Friday, March 28, 2014

Minor Moves: Sipp, Schuster, Moore, Francoeur

SI.com
On Monday, the San Diego Padres informed several players (including Patrick Schuster, Tony Sipp, and Ryan Jackson) that they would not make the major league team and announced several corresponding transactions. The team waived Rule V pick Patrick Schuster, acquired catcher Adam Moore for cash considerations or a player to be named later from the Royals, and signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor league contract.

These moves do have some interesting effects on the dynamics of the team:
  • Tony Sipp did not opt out of his contract after being informed that he would not make the team, but he could still leave if he finds himself with an opportunity to join a major league bullpen or if he chooses to leave on June 1st.
  • Patrick Schuster was claimed off waivers by the Royals, who proceeded to return him to Arizona. The move was designed to create a reason to designate outfielder Carlos Peguero for assignment and try to sneak him through waivers after major league rosters are set.
  • The addition of Adam Moore provides depth at catcher in two scenarios:
    • Rene Rivera does not make the team and is waived and claimed.
    • Rene Rivera makes the team, and is not the catcher at El Paso.
      • This could be if the team carries three catchers or if the team places Yasmani Grandal on the disabled list to start the season.
  • Jeff "Frenchy" Francoeur, a minor league signing, carries minimal risk. The 30-year old hit just .204 with three home runs in 245 at bats last season, but he has a plus plus arm and a career .264/.306/.419 line while averaging 18 home runs over every 162 games. He will provide valuable depth in the minor leagues, and with Carlos Quentin's spotty injury history, we could see him in San Diego at some point this season.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Training Battle: Left-Handed Specialist

The San Diego Padres have position battles raging this spring, but one of the most interesting is the bullpen slot for a second left-handed reliever after new acquisition Alex Torres. The top candidates are minor league signing Tony Sipp and offseason acquisition Patrick Schuster (who I had the pleasure of interviewing), but veteran Eric Stults is also a dark horse candidate for the job.
Patrick Schuster

Patrick Schuster, 23, has a 3.00 ERA in three innings of spring play, but he has also allowed six hits and only struck out one in that time. While playing in the California League (A+) last season, he posted a 1.83 ERA in 45 innings as a reliever. The young southpaw was drafted first overall in the Rule V draft and traded to San Diego in exchange for right-handed pitcher Anthony Bass. His Rule V status gives him a slight advantage over Sipp. If Schuster wins the job, it will allow San Diego to keep both Sipp and Schuster, while they would lose Schuster (he would have to be offered back to the Diamondbacks) if Sipp won the job.
Tony Sipp
Tony Sipp, 30, has a career 3.84 ERA in five seasons with the Diamondbacks and Indians. Sipp signed a minor league deal with two opt out clauses (March 26th and June 1st) and an invitation to spring training late this offseason. At one point (prior to the signing) it occurred to me that Sipp could be a fit for San Diego, but I changed my mind after viewing his splits:


Split
PAHRBBSOSO/BBBAOBPSLGOPS
vs RHB
578
19
83
147
1.77
.209
.324
.399
.723
vs LHB
515
23
50
120
2.40
.224
.306
.426
.731

Sipp has only been marginally better against left-handed hitters than against right handed hitters. Sipp may have had the better spring training so far (four innings and no earned runs) but he still has proven to be a slightly below average bullpen arm in his career, while Schuster has potential to be an above average left-handed specialist. 

Another interesting scenario would be if Burch Smith won the fifth spot in the rotation. In that situation, Eric Stults (who is out of options) would be displaced and possibly compete for a spot in the bullpen. San Diego seems to value Stults highly, and he would be an intriguing addition to a bullpen battle that is already very competitive. Stults would provide Bud Black with another option (Tim Stauffer) out of the bullpen for long relief in the case of a meltdown or injury. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Why the Padres Need to Sign: Aledmys Diaz


The San Diego Padres allowed Cuban defectors Odrisamer Despaigne and Aledmys Diaz to hold showcases for several major league teams and their scouts in the Dominican Republic at San Diego's international complex. Both players were recently cleared to sign with a major league team and would not be subjected to the Collective Bargaining Agreement's policies on amateur international free agents, since both players are 23 or older and have played three or more years in a recognized foreign league.


Both of these players are expected to require significant monetary commitments, possibly upwards of thirty million dollars over four to six seasons. Outfielder Yasiel Puig (42 million) and infielder Alexander Guerrero (28 million) are excellent comparisons for a contract. Aledmys Diaz makes quite a bit of sense for the San Diego Padres.


According to beat writer Jeff Saunders at the Union Tribune, the Padres are interested in Diaz and are significantly more active on the international front than it appears from the outside. The organization has certainly put a large emphasis on the international market in recent years, so this could be the type of splash that brings the Padres to international relevance.


Aledmys Diaz had his professional debut delayed one season after lying about his age (claiming to be a year older!) in order to sign a contract that wasn't subjected to the CBA's policies. He is currently just 23 years old, and boasts an excellent track record in the Serie Nacional de BĂ©isbol (Cuban National Series), hitting .313 with 12 home runs in his age 21 season. Diaz is younger, significantly less expensive, and has a higher ceiling than current third baseman Chase Headley.


Some scouts have mentioned that they expect Diaz will need to be moved over to second base (Jedd Gyorko would move to third base in this scenario), so he could use some time in the minors to learn the position. If the Padres were to sign Diaz, they could keep him in El Paso for until early July, and if Chase Headley gets off to a good start, the team could trade him and have an immediate replacement without taking away from the team's overall talent. 


The money works out in this situation as well, because a half-season of Headley (5.25 million) and a full season of Diaz (est. 4 million) would allow the Padres to save money. If the Padres traded Headley in this scenario, it wouldn't necessarily have to be for prospects. A Justin Upton for Chase Headley trade was rumored to be on the table a year ago, and a similar deal could be made involving another established major league talent, especially if Headley gets off to a good start. Possible candidates for acquisition in a Headley trade could be outfielders Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Starling Marte


This signing could create excellent leverage in negotiations with Headley as well as provide a back-up plan if San Diego does not want to trade him at the deadline. Diaz would put an impressive cherry on top of an offseason that has already brought in Josh Johnson, Alex Torres, Joaquin Benoit, Seth Smith, Tony Sipp, Xavier Nady, and many others to San Diego.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Padres, Rays Announce Seven-Player Trade



The San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays announced a seven-player trade on Wednesday morning. The Padres packaged three prospects with utility infielder Logan Forsythe and reliever Brad Boxberger and sent them to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for left-handed pitcher Alex Torres and prospect Jesse Hahn. The deal fills holes for the Rays and the Padres, with both teams dealing from positions of strength to fill a need.

Interestingly enough, the Padres often make trades involving a package of players for less players of higher quality, or vice versa.
 The Jake Peavy (4 for 1), Adrian Gonzalez (4 for 1), Mat Latos (4 for 1) and Jason Bartlett (4 for 1) trades come to mind. Of those four trades, the results were somewhat balanced.

The Rays netted some excellent pitching depth by adding right-handed pitchers Matt Lollis, Matt Andriese, and Brad Boxberger, while also bolstering their infield depth by adding the versatile duo of Maxx Tissenbaum and Logan Forsythe. 


Logan Forsythe was once rated as one of the top prospects in the Padres organization, behind fellow third baseman James Darnell, who recently signed a minor league contract with the Rays. Forsythe has served a critical role for San Diego, providing depth at shortstop, second base, third base, left field, and right field. Forsythe has excellent on base skills and hits well against left-handed pitchers. Forsythe should fill a utility infielder role. He is slightly above average defensively at second and third base, a tick below average at shortstop, and can play left and right field if needed. Forsythe will surprise you with the clutch home run every so often, but I wouldn't expect more than 15 annually if he were to play full-time. Forsythe is coming off the worst season of his career, having posted a .214/.281/.332 slash after posting a .273/.343/.390 slash in 2012.

Middle reliever Brad Boxberger came to the Padres in the Mat Latos trade. This is the second time that Boxberger has been traded to a new organization as part of a package. Boxberger was nearly designated for assignment earlier this offseason, but was kept in favor of Brad Brach, who was eventually traded to the Orioles for reliever Devin Jones. Boxberger has set-up man potential, and should be a key cog in the Rays bullpen, which recently added new closer Grant Balfour back to the mix on a two year contract. Boxberger has a career ERA of 2.72 in almost 50 innings with San Diego, but also had a 5.6 bb/9. The 24-year old should provide a cheap bullpen option to a low-spending team that can put up some good numbers. The Rays did not have a shortage of left-handed relievers, so they could afford to trade a lefty and get back a righty.

Maxx Tissenbaum was an 11th round pick in the 2012 draft by San Diego out of Stony Brook University. The 22-year old posted a slash line of .277/.365/.359 in Fort Wayne last season. In his time with the Padres, he has seen time at first, second, third, shortstop, and even catcher. Tissenbaum's best comparison is ironically Logan Forsythe, or in other words, a serviceable utility player with good on base skills.

Matt Lollis was once touted as a top prospect in the Padres organization, before falling into a spiral of irrelevancy. A conversion to a relief pitcher put the 6'9 right hander back on the map, as he looks like a potential middle reliever down the road. This December, Lollis was specifically left off the 40-man roster and therefore exposed in the rule 5 draft. Lollis was not taken, but has found a new home with the Tampa Bay Rays. He should start the season at the AA level.

Matt Andriese was an excellent pickup for the Rays. Andriese, a former third round pick, would have been blocked by the excess of starting pitchers in the upper minors for San Diego. At this point, it was looking like the right hander would be forced into the bullpen in order to get some major league experience. It is quite a bit more likely that Andriese ends up getting a shot in Tampa Bay's rotation than he would have in San Diego's. Andriese is most likely a mid-rotation starter, and should provide excellent depth for a Tampa Bay pitching staff. With a good spring, he could make the starting rotation.

On the San Diego side of things, the Padres got quality instead of quantity, adding left handed pitcher Alex Torres and right handed pitcher Jesse Hahn to a Padres team that was in need of a left handed reliever for the bullpen and had a plethora of young pitchers and middle infield depth.



Alex Torres is easily the key to this trade for the Padres in the short term. Torres should open camp as a bridge in the 7th inning to the pricey combination of Joaquin Benoit and Huston Street. The southpaw has experience as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but has never started a b game in the major leagues. The Padres organization stated that they would be open to using him as a starting pitcher. Last season, Torres was fantastic out of the bullpen, posting a 1.71 ERA as a rookie. Torres will not be eligible for free agency until 2020, but he is out of options, meaning he cannot be sent down to the minor leagues.

Jesse Hahn is a high upside pitcher who could start next season at the Double-A level. Hahn was rated as the Rays' 6th best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus, and is arguably better than any of the prospects that the Padres sent packing. He is a little bit on the older side (24), but he has excellent potential. Last season at the single-A level, he posted a 2.09 ERA. In his minor league career (2 seasons), he has allowed one home run in 121 innings. He also brings a 3.70 k/bb ratio to the table. He has been electric in the minor leagues, but he has also had some injury risk.

The Padres acquired the two best players in the trade, but the Rays may have the edge when considering the overall talent. It was certainly a quality for quantity trade that should work out exceptionally well for both teams.

This move essentially finishes the offseason for the Padres, putting together a very impressive cast to try and reach the playoffs. With health, they
should be hard to beat. Alex Torres and Joaquin Benoit represent major upgrades to a San Diego bullpen that recently saw Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher head to new cities.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Tribute to Jerry Coleman

Via: highironillustrations.com
Last Sunday, a baseball legend and a war hero was lost. Jerry Coleman (September 14th, 1924 to January 5th, 2014) passed away due to complications from a fall in his home. Coleman had a nine year career with the New York Yankees and a five year military career. He served in World War II and the Korean War. He was the only major league player to see live combat in both wars. 

Coleman was born into a poor family located in Northern California during The Great Depression. His father was an abusive and violent alcoholic. After several years of suffering his abuse, Coleman's mother divorced his father and moved away with Coleman and his sister. Eventually his father tracked them down and shot Coleman's mother four times. She survived the shooting but was no longer able to work. After high school, Jerry Coleman signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent.  

Coleman's career was delayed by three years of military service, before starting in 1949 after serving in World War II as a Marine Aviator. Once he started his baseball career, it took off. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and put up 1.6 defensive WAR at second base in his first major league season. The majority of Coleman's value as a player came from his outstanding defensive abilities. In his second year, he was an all-star and the World Series MVP, hitting .287 and putting up another 1.1 defensive wins above replacement. 

His 1951 season was another typical Jerry Coleman year, putting up exceptional defense and average offense. In 1952 and 1953, Coleman abandoned major league baseball to fight for his country as a pilot in the Korean War. He gave away his prime years as a baseball player in order to serve his country in Korea. In 1954, when he came back, but he was no longer the player he once was. An injury hampered his performance and derailed his career. For the next three seasons, Coleman was regulated to a bench role on the Yankees, leading to his retirement. In Coleman's career with the Yankees, he won four championships.

Coleman's player career may have ended in 1957, but his baseball career lived on. In 1958, he joined the Yankees front office, where he stayed for the next three seasons, before being part of a front office purge by new general manager Roy Hamey. He began his broadcasting career shortly thereafter.

Coleman conducted pregame interviews for CBS from 1960-1963 before becoming a broadcaster for the Yankees for the next seven seasons. After his Angels career, he joined the California Angels for two seasons. In 1972, Jerry Coleman started his career as the recently created Padres play-by-play man, a position that he would hold until his passing, with the exception of 1980, where he managed a Padres' team owned by Ray Kroc that included future Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, and Dave Winfield. He won 73 games in his managing career, before returning to the broadcast booth in 1981.

Over the next 40 seasons, Jerry Coleman was the voice of the Padres. He introduced "colemanisms" such as, "Oh Doctor!" and "You can hang a star on that baby!" to the Padres' broadcast booth. Coleman was a constant in the often-changing world of Padres fans, a world that recently saw three different ownership groups and two different general managers in just the last year and a half. 

In September 2012, the Padres revealed a statue in PETCO Park of Jerry Coleman. The only other statue in PETCO Park is Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Last Sunday, the baseball world lost one of the greats. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Padres to Sign Joaquin Benoit


On December 3rd, the San Diego Padres dealt set-up man Luke Gregerson to the Oakland A's for outfielder Seth Smith. This trade caused an uproar among Padres fans who wanted a Josh Reddick-type hitter to plug into the middle of the line-up. To put it lightly, Smith is not that type of player. I was among those who were upset by the deal, expecting more and holding concerns about the back-end of the Padres bullpen, with Gregerson out of the picture. The move didn't make much sense, considering they did not have a lot of depth in the bullpen and most fans thought Gregerson was worth more. To appease the fanbase, the Padres made a big move to sign right-handed closer Joaquin Benoit to a 2-year contract worth 14 million dollars with a club option for a third season. 

Benoit will make 6 million dollars in 2014, and 8 million in 2015 with anoption for 2016 that includes a 1.5 million dollar buyout. Benoit will take Luke Gregerson's old role as the bridge to closer Huston Street. The 36-year old Joaquin Benoit has been one of the best relievers in the game over the last four seasons, posting a 2.53 ERA in almost 260 innings since the beginning of the 2010 season. He has a 2.82 ERA in 22.1 playoff innings, meaning he is a postseason performer and has experience in the playoffs, one thing that is lacking on the Padres roster. Benoit can close out games for the Padres if Street gets hurt as well, which has been a major problem over the last two seasons. The bottom line is that Benoit is an upgrade over Gregerson.

The real significance of the signing is that now the Padres have an 85 million dollar payroll, or the biggest payroll in San Diego Padres history (not including 8 million dollars still going to alterations to the ballpark this season). I think these owners are significantly better than the previous regime in spending money as well as interacting with the fanbase. The previous ownership group would have been projected to have a payroll of about 70-73 million dollars in 2014. This move certainly shows that San Diego is willing to open their wallet. I like this move quite a bit and it makes me excited to watch them play this season. With health, I could see this being a playoff team.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Exclusive Interview: Patrick Schuster




The Padres' newest addition was gracious enough to give If I Were GM an exclusive interview last night! We are very excited to have Patrick Schuster in a Padres uniform!



Q: How did you react when you got the call that you had been selected first overall in the Rule 5 draft? Did you think you were headed to the Astros instead of the Padres at the time?
A: I was really excited for the opportunity that the padres were giving me. I knew that the Astros had traded their pick last night but I wasn't expecting the Padres to make that move to be able to pick me.


Q: 2) I see you were "converted" to a reliever from a starter in 2011. How was the adjustment for you? What do you like more and/or less?
A: It was tough because I had been a starter my whole life so it was definitely something different for me but I just kept at it and learning to right and wrong ways of doing and adjusting to how my body felt and everything worked out well with the success that I had last year it makes me a more confident relief pitcher . I'm inclined to say I'll like whichever gets me to the big leagues.


Q: The jump from A+ ball to the majors is a big one. What are you most excited/nervous about in making the jump?
A: I'm just really excited to have a chance to prove to people that guys can be ready to make that jump out of the lower levels. It's a tough mindset grinding in the summer wondering when you'll get an opportunity and I want to show people it can be done and I'm going to work my butt off to show that the Padres didn't make a mistake by taking me first overall.


Q: At the trade deadline last year, the Diamondbacks traded pitcher Ian Kennedy to the Padres for Joe Thatcher. The trade left a gaping hole in the Padres bullpen and is a big reason the Padres acquired you. Did you think much of the trade when it happened?
A: No not at all. It was sad to see Ian go because he was such a big part of the Diamondbacks organization but I had no clue it would affect my career.


Q: The Padres have have Huston Street who has been a top reliever in the the A's and Rockies organization before coming to San Diego and are rumored to be looking into relievers Scott Downs and Joaquin Benoit. How excited are you to be able to work with the Padres bullpen?
A: Very excited. I got to watch Huston throw a rehab game against us in Lake Elsinore and seemed like a great guy. I just want to be able to help the ballclub in any way I can.


Q: Before we finish up, do you have anything you would like to say to all of the Padres' fans out there?
A: I'm so grateful for their warm welcome and glad to see how excited they are about the move. I'm going to do all I can to make the Padres a better ball team and I can't wait to see them this spring training!!

Thank you so much Patrick for giving me the chance to interview you! You are a class act!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Padres Acquire Patrick Schuster from Astros

This morning, the San Diego Padres made one of the most interesting trades of the entire offseason, sending right handed reliever Anthony Bass with cash and a player to be named later to the Astros in exchange for a player to be named later. The Astros selected southpaw reliever Patrick Schuster from the Diamondbacks organization and traded him to the Padres as their player to be named later, the Astros did not see any talent that they liked with the Padres pick (12th overall) and elected to acquire the $50,000 dollar fee (to replace the money spent for drafting Schuster). The deal was announced in a confusing manner, but was cleared up after the rule 5 draft and by quotes from Josh Byrnes.

The deal fills a gaping hole that was opened by the deal that sent Joe Thatcher to Arizona in exchange for Ian Kennedy. At this point, I am very impressed with the Padres brass for finding ways to be creative. The Padres essentially moved up in the rule 5 draft without doing anything, as Anthony Bass would have been the player designated for assignment anyway. The scouting department deserves "kudos" for finding Schuster and Jake Lemmerman (who was picked up in the AAA phase of the rule 5 draft) and not losing any players in the draft.

Here is the rundown on Schuster. The 23-year old is a 6'1 lefty who will compete for the left-handed specialist job in San Diego. According to Josh Byrnes himself, the Padres brass has been eyeing Schuster for several weeks and had received excellent reports from A-ball. The reliever posted an ERA of 1.83 in 55 games in A+ ball, turning some heads last season.

They Padres have had success in recent years in the rule 5 draft, selecting Ivan Nova (who was returned that spring training, but has become a successful starter with the Yankees) and Everth Cabrera, the team's sole all-star representative in 2013. The Padres also have a history of finding diamonds in the rough when it comes to bullpen arms. I love this move!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Minor Additions: Ben Paullus, Alex Dickerson, Devin Jones

Traded Away:


Acquired:


The Padres have made several transactions over the past couple days, due to the looming Rule 5 draft. Rather than lose prospects like Juan Oramas, Donn Roach, and Keyvius Sampson, the Padres added the trio to the 40-man roster and designated several players for assignment. The Padres started their flurry of moves by sending shortstop Dean Anna to the Yankees in exchange for minor league reliever Ben Paullus. They designated Brad Brach, Jaff Decker,  Jose De Paula, and Miles Mikolas for assignment. Three days later, in a span of 15 minutes, Brach was sent to the Orioles in exchange for minor league pitcher Devin Jones, Jaff Decker and Miles Mikolas were acquired by the Pirates for first baseman Alex Dickerson. Here is some analysis of the individual deals and the players involved:

Yankees & Padres Trade:


Padres Acquire:  Ben Paullus
Yankees Acquire: Dean Anna
Grade for Padres: B
Grade for Yankees: B

I don't love this deal but I don't hate it for either side. Anna could have been picked up in the Rule 5 draft, so he was expendable. The Yankees add some middle infield depth in AAA and the Padres picked up Ben Paullus, a young reliever that doesn't need to be protected for a couple more seasons. Paullus could end up doing well in a middle relief role, but is old for his league (24 in A). His age concerns me a bit, but he is an interesting addition.

Pirates & Padres Trade:


Padres Acquire: Alex Dickerson 
Pirates Acquire: Miles Mikolas & Jaff Decker
Grade for Padres: A
Grade for Pirates: B-

This is by far my favorite trade for the Padres out of the bunch. The Padres dealt reliever Miles Mikolas and former 1st round pick Jaff Decker, two players who were not going to make the Padres' opening day roster, in exchange for Poway High School alum Alex Dickerson. Dickerson was a former 3rd rounder who hit 17 home runs and 36 doubles in AA last season. A former player of the year in the Florida State league, Dickerson is viewed as an outfielder by the Padres. Various websites have him ranked between 10 and 15 on the Pirates prospect lists. I really like this addition considering what we gave up.



Orioles & Padres Trade:



Padres Acquire:  Devin Jones
Orioles Acquire: Brad Brach
Grade for Padres: D-
Grade for Orioles: A

Of the three trades made by the Padres, I like this one the least. Brad Brach (27) was a former 42nd round pick who exceeded his label. He posted a 2.34 ERA and saved 118 games in the minors, making it to the majors in 2011. Since then, he has pitched to a 3.70 ERA in 109 major league games. He was an above average option out of the bullpen and had potential as a late inning reliever. The Padres acquired a 23-year old starting pitcher from Baltimore named Devin Jones. The former 9th rounder had a rough year in 2013, posting an ERA of almost 6.00 in AA, and walked 48 in 120 innings, but in 2012 he posted an ERA under 3.00 in A+ ball. Jones profiles as depth and Brach could pitch in the late innings for Baltimore.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why the Padres Need to Sign: Josh Johnson


Former Marlins' ace Josh Johnson has reached out to the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, letting them know that they were his top choices for where he wanted to land. One major league executive expected him to be the next significant hurler to sign after Tim Hudson's deal with the Giants (Which could take them out of the running for Johnson). His agent Matt Sosnick said that Johnson had narrowed down his choices to three or four teams, including the Pirates. According to MLBTR writer Tim Dierkes, the finalists are National League teams and likely include some on the West Coast. 

The 29-year old is reportedly looking for a one year deal to rebuild his value after a dreadful season in which he went 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA in 16 starts, but also struck out 83 hitters in 81 innings. His batting average on balls in play and home run per fly ball rates were double his career norm, possibly suggesting an outlier. From 2009-2012, Johnson posted a 2.99 ERA in 101 starts, a statline that led the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire him with Jose Reyes in exchange for a package of young talent. A team could look to gamble that he regains his previous form by signing him to an incentive-laden contract. The deal would allow him to regain value and secure a bigger contract next offseason. He currently resides in Las Vegas, and after spending his career in Miami and Toronto, is looking for a team closer to home.

The Padres could potentially have interest in Johnson, if the price is right. I would hope that the Padres at least made the call to inquire about what he would cost. A healthy Josh Johnson could slide into the "ace" role for San Diego, a role he was used to in Miami and wouldn't be able to have in San Francisco or Pittsburgh. He would be an excellent mentor to young pitchers like Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner, and could easily post an ERA under 3.00 in a still spacious PETCO Park.

If I were Josh Byrnes, I'd be pulling the trigger, assuming that he isn't asking for some asinine amount of money. This looks like a possible playoff rotation, if healthy:

SP Josh Johnson
SP Andrew Cashner
SP Tyson Ross