Analyzing the trade of Chick, Germano

The San Diego Padres traded Travis Chick and Justin Germano for Joe Randa on Saturday. Chick – rated #2 in prospect rankings – and Germano – ranked #9 in prospect rankings – shipped out for a 34-year old player who has a one-year deal. Chick is understandably sad to go and Germano says he will be in the Majors in a couple of weeks. Kevin Towers is happy to add Randa but contradictory in explaining the Padres stance. Unless this means World Series for the Padres...

The Padres entered the season with only four to five starting pitchers that could be considered power arms and that became one less when they traded Travis Chick.

Rated #2 in the entire system, Chick was a player with immense upside that should, if anything, have been a chip for a bigger fish. If Joe Randa was the only player available, they should have tried using another coin within the system.

"I loved it over there," Chick said of playing in the Padres' system.

"Bittersweet," Chick went on as he described the deal that sent him to Cincinnati. "Sad to say goodbye to all my boys, like Drew (Macias). Realistically there is a chance to advance quicker."

Chick was 2-9 with a 5.27 ERA with Double-A Mobile. At just 20 years old, 21 now, he skipped High-A, going straight from Low-A to Double-A.

In 13 of his 19 starts, Chick held the opposition to three runs or less. He just happened to have three outings where seven runs or more crossed the plate – pushing his ERA up. In those three outings where he has gone less than four innings and given up seven or more runs, it accounted for 24 of his 57 earned runs in 19 starts. Take those away and his ERA is 3.35 in his other 16 starts.

He had struck out 92 in 97.1 innings while walking 40. In three July starts he had a 3.50 ERA and limited the opposition to a .226 average against. For the year, righties are batting .225 off him while lefties have hit .339.

What is clear is Chick could have been a big part of the team's future. He has an above average fastball that touches 95 to go with a changeup and slider.

"I love using my fastball," Chick said during the off-season. "I don't know exactly if it is a power fastball but I like to use it as one."

During the off-season, Chick worked a lot on his changeup and improving the consistency of his slider and earning MVP of the Instructional League. Both pitches have the ability, at times, to be dominant as he sets up hitters. At 21, there is still some work to do with that consistency but he profiles as a solid number two/three pitcher in the Majors with potential to be a staff ace.

"I can barely buy beer," said Chick with a laugh. He also mentioned that the Reds are certain he will move up the chain quickly, saying the general manager in Cincinnati told him, ‘You come in here doing what we would like you to do you will start moving real quick.'

Justin Germano was en route to being dominant in the Pacific Coast League post all-star game, similar to how he handled the PCL a year ago, posting a 1.64 ERA over his last three starts. At 22, Germano is a finesse pitcher that profiles as more of a Brian Lawrence type.

Coming off a complete game four-hitter, Germano has had ten outings where he has given up two runs or less. He has struck out 100 in 112 innings while walking 32.

Germano offers an assortment of pitchers that include a fastball, curveball, and changeup.

"I don't go out there and blow by guys and get a lot of strikeouts more of just hitting spots," Germano said.

There is a definite place in the Majors for him. The right-hander has experience at the Big League but was a tough fit with the Padres who already possess two pitchers with finesse tendencies.

At the beginning of the year, Germano thought he might have a chance at getting into the rotation. But the Padres added Darrel May and then it was Tim Redding. After that it was Tim Stauffer and Pedro Astacio. Even Clay Hensley got the call before Germano. It was clear that he did not have a spot.

Germano, coincidentally, was told by the Reds that he would make one or two starts at Triple-A Louisville and then likely get called up to Cincinnati.

Given the starting lineup in San Diego, Germano was the perfect fit in a trade and if it brings them a good player in return, his inclusion is not one that would bite.

Losing Chick, however, is a blow that can be accepted only if it means the playoffs are a certainty and the World Series is on the agenda.

"I know for Travis (Chick) this is tough, being traded for the second time," Padres' general manager Kevin Towers said. "I met with him and told him that he helped us get Joe Randa, and that hopefully that will help us win the division."

It is clear the Padres had to do something. They have been faltering for over a month. Building your team for the year also has consequences on its future.

There should have been more thought to that future, especially if Ramon Hernandez and Brian Giles aren't expected back and Randa – also a free agent – is gone. A rental that costs two players in your top ten prospect talent pool to begin the year is not a rental, it is thievery pulled off by the Reds.

Ironically, it was Towers who said it best on Saturday:

"You are only as good as the players you have down below," he declared. "This will always be a scout driven and player development drive organization. We need to do a good job of signing and developing these kids because we are never going to be major players in the free agent market."

Two pieces of that future were sent away on Saturday morning.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.

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