Meet the newest Padre: Steven Andrade

Bobby Vangelatos of InsideTheDome, a sister site to MadFriars.com that covers the Blue Jays, talked with right-hand relief pitcher Steven Andrade Thursday afternoon - following the Rule 5 draft. Andrade was selected by the Devil Rays with the third pick and was subsequently traded to the San Diego Padres.

InsideTheDome: Steven, your thoughts on being selected and your feelings right now?

Steve Andrade: It has been a crazy time. Everyone is trying to get a hold of me and I am trying to get of hold of some of my friends. It seemed that everyone knew once it happened. My family, my girlfriend and her family are as excited as I have ever seen them.

InsideTheDome: Were you disappointed that you began the season with New Hampshire and remained there the entire season, even though you pitched lights out?

Steve Andrade: Well you really don't expect anything in baseball. You like to think that you would move up at a given point and not remain at the same level in the minor leagues for an entire season. The year before I pitched in Triple-A, and struggled a little. As a result the organization wanted to start me at Double-A. Personally I knew I didn't belong there and I showed that this year. The only thing you can do it pitch well.

InsideTheDome: What was your thought process entering the Rule 5 Draft? Did you have a feeling you could have been selected?

Steve Andrade: I had a quick talk with my agent a few days ago and I asked him what he thinks could happen. He told me it's very rare for a player to be selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, but if a team does select you then it means they really like you. I understood that and hoped for the best.

InsideTheDome: Did you expect to be traded to San Diego after being selected by Tampa?

Steve Andrade: No, I didn't. It actually came as a big surprise to me. When I heard Tampa selected me it actually made a little sense considering a lot of the former Angel coaches (Andrade played for the Anaheim organization in 2003) are now with Tampa, including pitching coach Mike Butcher. I figured I was going to Tampa until I heard I would be traded to San Diego.

InsideTheDome: Have you received any phone call from either Toronto, San Diego or even Tampa Bay?

Steve Andrade: So far the only person that has called me was Dick Scott (Jays Director of Player Development)

InsideTheDome: What did Dick Scott tell you?

Steve Andrade: He just wanted to congratulate me and he was also the first to tell me there was a chance I could be traded to San Diego. After that I went online to try and find out what was going on.

InsideTheDome: How would you rate your experience in the Arizona Fall League?

Steve Andrade: Arizona was pretty cool. There were lots of good hitters in the league and you learn a lot by facing them. My location was a little off early on, and that messed up my overall numbers, but I finished real strong. It was also lots of fun to get to know new faces.

InsideTheDome: Talk a little about pitching for Team USA following the Arizona Fall League?

Steve Andrade: The president of USA Baseball approached me in Arizona and offered me a spot on the team. Obviously I accepted. There is no greater honor to pitch for your country. I played in two games and pitched real well in both, picking up a win and a save.

InsideTheDome: Have you heard anything regarding if San Diego plans on keeping you on the 25-man roster come April?

Steve Andrade: I haven't heard anything. All I can do is go give it my best. Bottom line is this is my one big chance and you don't want to move downward.

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