I wanted to get some discussion going on what everyone thinks JB will do with the excess pitching. The old saying goes "You can never have too much pitching" and that has proven true over the last few years with the Padres and all their injuries. However, whichever way you slice it, over the next few years, barring continued massive injuries, we will have excess pitching.
At the moment, our rotation for next year looks to be Cash, Kennedy, Ross, Luebke, and Stults. If they can stay healthy, I really like that rotation. None of them profile as a true ace however all have proven to have above average stuff and the ability to dominate games. The key is to stay consistent. Essentially you have five #2/#3s. If any of those guys get injured we have a next wave of guys that have almost outgrown the minors in Kelly, Wieland, Erlin. Not to say that they won’t and should start in the minors in 2014 however I don’t think they need to spend all of 2014 in the minors and the definitely shouldn’t be spending any of 2015 in the minors. While Kelly is the only one with significant upside, I think all could get plugged into the rotation and hold their own. I like having those three pitchers as insurance.
After that is where things get tricky for me. We have a bagillion pitchers in the minors that profile to be major leaguers. The list includes: Joe Ross, Max Fried, Keyvius Sampson, Matt Wisler, Donn Roach, Matt Andriese, Juan Oramas, Eflin, Weickel, Burch Smith ( I know I’m missing some more). Some have higher ceilings than others however all are legit major league prospects. Yes, some will fizzle but most of those should make the majors which is plenty valuable.
To me, the worst thing to do is let their prospect status fizzle to where they have little value. For example, Erlin was more valuable last year than this year. What I don’t want to have happen is for players like Erlin and Burch to play in the majors here and there before ultimately staying in AAA either due to performance or because they are blocked. The reason above, along with the fact that pitching is over-valued in trades, leads me to think we should make a move.
I’m not saying we should trade them all, but I think we could afford to package something like Joe Ross, Keyvius Sampson, and Burch Smith for a semi valuable piece. That trade wouldn’t kill us and I think we could get a solid return. I also think the Cubs would be a perfect trade partner. They have an awesome farm system however all their prospects are hitters, outside of CJ Edwards who they just got in the Garza deal. I think we could package some of our young pitching to make a run at Almora, Soler, or Castro (I don’t think they’ll trade Baez or Bryant). Maybe we would need to throw in a Casey Kelly instead of a Burch Smith but I still think you make that deal to strengthen one of our weaknesses (LF, CF).
What do you guys think?