By John Shea @real_johnshea on June 27, 2014
The San Diego Padres are one of the worst all-around teams in baseball, boasting an ineffective offense that struggles to put runners on the base paths, let alone score runs. Despite their run-scoring troubles, the Padres flaunt the eighth best pitching staff in the big leagues, a commodity which should come into play as the 2014 MLB trade deadline nears. The Padres are exactly who most pundits thought they were: a fourth-place team.
Former general manager Josh Byrnes made several foolish decisions while at the helm of Padres' personnel brass during his brief three-year tenure, but no decision was more shortsighted than handing out a three-year, $ 27 million deal to Carlos Quentin. The 31-year-old veteran has totaled 100 RBIs in 2.5 seasons with San Diego, recording a mediocre .256 average in 644 total at bats while never playing more than 86 games in a Padres uniform.
Cashner has solidified himself as a front-line starting pitcher, despite battling injury troubles. The former first-round pick has been stellar over the past two seasons, even though his team seldom gives him the run support he needs to register wins. Cashner owns a 2-6 record in 2014 but has posted a highly efficient 2.36 ERA. He owns a respectable 1.219 WHIP in 362.2 career innings, averaging 7.4 K/9.
The Padres' shutdown closer has quietly posted All-Star caliber numbers in 2014, saving 20 games while allowing just three runs in 28.0 innings of work. Street anchors the Padres' vaunted bullpen, posting a 0.96 ERA in 28 appearances this season. He's been rock solid ever since arriving in the show at the age of 21, then with the A's. Over the course of his career, Street has recorded 254 saves and a 2.88 ERA.
The Padres thought they had acquired a legitimate power-hitter when trading for Alonso before the 2012 season. Even though he posted respectable numbers while finishing sixth in Rookie of the Year voting that season, Alonso hasn't developed into the type of hitter San Diego hoped he would. Alonso has posted an ineffective .591 OPS with just five home runs in 244 plate appearances this season.
After unloading Byrnes, the Padres' front office remains in flux. That must not deter them from remaining active on the trade front in July, though. San Diego needs to hit the restart button and potentially trade some of its highly touted pitching prospects, such as Jesse Hahn, for concrete middle-of-the-order type hitters. Their .213 team batting average is abysmally embarrassing. The Padres will never contend with a lack of formidable hitters.
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