Monday, July 6, 2009

In Focus: Padres Traded Scott Hairston to A’s

Scott_Hairston_SDDirk_picnik Practically buried in all of the news about who made the MLB All-Star game and who got snubbed was the Padres trading of Scott Hairston to the A’s for 2 minor league pitchers and a player to be named later.  Hairston, at age 29, has worked incredibly hard at becoming an everyday player and finally earned a starting gig this season with San Diego.  He can play all three spots in the outfield, but his greatest tool is hitting the ball out of the ball park.  Last season, Scott hit 17 homers in 326 at-bats.  This year, in 197 ABs, Hairston is hitting .299 with a .358 OBP and .533 SLG, including 10 homeruns.  He had just returned from the disabled list on June 23, after missing 16 games with a strained left biceps.

With Hairston on board, the blogosphere is buzzing that this trade signals that A’s GM Billy Beane is ready to trade Matt Holliday. baseball editor, Steve Gardner, notes that:

“…Hairston's arrival isn't that earth-shattering. But if the A's have just added an outfielder, it just might help pave the way for a particularly expensive one to be traded somewhere else.  Matt Holliday owners should be paying close attention over the next 3 1/2 weeks.”

The trade has to have Padres asking why?  For sure, it will keep Kyle Blanks in the line-up so he can continue his introduction to big league pitching.  Corey Brock provides San Diego GM Kevin Towers’ answer on

“That's the one thing we lack in our system is pitching depth,” Towers said, noting the lack of higher-level arms in the system. “We really didn't want to give up Scotty. But for us, this is a move looking beyond this year.”

In Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano, the Padres receive two right-handers that will help replenish the system a bit.  Neither pitcher was among the A’s top ten prospects per Baseball America.  Webb, who is 23-years-old, has pitched in 31 games, starting 2, for Triple-A Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League this season.  He has a 4.34 ERA overall, but that drops to a respectable 3.82 if your throw out his 2 starts.  Brock reports that he’ll join the Padres staff, our guess the bullpen, in Arizona tonight.  Italiano, a 22-year-old starter, has a 5.63 ERA for Stockton (A-Advanced) of the California League and will probably remain in the Cali-League, pitching for the Padres affiliate Lake Elsinore.  According to Brock, Towers said that Italiano can throw 95-96 mph. 

One final juicy nugget from Brock’s piece:

“Towers sounded excited about the player to be named in the deal. He said he'll pick from two pitchers sometime this month to determine who it is. Towers said one pitcher has Major League service time. That player could end up the key to the deal.”

Who could this mystery pitcher be?  The Athletics certainly do have an enticing group of young pitchers to choose from.  But who could it be?  Gio Gonzalez, perhaps?

Until we find out, we want to know what you think the future holds for Matt Holliday.

No comments:

Post a Comment