This day six years ago, the Padres acquired Joe Thatcher and two others from Milwaukee for struggling reliever Scott Linebrink. Thatcher made his major league debut the following day and has been with San Diego ever since. The other two pitchers the Padres picked up never spent a day on the big club and are still toiling in the minors for other organizations.
Typically solid in his time with San Diego, Scott Linebrink completely fell apart during his last month with the team. In 13.2 innings over 14 games in that month he allowed four home runs and 12 earned runs while picking up five blown saves and a pair of losses. Nearly all of the fans had turned on him by the time the team gave him a change of scenery, and would have been glad to see him go even without getting Joe Thatcher, Will Inman, and Steve Garrison for him.
Will Inman was highest-profile prospect of the three that the Padres got back, and the only one who has yet to reach the majors. "There is no such thing as a pitching prospect," indeed. He's still out there fighting to make it, although his 6.47 ERA in 32 innings with AAA Durham this year doesn't bode well for him.
Steve Garrison has pitched in exactly one more game than Inman has. After being picked up off of waivers by the Yankees in September, 2010, he made his major league debut the next season. On this date, as a matter of fact. Crazy. He came in with one out in the top of the ninth inning of a game New York was leading 10-3. Garrison retired Justin Smoak and Franklin Gutierrez to end the game and hasn't been back since. He's currently sporting a 4.45 ERA in AA with the Diamondbacks organization.
As for Joe Thatcher, well, you know how that turned out. After some growing pains in 2008, he's settled in as a given. He just goes out and does his job and as long he's doing that it's easy to overlook him even though he's sometimes the longest tenured player on the Padres' roster. How can somebody sometimes be the longest tenured player on a roster? Well, sometimes Tim Stauffer is in Tucson. Point is, Thatch has been around for a while. Six years, as a matter of fact.