AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

San Diego went all in on 2015 to build what Padres man­age­ment planned as a pen­nant con­tender. In­stead, the Padres fin­ished 74–88 and 13 games out of the fi­nal wild card play­off spot. San Diego started its dis­man­tling in the off­sea­son by deal­ing closer Craig Kim­brel to the Red Sox for top prospects Manuel Mar­got and Javier Guerra, and let Justin Up­ton walk in free agency. The Padres fur­ther re­built on July 14, deal­ing their most ef­fec­tive start­ing pitcher, Drew Pomer­anz, to Bos­ton for 18-year-old pitcher An­der­son Espinoza, whom Base­ball Amer­ica ranked as its 15th-best prospect in the game in its re­cently up­dated prospect rat­ings. The Padres may un­load Matt Kemp in the com­ing weeks, es­pe­cially af­ter re­cently pro­mot­ing 26-year-old out­fielder Alex Dick­er­son (who was hit­ting .382/.425/.622 in 240 plate ap­pear­ances at AAA) and 24-year-old Hunter Ren­froe (.335/.362/.633, with 21 homers in 373 plate ap­pear­ances) also rip­ping the cover off the ball at El Paso. …

What is it with the NL West and re­builds gone wrong? Ari­zona’s off­sea­son trade of prospects Aaron Blair and Dansby Swanson and ev­ery­day MLB out­fielder En­der In­cia­rte for start­ing pitcher Shelby Miller looked bad then and looks even worse now. Miller was op­tioned to AAA on July 14 af­ter ac­cu­mu­lat­ing a 7.14 ERA in 69 in­nings pitched. Ari­zona out­fielder A.J. Pol­lock, per­haps the team’s best ev­ery­day player, has missed the en­tire sea­son with in­jury, and $206.5 mil­lion pitch­ing signee Zack Greinke may end July on the dis­abled list. The Di­a­mond­backs, dead last in the di­vi­sion at 40–53 over­all and 17 games be­hind the di­vi­sion-lead­ing Gi­ants, would prob­a­bly like a do-over on the last nine months. …

At­lanta con­tin­ued build­ing one of the game’s best farm sys­tems with the sign­ing of Venezue­lan Kevin Mai­tan, a 16-year-old short­stop con­sid­ered one of the best young in­ter­na­tional free agent signings in years. There’s de­bate as to whether Mai­tan will re­main at short — some think his fu­ture is at third or in right — but what no­body’s de­bat­ing is that he can be a plus hit­ter, and per­haps one with 20-to-25-home­run power. …

The Astros also went to the in­ter­na­tional well to land Cuban in­fielder Yulieski Gour­riel to a five-year, $47.5 mil­lion con­tract. The 32-year-old has the glove and the bat to be a dif­fer­ence-maker in the ma­jors, but he hasn’t played com­pet­i­tively this year. He’ll play in the mi­nors be­fore likely join­ing Houston be­fore Au­gust.

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