Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Padres trade a pair with the Athletics
Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner go to Oakland in exchange for two other guys you've probably never heard of.
In a trade that seems to make little sense from some angles, the San Diego Padres announced on Friday that infielder Andy Parrino and left-handed pitcher Andrew Werner have been dealt to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones and right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross. One thing that does make sense is that Parrino is now 27 and perhaps the Padres need room on the 40-man roster in order to protect a younger prospect.
Werner's departure is more difficult to figure out. Andrew was signed as a free agent in 2010 after playing in Independent League ball in the minors, and seemed to have limited success in the Padres organization.
The big club called him up last season, and Werner went 2-3 with a 5.58 earned run average in 8 starts. He outperformed expectations, striking out 35 batters in 40 1/3 innings while walking only 14. Werner still has options and did not need to be on the 40-man roster, as he isn't yet eligible for the Rule 5 draft.
Parrino is a career .200 hitter in the major leagues, with only one home run in 193 plate appearances over two years. At AAA Tucson last season, Andy hit .328 with a home run.
In return, the Padres get a couple of interesting players. Tyson Ross fits the physical Padres mold for a pitcher at 6'-6" and 230 pounds, but his record isn't so stellar so perhaps the organization sees something they can tweak.
Ross was the Athletics 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft, and is 6-18 in three years with the big club. In 148 2/3 innings, Tyson has struck out 102 hitters while issuing 70 walks and has a 5.33 earned run average.
Tyson Ross is eligible for the Rule 5 draft coming up in December, but it seems unlikely that any club would choose to draft him and add him to their 25-man roster. With Andy Parrino - in comparison - getting him through the Rule 5 without interest might have been difficult.
The other piece the Padres gained is an infielder named A.J. Kirby-Jones, who has played three seasons of A-ball in the Athletics organization after being drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 draft, out of Tennessee Tech. At 24 years of age, Kirby-Jones is under club control for some time to come.
However, with a batting average of around .250 in his minor league career, the compact 5'-10", 215-pounder seems to be simply organizational depth. He's hit 48 home runs in 1,195 plate appearances but has also struck out 311 times.
Without Parrino, the Padres certainly have one less player to worry about protecting in a few days when the 40-man roster is required to be set for December's Rule 5 draft. However, they have one less utility infielder in the system.
Without Werner, well, it's one less left-handed pitcher in the system. That one is a head-scratcher. After all, there seems to never be enough left-handed pitching in the system. Especially after bringing in the right-field wall at Petco Park.