Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Cirillo-Kendall Talks Dead For Now 

Padres GM Kevin Towers apparently is not a fool, as his insistence on the Pirates paying some of Jason Kendall's ridiculous remaining $42M over 4 years has squelched the rumored deal for Jeff Cirillo and Ramon Hernandez.

A deal for Kendall has been discussed at least 4 different times and almost prevented the Brian Giles trade to the Padres. In the past, the Padres have wanted as much as $25M in cash to take on Kendall, but this time, it seemed like the Padres had a big enough albatross in Cirillo to return to the Pirates that a deal may actually get done. The Pirates had already worked up a press release before a meeting of Padres ownership decided the deal would squelch San Diego's ability to add salary mid-season if their Mariner-Optimist-predicted (M's sweep Pads in 4!) World Series run needs an infusion of talent.

Instead, the Padres made a wiser move, signing Jay Payton to a 2-year, $5.5M contract. The money is probably right for Payton and his Coors-inflated stats, he can play CF, and this will keep Terrence Long and his sub-.300 OBP on the bench where he belongs. It also prevents the Padres from fielding the dreadful-fielding trio of Xavier Nady, Giles (not a bad fielder in LF, but would be in CF here) and Ryan Klesko to inflate the ERAs of their young pitching staff. Of course, Payton is injury prone, so this may only be a part-time solution.

But the Padres followed up this signing with a mistake by designating Mike Bynum for assignment. Bynum has been brutal in his early career with the Padres, but his upside as a 26-year-old highly touted lefty seems much higher than former Mariner Brian Sweeney or Rule V pick Jason Szuminski. Bynum is not a flamethrower, but has a very nasty slider, and will be a very effective lefty reliever for someone. This optimist would love to see him fall to the Mariners, and us try to slip Ryan Christianson off the 40-man roster a la Ryan Anderson.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?