The Washington Nationals have announced the acquisition of veteran catcher Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres on Friday.
In exchange for Norris, the Padres received right-handed pitching prospect Pedro Avila.
The acquisition of Norris represents a low-cost addition for the Nationals at a posititon of need. Wilson Ramos served the 2016 season as starting catcher in D.C., but he tore his ACL and is a free agent this offseason. The Norris trade likely means the Nationals will not be bringing Ramos back, even on a multi-year deal, which would allow them to have him back when healthy.
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been suspended without pay for 30 days for providing inaccurate medicals during trade talks, Major League Baseball announced.
Preller's suspension specifically relates to the Padres' trade of Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox, though the Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and one other unnamed club reportedly complained to the league, believing that San Diego did not provide full medicals when completing trades.
Perhaps the most notable of these incidents came with the Marlins, when right-handed starter Collin Rea exited his first game with Miami with elbow soreness. The Marlins allegedly were informed that the Padres did not provide full details on Rea, and they returned him to San Diego for highly touted right-handed pitching prospect Luis Castillo.
According toESPN's Buster Olney, the Padres' inaccuracies with their medicals ranged just past their trades.
Major League Baseball has a centralized injury report system known as the Sutton Medical System. Here, teams report their players' issues, varying in degree from getting some aspirin to going on the disabled list and having Tommy John surgery.
According to Olney, most teams had approximately 60 entries in the Sutton Medical System by the All-Star Break. The Padres, rather, had fewer than 10.
When teams are close to completing a trade, players' identifications are exchanged in the system, allowing teams to see the medical history of a player they will be acquiring to make an informed decision as to whether they are worth trading for.
The suspension was handed down by Major League Baseball this afternoon. The Padres and Preller each released statements in response.
"I accept full responsibility for issues related to the oversight of our medical administration and record keeping. I want to emphasize that there was no malicious intent on the part of me, or anyone on my staff, to conceal information or disregard MLB’s recommended guidelines. This has been a learning process for me. I will serve my punishment and look forward to being back on the job in 30 days."
From Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, Managing Partner Peter Siedler and President and CEO Mike Dee:
"We accept the discipline handed down from Major League Baseball earlier today and will fully comply with Commissioner Manfred's recommendations pertaining to changes with our medical administration and record keeping. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned in developing comprehensive processes to remediate this unintentional, but inexcusable, occurrence. To be clear, we believe that there was no intent on the part of A.J. Preller or other members of our baseball operations staff to mislead other clubs. We are obviously disappointed that we will lose A.J.’s services for 30 days, but will work closely with him upon his reinstatement to ensure that this unfortunate set of circumstances does not happen again."
Today's suspension was not the first of its kind for Preller.
In 2010, while the Texas Rangers' Assistant General Manager, Preller was suspended for three months for violating international signing rules. Since moving to San Diego, he again was reprimanded for conducting an international workout that is against industry regulations.
Padres outfielder Matt Kemp and Braves infielder Hector Olivera have not quite worked out when it comes to their contract situations.
So, on Saturday, the two sides have swapped the players, as first reported by Keith Law of ESPN.com. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports that the Padres will be sending the Braves cash considerations as well. The deal is pending medical review.
The 31-year-old Kemp is signed to an eight-year, $160 million contract through the 2019 season. After this season, he is still owed $65.25 million over the next three years, $10.5 million of which will be paid by the Dodgers.
Kemp has struggled to hit and stay healthy since signing that deal. This season, he is hitting for a .262/.285/.489 slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI. Though he looks fairly productive at first, Kemp's defense has been so bad he's been worth just 0.4 Wins Above Replacement (FanGraphs).
As for Olivera, the one-time highly regarded Cuban prospect is signed through 2020 with an option for 2021 on a six-year, $62.5 million contract. He's still owed $47,166,668 after this year, $18.68 million of which also will be paid by the Dodgers.
Olivera has played in just 30 big league games and was suspended 82 this season for domestic assault. While an extremely small sample, the 31-year-old has hit just .245/.296/.378 with two home runs and 13 RBI over 108 plate appearances.
The Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The trade is definitely an interesting one. It appears as if the Braves wanted to move Olivera due to his domestic violence history, with the only way them being able to is by taking on a bad contract such as Kemp's.
For the Padres, they can open up a roster spot in the outfield for a younger prospect such as Manuel Margot. It's possible that Olivera does not fit into their future plans regardless.
The Toronto Blue Jays have made a trade on Monday, adding a useful outfielder to bolster their already great offensive attack.
According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays acquired San Diego Padres' outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. in exchange for right-handed pitcher Hansel Rodriguez.
Amid trade rumors, Upton has sat out of the Padres' lineup for the past two games.
Besides the Blue Jays, the Orioles had interest in trading for Upton's services, and it appeared that they would be the team that ultimately acquired him until Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Blue Jays became the "front runner" in the talks.
This season, Upton has enjoyed a rebound campaign, showing glimpses of what made him one of baseball's best young outfielders from 2007 to 2012.
In 374 plate appearances, Upton has hit .256/.304/.439 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI in 92 games. He also has 20 stolen bases in 25 attempts, and according to FanGraphs, he has been worth 1.5 Wins Above Replacement.
Despite these solid numbers, Upton still has posted a high strikeout rate, striking out 106 times in his 374 plate appearances, good for a 28.3 percent strikeout rate.
According to Heyman, the Padres will pay all but $5 million of the remaining approximate $22 million on Upton's salary.
Upton will likely fill in at center field with the Blue Jays, where he can spell Kevin Pillar if needed. Overall, he will likely be a semi-regular, helping out at all three spots when necessary.
The 19-year-old Rodriguez has gone 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 26 to 11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32 1/3 innings in the Rookie-level Appalachian League this season. He heads to the Padres.
The Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres are discussing a potential blockbuster trade on Friday, according to reports.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the teams are forming a trade that would send outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to Baltimore in exchange for starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
The trade, according to Rosenthal, is not yet close. The Padres, who would save money in the trade by dumping Upton's contract, also want a prospect from Baltimore. It appears that things still have to be ironed out before a deal gets completed.
The 31-year-old Upton is enjoying a bounce-back year in San Diego. He is hitting .260/.309/.448 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI in 365 plate appearances, posting a 1.6 fWAR, making him a valuable option in Baltimore's outfield if he ultimately gets traded.
For the Padres, trading Upton would result in huge payroll savings, as he's signed through 2017 and is expected to make $16.45 million next season.
At the moment, the Orioles need some help in left field, where Julio Borbon is currently positioned. He has a career 76 wRC+.
As for Jimenez, the 32-year-old has had a tough year. He's 5-9 with a 7.38 ERA and a 72 to 50 strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.89 FIP) in 81 2/3 innings pitched (18 games; 17 starts). Jimenez, an All-Star when he was with the Rockies in 2010, is signed through 2017 and will make $13.5 million next year.
It seems possible that the Padres could get cash relief to help pay for Jimenez's contract to further the savings that they will create in this trade.
Stay tuned as the story develops.