Rangers-Padres trade

By Jason Wojciechowski on December 21, 2005 at 1:14 AM

The Padres and Rangers pulled off a trade today. As usual, I'm intrigued by what the Padres are doing, even if they make mystifying moves sometimes (the Brian Lawrence trade, for instance). The deal is

Padres getRangers get
Chris YoungAdam Eaton
Adrian GonzalezAkinori Otsuka
Terrmel SledgeBilly Killian

The Rangers are going to sell this deal as a necessary one to improve their pitching. I'm a little disappointed that the new boy wonder GM in Texas, Jon Daniels, felt the need to make this deal, especially since it looks to me like he gave up the better starting pitcher in the deal, as well as the younger and cheaper one. Chris Young's DERA's from the last two years (only seven starts in 2004, but 31 last year) were 4.42 and 3.96. Eaton, who's a year older and is looking for an extension in the range of $9M per year, has not even approached a DERA near four since his rookie season in 2000, when he posted a 4.05 mark. Since then, he's been injured a couple of times and never posted a DERA under 4.57.

So in exchange for the rights to a worse, more expensive starting pitcher, the Rangers also threw in Adrian Gonzalez. It seems like Gonzalez has been around forever, but he's only going to be 24 next year and it seems like he might have had his power breakthrough last year: he posted a .223 ISO in 328 AB's in Oklahoma and a .180 ISO in 150 AB's in Texas. He looks, at least, like good insurance for Ryan Klesko this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if he actually out-performed him, if given the opportunity.

Akinori Otsuka should be a useful part out of the Ranger bullpen, though he'll be 34 and saw his walk and strikeout rates go the wrong direction last year.

Terrmel Sledge was injured last year, but he'll be cheap depth for the Padres. Finally, Billy Killian is a catcher drafted in the third round of the '04 draft out of a Michigan high school. He'll be twenty this year, but appeared to be injured last season, appearing in only 14 games in Eugene, so I wonder where he'll play this year. Clinton? Bakersfied? Or even Spokane?