Saturday, May 24, 2014

Padres Acquire Troy Patton
The San Diego Padres made a move today that was two months overdue, sending catcher Nick Hundley and cash considerations to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for reliever Troy Patton. The team also purchased the contract of right handed pitcher Billy Buckner from El Paso to start today's game against the Cubs. The Orioles were in the market for a catcher after losing starter Matt Wieters to a significant injury involving his right elbow; one that could theoretically lead to Tommy John surgery and the end to his season. San Diego lost two rotation arms to elbow soreness (Andrew Cashner and Robbie Erlin), forcing Tim Stauffer, Donn Roach, and Billy Buckner to make starts. Roach and Stauffer acted as long relievers, a role that has opened up for Patton.

Troy Patton, 28, was recently activated from the restricted list after being suspended for Adderall usage in the offseason. Patton has been plagued by such mishaps, including an arrest for driving under the influence and the original positive test for Adderall. Over the span of his last three seasons, Patton has strung together impressive numbers as a reliever. Averaging 47 innings a season, Patton posted a 3.05 ERA and a 3.42 K/BB ratio with the Orioles. Patton should fill the role that Tony Sipp and Patrick Schuster could not in the Padres bullpen, as the second left handed reliever to Alex Torres.

Nick Hundley, 30, has spent most of the last seven seasons playing for the Padres, finishing his San Diego career with a .238 average and 47 home runs after being selected in the second round of the 2005 draft. He was given over 200 plate appearances in each of the last six seasons, never putting together a good enough performance to warrant him being a valuable commodity. Hundley was viewed as a below average receiver that had a slightly above average arm to start the season, but he made tremendous strides as a receiver and in his pitch framing ability through the first two months. He is currently regarded as an average receiver.

Patton and Hundley both help out their respective teams, and changes of scenery could be a good thing for both players involved in the trade. The deal fills two distinct needs and subtracts from two distinct surpluses, meaning that it might be the definition of a win-win.

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