Padres acquire Paddack from Marlins for Rodney

Class A righty could become No. 2 starter someday for San Diego

June 30th, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Fernando Rodney's arrows will soon be flying on a different coast.
The Padres dealt their veteran closer to the Marlins on Thursday afternoon, in exchange for 20-year-old right-hander Chris Paddack -- one of the most dominant pitchers in Class A this season. General manager A.J. Preller said he views Paddack as a potential future No. 2-3 starter for San Diego.
Rodney, meanwhile, had allowed just one earned run in 28 2/3 innings this year, one of the best starts ever for a Padres pitcher. But at 39 years old -- and on a one-year deal -- Rodney didn't factor into San Diego's plans for the future.
Preller said he fielded calls from about 10 clubs regarding Rodney, but the Marlins were the "most aggressive." The Padres were in contact with Miami for the better part of June, and they had multiple scouts on hand for Paddack's last couple starts.
"They were willing to put in good pieces to get good pieces," Preller said of his interactions with the Marlins. "I look at it that way in this case. There was quite a bit of interest from other clubs."

In February, the Padres signed Rodney to a $2 million deal for 2016, with a team option for next season. He arrived in San Diego by starting the year with 25 2/3 consecutive innings without an earned run -- one-third of an inning shy of the franchise record. He also became a fan favorite with his bow-and-arrow routine after each save.
But Paddack has posted similar gaudy numbers this year, albeit at Class A. In six starts with Greensboro, he allowed just three earned runs on nine hits and two walks for a minuscule 0.95 ERA and an equally impressive 0.39 WHIP.
"He's a legit power starting pitching option," Preller said. "When you look at starting pitchers, guys that are out there, you look at guys that have multiple weapons, you look at guys that are tough, competitive. ... You want to acquire as many starting pitching options as you can, and this guy checks a lot of those boxes."
Paddack was an eighth-round Draft choice in 2015 after he graduated from Cedar Park High School in Texas. The 6-foot-4 right-hander possesses a mid-90s fastball and a pair of above-average offspeed pitches in his curveball and changeup. With Greensboro, Paddack struck out 48 batters (15.2 K/9), while walking only two.
"Obviously the results speak for itself," Preller said. "He's been great."
Trading Rodney marks the second time this month the Padres have dealt a veteran hurler. They sent James Shields to the White Sox on June 4.
Sitting 15 1/2 games out in the National League West, it stands to reason they would continue trying to build for the future before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"Knowing that our club is still toward the bottom of the standings, that doesn't mean just go ahead with every deal that comes," Preller said. "We know we're an organization where we're trying to acquire as much talent as we can to get to the spot where we're ... able to contend for a long period of time.
"There's been a lot of calls on our players, honestly, and, at an early stage, that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to wind up making the deal."

With Rodney headed for Miami, it appears as though left-hander Ryan Buchter will take over as the Padres' closer. He has a 2.91 ERA this season, and he has allowed 22 hits in 34 innings.
Buchter was promoted to setup man at the start of June. And when Rodney visited the Dominican Republic to attend his son's graduation earlier this season, manager Andy Green made Buchter his ninth-inning guy -- though the situation never called for a closer.
Another trickle-down effect of the Rodney deal is the boost it gives to Wil Myers' All-Star candidacy. Both Rodney and Myers appeared destined to represent the host city at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. Now, Rodney's absence makes Myers a virtual lock.
"My guess is that Fernando's probably pitching in that game, probably a chance to come back to Petco," Preller said. "But honestly, when you look at it, building this organization long-term and building for the future, we were looking at an opportunity to add somebody that our scouts think a lot of."