Yesterday during the All Star festivities, Padres All Star closer Huston Street was interviewed on Sirius XM by Casey Stern, Jim Bowden and Dan Duquette. While I am sure a few Padres fans listened to the actual interviewed, most of the locals seemed to hear about Street's interview because of this tweet:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Huston Street told us he expects to be traded at deadline&he said the Padres have communicated w/ him on this subject <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Angels?src=hash">#Angels</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/O?src=hash">#O</a>'s # Tigers</p>— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) <a href="https://twitter.com/JimBowdenESPNxm/statuses/488829287521189888">July 14, 2014</a></blockquote>
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That tweet is by Jim Bowden, a man in the room and helping interview Huston Street. You can find the entire interview here. I also received a transcript from the interview and the relevant question posed by Casey Stern.
Stern: "Just like you are deserving to be here for a reason you’re probably going to have a lot of GMs calling about you for the same reason over the next couple of weeks. We know how much you wanted to be in San Diego and enjoy it but have you thought about the opportunity of maybe getting a chance to move to a contender?"
Street: "Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve been honest with the organization, I should say they’ve been honest with me about the reality of that trade, about the reality of ‘this could happen.’ And you have to be realistic. This is a business. And, players, we’re selfish. We want right now, we will always want right now. Organizations have to think this year, next year, five years [from now]. They are running a budget and a cash flow and we cost money. I appreciate the way the Padres, especially in this process, have handled me. Do I think I’m getting traded? I think they are going to make some moves. I think they will, I think that’s inevitable. When you are a losing team they don’t keep you together. If you are a winning team they keep you together. So if we want to stay together we need to win more games. Trade deadline is two weeks away so I’m keeping my mind open for it."
Reading that entire quote adds some context to the discussion. It is not nearly as concrete as one would believe if they had just read Bowden's tweet. I do not think Bowden was being intentionally misleading. He heard what he heard and he fit it into the character limit allowed by twitter. When I read the quote I see some vagary as to whether Street sees a trade of himself as inevitable or if he sees the team making moves as inevitable.
What I also see is that Street praises the organization for how they have handled him during this process. It seems likely that he means the trade rumors and perhaps eventual trade. When one just reads that a player thinks he will be traded it can be easy to infer things about that. That the player might be let down by the organization doing so. That he may be confused as to why they would trade an All Star. That does not appear to be the case here. The player in question has a good understanding about why things are the way they are.
Finally, when it comes to an All Star player getting traded I cannot help but be reminded of the 2003 season. Much was made about the Padres' lone All Star Rondell White getting traded. At the time the thought of trading the team's lone All Star was considered a bad PR move for a team and a source of ridicule even though he was due to be a free agent and had only been with the team for one season. It was a strange season. For those that do not recall, it was a year where there was some thought that the Padres would compete. However, Phil Nevin and Trevor Hoffman missed much of the season with injury. And the pitching staff, which was supposed to be buoyed by young studs Jake Peavy, Oliver Perez and Adam Eaton as well as the relatively expensive (due to a poor decision on a contract extension) Kevin Jarvis and the steady Brian Lawrence, flopped big time. It was the last year at Qualcomm Stadium and anything the team did was put into the context of what would the fans get out of the team as they moved into their new digs. The Padres made a couple of small moves before the deadline, but then waited until after the deadline (where players involved had to clear waivers) to make the big ones. They dealt the aforementioned White for two prospects that did not pan out. And counterbalanced it with a move for Brian Giles that cost them future All Star Jason Bay and struggling 21 year old southpaw Oliver Perez. That deal, acquiring an All Star while trading another in a separate deal, helped cancel out the noise.