Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hot Stove Update: Padres Trade Prospects for Prospects

The Padres made a couple of under-the-radar deals this week that could be some of the best of the offseason.  They traded 3 prospects who they were in danger to losing in an options numbers game for 2 other prospects who they have several years to develop.

The biggest move was trading OF Jaff Decker and RHP Miles Mikolas to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Alex Dickerson.  Both Decker and Mikolas had been DFA'd earlier in the week to make room on the 40 man roster for Josh Johnson and prospects who needed protection from the Rule 5 Draft.  Decker, in particular, has long been one of the more polarizing prospects in baseball with sabermetric enthusiasts loving him and scouting types not so much.  He is listed as 5'10", 190 lbs.  I've seen him play in Lake Elsinore.  He might be 190 lbs, but 5'10" is being very generous for his height.  He was ranked #23 in BA's Top 30 Padres Prospects for 2013 with the comment that he has a "walk-first, hit-second approach."  His batting line for AAA Tucson in 2013 was .286/.381/.443 with 10 HR and 4 SB in 415 PA.  He hit .154/.233/.269 for the Padres MLB club.  I understand that we're not selling jeans here, but my own scouting report on Jaff Decker is that he just does not have an MLB body.  Think Nick Punto playing in the OF.

Mikolas is a big(6'5", 220 lb) RHP who throws hard, up to 98 MPH, but has low K rates in the minor leagues.  In a total of 34 MLB innings, he has a 3.44 ERA with a K/9 of 6.35 and a BB/9 of 4.24.

In return for Decker and Mikolas, the Padres receive former 3'rd round draft pick Alex Dickerson, a LH hitting OF who had been moved to 1B last year by the Pirates.  Dickerson hit a robust .288/.337/.494 with 17 HR and 10 SB for AA Altoona in the Eastern League in 2013.  He followed that up with a .290/.347/.348 in the AFL.  The rap on Dickerson is he struggles to field a position and he has been bothered by chronic back problems, although he has already accumulated 1039 AB's in 2 full seasons and 1 short season of pro ball.

Personally, I see this as a huge win for the Padres despite Dickerson's obvious limitations.  He has the bat to be a MLB first baseman if he can field the position adequately.

In the other move, the Padres traded RHP Brad Brach to the Orioles for RHP Devin Jones.  This move is surprising in that Brach pitched effectively out of the Padres bullpen in 2013 showing strikeout stuff, but relatively high walk rates.  Jones is a guy who scouts well but struggled for AA Bowie in 2013.  This one I would rate as a push with possibly a slight negative for the Padres in that they gave up an effective MLB pitcher for a prospect who may never make it at all although Jones does appear to have some upside.


  1. My memory was the Padres going crazy in 2012 signing various waiver claims and stocking up their 40-man. But they didn't participate in the Rule 5 draft. The big prize of that draft was Josh Fields, who got snuck through the 25 by the Stros, and pitched 10 innings of minor league ball!

    The Padres have a core of prospects who might make some noise. Hunter Refroe was a great pick, they have that young lefty Max Fried. I would point out two of their hyped HS pitchers Zach Eflin and Walker Weickel are doing just OK in their 2nd year of pro ball. Not very impressive strikeout numbers I'd add. Sometimes these HS bonus babies are just way too hyped. That's one lesson I've learned from going down this rabbit hole of prospectin'...

    1. It's pretty easy to become irrationally exuberant when you read scouting reports and watch videos from showcase events.

    2. It's tough enough for professionals. We amateurs stand even less chance.

      All we can do is to keep faith - 'I believe Belt will come through.'

      And dream - ahhhh, if we can somehow get Miller or, wish, 'wish we had kept that pitching prospect who would be nice as a number 3.'

  2. Belt has already come through. His stats put him in the top 5 in the NL and top 10 in MLB. I would hope we could land Shelby Miller but that would probably involve trading Crick. I just don't think Sabes is going to do that this offseason. I think we are honestly looking at Arroyo, Vogey or someone off the trash heap.