Friday, July 31, 2009

Here We Go Again: Poreda Traded For Peavy

In late May, the White Sox traded southpaws Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard for former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. Peavy then proceeded to reject the trade. Two months go by. Final day of the trading deadline is upon us and lo and behold, Peavy is once again traded for Poreda, Richard, and two other pitching prospects. This time Peavy accepts the trade.

Which means that it's official: Aaron Poreda is now a member of the San Diego Padres.
To answer your first question: no, the irony of a Jew playing for a team called the Padres is not lost on me. So much for what I said yesterday about there being three potential JMLs in Chicago...

Though it pains me that I will no longer be able to witness firsthand Poreda's development as a pitcher, I believe the pros of this trade definitely outweight the cons.

Let's start with the cons. Poreda loses valuable mentors in Mark Buehrle, John Danks, and Matt Thornton. He also loses run support. Additionally, San Diego is a much smaller market than Chicago, so Poreda won't be getting the same national attention he might have had with the Sox.

However, this could also be considered a pro, given how prominent athletes in Chicago are scrutinized by the media. Nothing like New York, of course, but still not for those without thicker skin. To say playing in San Diego comes with less pressure than playing Chicago is a vast understatement.

As far as the ballparks are concerned, Petco Park is best described as cavernous and is a pitcher's dream while U.S. Cellular Field has historically been a launching pad for home runs. So that will certainly help Poreda.

Also, pitching in the National League is obviously easier than pitching in the American League because you don't have to contend with the DH in the National League.

Finally, the White Sox are still very much in the hunt in the AL Central. For that reason, when Poreda was used, he was used sparingly and generally in non-pressure situations. That's a good way to break in a young pitcher. But at some point you have to cut the umbilical cord, so to speak.

Had Poreda been brought up again this year, I don't think Ozzie Guillen's approach would have changed. Not too many managers are going to rely heavily on unproven 22-year-old rookies in the middle of a division race.

The Nationals and the Padres are easily the two worst teams in baseball this year. So naturally they're throwing everything but the kitchen sink against the wall and hoping something sticks. The Padres have used 10 pitchers in the starting rotation this year. Mat Latos, a 21-year-old rookie is among them. I wouldn't be surprised if Poreda joined the ranks of that young rotation sometime in the near future.

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