The San Diego Padres had to make a deal on Friday. While many believed that Heath Bell and/or Adrian Gonzalez would go, the Friars were able to clear the books of their highest paid player while keeping the face of the franchise - Gonzalez - in the stable.
Jake Peavy had become frustrated by all the trade talk and, more so, by the possible departure of Gonzalez. Knowing this was a potential reality, Peavy had to be the one to push for a deal to get him out of dodge before the rest of the train left and he was stuck.
The centerpieces of the deal are Aaron Poreda and Dexter Carter. Clayton Richard is the now player who can help the team immediately and provide plenty of returns over the next few years. Adam Russell is a reliever who can provide more stability in the pen.
Poreda is a hard-throwing lefty that many believe will end up in the bullpen where he can blow people away with his power repertoire.
The White Sox believed he could remain as a starter, and the Padres would be foolish not to stay the course. The problem has always been his secondary pitches. He doesn't have command or consistency with either. His plus fastball, however, is a different story.
The Padres will put a heavy emphasis on his secondary offerings, hoping to find the key that unlocks his true potential.
Carter, playing in Low-A this season, has been extraordinary since being taken in the 13th-round out of Old Dominion.
He has a fastball that touches 94 mph and sits in the low-90s that he can spot to both sides of the plate. He also has a buckle-your-knees curveball that has hitters off-balance and is a true plus pitch. The one pitch he needs to improve is the changeup - and there may be no better system at developing the changeup than San Diego.
Both are high upside pitchers that could play a pivotal role in San Diego for years to come - with Carter a little further away than Poreda.
Richard has a low-90s fastball that he is able to locate at will and a solid curveball. His four-pitch repertoire keeps hitters off-balance. While he lacks the ceiling of the aforementioned two, Richard is still a quality arm that could pay dividends for the Padres. He pitches to contact without a true strikeout pitch but misses the fat part of many a bat.
Richard is actually a better pitcher when he is not over throwing and trying to hit the mid-90s, as his command wavers and his pitches elevate. He could also use some mechanical work.
Russell is a ready made reliever - moving from the rotation in 2008. He has a solid two-pitch repertoire of fastball/curveball but lacks an effective third pitch. The right-hander comes at hitters with different arm angles and can suffer bouts of wildness as a result of faulty mechanics from the lack of a consistent arm slot.
Overall, it was a much better haul than anticipated for a pitcher who might have said he wanted to stay in San Diego but didn't want to live through the rebuilding process.
Poreda has a chance to be a filthy member of the pitching staff and Carter actually has a leg up with a pair of plus pitches, despite sitting lower in the chain.
Richard is a workhorse and has more upside than several of the pitchers that are currently starting in San Diego. Russell could be a late inning guy that thrives under pressure.
Given the falling value of Peavy due to injury and further concern that it may become a yearly thing, getting four prospects, including two with tremendous upside, is a good deal for the Padres.
When you throw in the fact that it could have been Gonzalez who could have been shipped out to save some cash, the deal becomes even more affable.
The Padres knew they couldn't continue going on this course and had to get a return on investment from somewhere. By trading Peavy, they keep the most important piece of their lineup in place. Because they had to make a move - trading Peavy was far more prudent than shipping off Gonzalez, especially since no one knows if Peavy will ever be the same again and is currently on the disabled list.