Monday, January 18, 2010

It's Raining Hairstons

Catching up on things after the long weekend. And, since the Chargers apparently decided they didn't want to play football anymore this January, there's not much else to talk about locally.

We discussed Heath Bell in the last post. On Friday the Padres pulled the trigger and sent Kevin Kouzmanoff to Oakland for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham. San Diego included AAA second baseman Eric Sogard in the trade.

You will no doubt remember Scott Hairston started last year as a Padre, but was traded mid-season to the same A's for Sean Marshall, Ryan Webb, and Craig Italiano. Webb and Italiano are both minor leaguers, as is Cunningham. Since the club got Hairston, using the commutative property (I come for the baseball but I STAY for the math) this trade is actually:

SAN DIEGO - Gets Marshall, Webb, Italiano, Cunningham
OAKLAND - Gets Kouzmanoff, Sogard.

Two big arms in Webb and Italiano, an OF (Cunningham) that new Padres CEO Jeff Moorad was very high on when the kid labored in the Arizona organization (he went to Oakland as part of the Dan Haren trade), and Sean Marshall (a Cub burnout). Okay. For that we give up a good glove/decent power third baseman, and a utility infielder prospect.

It will be years before the winner of this trade is known, but right now, I like what the Padres did here.

The immediate aftermath. Chase Headley becomes the Padre third baseman. Kyle Blanks is the heavy favorite to play left. I view both of those consequences as positive ones for San Diego. Headley showed a prolonged flash of why the team ranked him their #1 prospect in the month he played third last season while Kouzmanoff was hurt. Blanks has big-time power. I think this team is better now, certainly at the ML level, than they were before the weekend.

I mean no disrespect to Kevin Kouzmanoff. I bear no ill will to him and wish him nothing but success in Oakland. I think, however, getting Blanks everyday at bats outweighs the loss in production that Headley represents when compared to Kouzmanoff.

Tonight the Coach John Cantera reported on XX 1090 the Padres had signed Jerry Hairston, Jr to a one-year deal. Hairston played for the Yankees at the tail end of last year. Hairston's biggest strength is he can play all over the diamond -2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF. He's the uber-utility guy. In a world where most teams carry 12 pitchers, meaning only 4 position player spots on the bench, having a guy who's competent at several positions is a huge benefit.

I couldn't help but smirk at the Padres acquiring/signing both Hairston boys in the span of 3 days. No reason.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry Hairston Sr becomes a coach or something before spring training starts. His kids say he could still play 50 games at the ML level. Kids are great, aren't they? Stroking the old guy's ego. I hope my kids do that for me. Although they'll probably just ask me for money.

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