On July 18, the Padres traded arguably the top closer in the National League (and perhaps all of baseball) to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for four minor league prospects: Taylor Lindsey (2B), RJ Alvarez (RHP), Jose Rondon (SS), and Elliot Morris (RHP).
Trading Street was not a mistake.
Trading Street to the Angels was not a mistake.
But trading Street to the Angels in a deal that did not include CJ Cron was a huge mistake. A rookie mistake. A mistake that could have been avoided with the help of a competent General Manager.
Cron has been limited to just 57 games with the Angels but has made good usage of his time in the majors. Cron’s stats through just 188 at bats are as follows: .266 BA/.296 OBP/.468 SLG, 9 HR, 24 R, and 29 RBI.
Critics would point to Cron’s low OBP as a concern, but his numbers from Triple A Salt Lake show that he might just need some more consistent playing time: .339 BA/.389 OBP/.603 SLG, 6 HR, 21 R, and 26 RBI.
Cron is a career .291 hitter in the Minors, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect him to be a consistent .275 hitter in the Majors. Reports have suggested that the Angels were unwilling to move Cron in the Huston Street deal.
The truth is, the Angels have become increasingly desperate in their attempt to return to the postseason the first time in five years. The Padres held all of the leverage in the deal – an elite closer on an affordable, multi-year contract. Meanwhile, the Angels have blown 13 Saves this year.
When the Angels said they were unwilling to trade Cron, the Padres should have called them on their bluff. Of course the Angels were willing to move Cron to acquire the game’s best closer.
The Padres could have obtained a future cornerstone on a team that needs some serious restructuring, and didn’t. The front office has made it clear that their is no effort to win now.
Once again, fans are tortured with the promise of “next year”.