Padres Acquire Edmonds

The Padres are about to pick up center fielder Jim Edmonds from St. Louis for minor-league third baseman David Freese. Reportedly, the Cardinals also will be sending $1 million, which is why the deal hasn’t been formally announced yet.

Edmonds is in decline, and the Pads will need a contingency plan, but I like this move. They’re essentially signing him to a 1-year, $7 million deal. Like the acquisitions of Randy Wolf and Tadahito Iguchi (and the re-signing of Greg Maddux), it’s a relatively low-risk move.

The last time San Diego brought in a guy that everyone else had written off, it worked out pretty well. Who’s to say that lightning won’t strike twice?

Even if it doesn’t, the Padres aren’t giving up a top-shelf prospect here. I like David Freese, but he’s stuck behind better options. Here’s what I’d written about him for the book:

Freese, who hails from the same school that produced big-leaguers Marlon Anderson and Luis Gonazalez, put up excellent numbers in the California League in 2007. That’s nice, but as a 24-year-old, anything less would have been disappointing. I saw Freese play several times at Elsinore, and he reminds me of current Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Both hit the ball hard to the middle of the diamond, with Freese showing good power to right-center. There has been talk that Freese might move behind the plate. He’s probably too old to become a big-league regular, but he could have a career.

I hope Freese exceeds my expectations in St. Louis, but I don’t think the Padres gave up much to get a player that will help them in the short term. Seeing that the club came within a few outs of reaching the post-season for a third straight year, I’d say the short term is a good place to be thinking about just now.

What about the future? Adrian Gonzalez, Jake Peavy, and Chris Young are under long-term deals. Next step would appear to be locking up Khalil Greene.

Not everyone is going to be part of a team’s foundation. Once you’ve put the building blocks in place, why overspend on peripherals? Yeah, I’d have loved to see Kosuke Fukudome come here or even Mike Cameron return for another couple of years. At the same time, I’m glad that the big money is being invested in guys who will still be making a difference 3-4 years from now.

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59 Responses »

  1. 50: I wouldn’t count on postoperative Wolf as a full-time starter. Most of the SP candidates being discussed are also coming off injuries, which worries me no end. I’d rather trade for somebody durable who is at least average, hopefully with some upside.

  2. 33: The combined measurement makes it look closer than I think it really was/will be. Obviously, we’d rather have one starting second baseman. Since Giles’ defense could never truly be combined with Blum’s offense, acquiring a proper second baseman really is kinda huge for us since it opens up some options for Antonelli.

    The true measurement will obviously be at the end of the season. Are the PECOTA numbers out yet?

  3. Even if Edmonds is a bust, it’s one year and only 6 million. Even if he gets injured in the first game and never plays again, it would be less of a bust than the Dodgers’ Jason Schmidt contract, or the Giants’ Barry Zito contract, or Colorado’s Neagle/Hampton contracts, or etc. It’s a little pricey for an older guy, but he fills the biggest hole on the team, and has the potential to be the best hitter in the lineup if he happens to revert to form. That seems like a pretty great gamble to me.

  4. 52: We have to knock off some of Blum’s production for the time he spent at other spots. But a 280/350/420 hitter, which is about Iguchi’s career mark in much better home parks, just isn’t good enough to be a major improvement. Improvement, sure. It’s the adjective I’m disagreeing with. Not huge or great. Some. Appreciable. Meaningful. Iguchi could always have a career year, of course. That would be awesome. Not too likely at 33, but possible.

    I expect their plan with Antonelli, now that they have Iguchi and Edmunds, is to leave him at 2b in AAA. He’s already spent time learning that. Meanwhile they’ll continue to pursue long-term CF in trade and do everything possible to make Venable and Hunter into CF.

  5. Re: 54 Hunters atleast 2 years away yeah? or do you think he will split this year between A+ and AA?

  6. 55: At least 2 years. But if either one looks like they can handle it, or one of the college CF they drafted last year explodes, they can leave Antonelli alone at 2b.

  7. If Antonelli can play CF I think they should make the move, he will be much much more valuable to the team there.

  8. It’s Edmonds, not Edmunds, to all those who are misspelling it.

  9. Thanks four the spellling lession Kevin. =)