The Padres pitching staff hasn’t been exactly noteworthy this season, and it’s about to get even less so. Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and local boy Trevor Cahill are all heading to the Kansas City Royals.
Full deal, confirmed: Padres trade Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter to Royals for Matt Strahm, Travis Wood, Esteury Ruiz.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 24, 2017
While Maurer excelled when he came to San Diego in 2015, his move to the de facto closer role saw him struggle, with his ERA jumping up a point and a half last year and pushing the 6.00 mark this season. Ryan Buchter has been much better in his short tenure with the team, but at 30 years old, A.J. Preller obviously didn’t see the lefty remaining useful when the Padres are truly ready to compete again.
Cahill is a bit of a wild card here. His career in the big leagues has been a roller coaster, and it hit some lofty highs as he spent the last two years with the Cubs. He was putting up some decent starts before he landed on the disabled list in May, but looked rocky when he came back this month. Most recently, he got hammered by the truly awful Giants, leaving the game before finishing the fourth inning.
In return, the Friars are getting two pitchers and a middle infield prospect. Travis Wood looks like a salary dump for Kansas City. After getting a ring with the Cubs last year, he’s put up an ugly 6.91 ERA this year and is due $6.5 million next year, with a $1.5 millon buyout on his $8 million mutual option for 2019. Matt Strahm was a 21st round draft pick with 22 good innings last year and 34 bad innings this year. Call him a Darren Balsley reclamation project.
The meat of this trade comes in a Latin American prospect, which is no surprise for anyone who follows A.J. Preller. Esteury Ruiz is a Domincan middle infielder signed last year at the ripe old age of 17, and our sister site Royals Review ranked him 27th in the orginization this spring. And right now he’s tearing up the Arizona League with a .419 batting average.
So the Padres gave up three pitchers who weren’t going to be here for a playoff run and got back a salary dump, a project reliever, and a very young prospect. Not exactly a blockbuster, but not a bad day at the office for Preller.
[Update 7/24/17 5:08 PM]
The Royals are paying Wood’s salary through 2018.
The Royals are paying Travis Wood's salary this year and next as part of the cash considerations in the trade.— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) July 24, 2017