The Padres decided that they couldn’t possibly let Opening Night go by without making one last addition, so they picked up Craig Kimbrel from the Braves yesterday, and swapped out some bad contracts in the process (Melvin Upton going to the Padres, Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin going to the Braves). The Braves also get pitching prospect Matt Wisler, fringe prospect Jordan Paroubeck, and the 41st pick in this year’s draft.
It was really a great deal from the rebuilding Braves’ perspective, and another WIN-RIGHT-NOW-OMG-LOL deal from the Padres’ perspective (and a curious one at that, given that they were already loaded in the bullpen).
With the Dodgers very strong, the Padres just took another step forward in the Wild Card race (or the NL West, with the Dodgers being a Wild Card contender – it’s the same thing, really), making it just a hair more difficult for a team like the Cubs, which projects to be in the thick of that Wild Card race, if not the NL Central race.
The deal took the Padres up to 35.1 projected WAR for the year, according to FanGraphs, which puts them just behind the Mets (35.3) and Cubs (35.6). The deal also bumped the Padres’ projected record up to 84-78 … the same as the Cubs.