"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Fresh, For 2011…You Suckas!

Over at ESPN, Howard Bryant writes about the unfairness of trading prospects for stars:

In San Diego, one of the great robberies (an inside job, really) in recent baseball history took place in the Gonzalez deal this past offseason. The Padres, who missed the playoffs on the last day of the 2010 season, dealt their best player to the Red Sox even though he was under contract for another year. Instead of selling their fans in 2011 on the optimism of 2010’s great 90-win season, playoff appearances in 2005 and 2006 and a thrilling one-game playoff in 2007, San Diego folded, giving Gonzalez to the Red Sox for first-round picks Casey Kelly (a pitcher) and Reymond Fuentes (an outfielder), along with Anthony Rizzo, a first baseman. Remember, the Padres were an afternoon away from the playoffs, then traded their best player and received nothing in return to help them win this season or probably next. Rizzo has appeared in 35 games for San Diego this season, and he’s hitting .143.

The Red Sox didn’t part with any of their big league players in the deal. Not Jacoby Ellsbury, not Clay Buchholz, not Josh Reddick. Both Kelly and Fuentes have potential–Kelly is 21, Fuentes is 20–but neither is yet in Triple-A. Much space exists between Class A Lake Elsinore and Petco Park.

So as the Red Sox win, the Padres sold their fans a future that is at best cloudy and at worst illusory. Each day the Red Sox benefit from Gonzalez while the Padres wait for Kelly and Fuentes to reach the big leagues underscores the need for San Diego’s front office to have acquired big league talent that, at least, would have sent the message to fans that every year is next year.



1 RIYank   ~  Aug 4, 2011 9:00 am

That is so absurd I don't know what to say. Does Howard Bryant think that the future is an illusion? It isn't real? When the Vikings acquired Herschel Walker for mere draft picks, did Bryant think Dallas had been fleeced?

2 RIYank   ~  Aug 4, 2011 9:10 am

The Padres are 48-64 today.

They're getting about 2 WAR from their 1B position (Hawpe, Guzman, some stray parts). A-Gon supplies 5 WAR in Boston; he'd probably be a little lower back at Petco, but let's assume it would be 5. So if they had kept Adrian, the Padres could expect to have 51 wins now and only 61 losses! I bet that would make the fans really happy. Too bad the front office traded that paradise away for some pie-in-the-sky "future" that includes Kelly, Rizzo, and Fuentes.

3 Hank Waddles   ~  Aug 4, 2011 12:04 pm

[1] The Walker deal was a heist for Dallas, an obviously helped them build a dynasty, but it's dangerous to compare NFL draft prospects to MLB prospects. Apples and oranges.

4 RIYank   ~  Aug 4, 2011 12:27 pm

[3] Well, in some ways, but the haul that San Diego got for A-Gon could certainly also help them build -- not a dynasty, but a much better team than they have now. Look, my point is, anyone who thinks this isn't a smart way for a team like the Padres to compete with bigger market teams, that person needs to read more.

5 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 5, 2011 1:12 am

Wow. I've long been a supporter of Howard's, but that column was total horseshit. Brutal and embarrassing. It hurt to read it. Howard Bryant is too smart to be doing hack work like that.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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