch.
UPDATE: Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that it’s a done deal, with the Padres assuming “most” of Street’s contract and sending the Rockies a player to be named later in exchange….
Olney describes the talks as “ongoing” and Street has been linked to several other teams at various points this month, with the Rockies now preferring Rafael Betancourt in the ninth inning.
He’s pricey at $7.5 million with a $9 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2013, but Street is still just 28 years old with a 3.11 career ERA that includes a 3.50 ERA and outstanding 170/33 K/BB ratio in 167 innings for the Rockies. Toss in the fact that going from Coors Field to Petco Park would solve his issues keeping the ball in the ballpark and Street could really thrive in San Diego as Heath Bell‘s replacement.