Padres made a bold move yesterday by acquiring Matt Szczur from Cubs, Szczur who seemed to be struggling in Chicago will definitely be infused with fresh energy playing for the Padres.
What did the Padres have to give up
The Padres gave up Justin Hancock(RHP) who was the 9th round draft choice from 2011. On the outset, this trade looks like a steal for the Padres because as per reports, Justin Hancock's elevation has been rather slow. The trade happened only because of the Cubs dire need to hire a relief pitcher.
Who is Szczur
Matt Szczur played football and baseball for Villanova and was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of 2010 draft. He is an outfielder and this is why he drew Preller's attention. In the Cubs winning season he was hitting 0.259 with 24 RBI's and 5 HR's. He had a sub par 2017 with only 7 AB's in the last 7 days and was designated for assignment before the Padres grabbed him. Although the above stats will not raise your eyebrows, he seems to be someone who would immediately be in the mix for the Padres and compete with the likes of Cory Spangenberg, Cordoba and Blash. This would bolster the depleted outfield for the Padres. In all likelihood he would start immediately because Blash, albeit limited opportunities has been below average at best and might be in for an assignment.
Lets look at how the Padres outfielders have been performing and how Szczur's addition would impact them
- Spangenberg - Seems to have settled into the role of an OF and is hitting 0.279 with 43 AB's, With Szczur's addition, he could move back to the infield
- Blash - Has struck out 15 times in the 29 AB's and is hitting a meager 0.103
- Cordoba - Has only had 36 AB's and is hitting 0.222
- Hunter Renfroe has settled into the line up and should continue to see more opportunities.
Off field contributions
Szczur also seems to have made an impact off field by donating bone marrow to save the life of a Ukranian girl. These things would augur well for the Padres and must lift their spirits when the chips are down. The fact that he is only 27 years old will also go well with the team's philosophy.
B with a huge upside if Szczur can contribute immediately
I think Matt Szczur's addition to the Padres is a very good one and hopefully it pays off ! Let me know your thoughts on Szcurzur's acquisition and how you think he could impact the Padres moving forward.