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MLB – San Diego Padres tweak rotation2011-02-08
After absorbing an early exit last season, the San Diego Padres started wheeling and dealing to solidify their rotation and be more competitive next season.
The Padres acquired Jason Bartlett and a player yet to be determined in a deal that sent Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos, along with minor league prospects Brandon Gomes and infielder Cole Figueroa to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bartlett, who averaged .254 with four homeruns and 47 RBI’s last season, will replace Miguel Tejada in the rotation after the 36-year-old shortstop signed with the San Francisco Giants.
Bartlett, who was originally drafted by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2001 amateur draft before trading him to Minnesota, expressed his excitement for having been traded in a team where he feels he can shine on.
“I'm excited,” said Bartlett. “I never got to the big leagues over there. I've heard the National League game is a lot different. My wife and I love the beach, so we're excited about that. Coming from Tampa, there's no better place to go than San Diego. Hopefully, I can be there for a while.”
Bartlett, who was an all-star in 2009 after setting career-best average of .320 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs to go with 90 runs scored and 30 stolen bases, had a poor performance last season, but he is hoping that he would get his rhythm back with his new team and help them reach their goal next season.
“Something clicked that year where everything was going right,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully it clicks again.”
Bartlett can become a free agent after the 2011 World Series, but Padres general manager Jed Hoyer is hoping that they could keep him in their fold for a long period of time. “Certainly in making this deal, I'm hopeful we can keep him in a Padres uniform beyond one year,” he said.
Hoyer said that he’s very familiar with Bartlett after spending some time in Boston’s front office and he believes that Bartlett would give them a big boost in their campaign next season.
“He was hard to play against,” Hoyer said. “He's a pest. He gets on base, he has good at-bats. He's a good all-around baseball player. There was always a focus on that breakout year he had, but even before that season you didn't want to see him in the batter's box. He's a player you didn't want to play against.”
Meanwhile, sources also said that the Padres are set to acquire second baseman Orlando Hudson, pending the completion of physical examinations.
According to sources, Hudson, who played with the Minnesota Twins last season where he averaged .268 and had 37 RBIs, will reportedly sign a two-year contract worth $11.5 million, and will replace David Eckstein in the Padres’ rotation.
The 33-year-old second baseman, who also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Toronto Blue Jays, will receive $4 million in 2011, $5.5 million in 2012 with an $8 million option for 2013 with a $2 million buyout clause.
Padres general manager Hoyer has yet to announce the deal officially, but the acquisition of Hudson and the trade deal that they had would make them a team to watch next season. The Baseball Odds for the Padres winning the National League pennant in 2011 is +5000 making them the longest shot to win this coming season? Could be an interesting wager. Get over to sportsbook.com and get into the MLB betting action today.