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News » San Diego Padres Inside Pitch 2008-12-05

San Diego Padres Inside Pitch 2008-12-05

San Diego Padres Inside Pitch 2008-12-05
Trading shortstop Khalil Greene to St. Louis and dumping $6.5 million in salary was a big help to the Padres' stressed 2009 budget. But does the Greene trade ease the financial burden enough for the team to retain right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy?

Greene, 28, is going to the Cardinals for two right-handed pitchers, one of whom is Mark Worrell, 25, who was 3-3 with a 2.15 ERA in the Pacific Coast League last season and struck out 80 in 58 2/3 innings. The other has yet to be named.

Greene, a former first-round draft pick, has been the Padres' starting shortstop since 2004 and seemed to be on the edge of a breakthrough in 2007 when he had 44 doubles, 27 homers and 97 RBI.

But last season, Greene's batting average plunged to .213 and he had just 10 homers against 100 strikeouts when his season ended July 30 -- he slammed his fist against a storage locker behind the Padres' dugout at Petco Park, breaking a bone in his left hand.

Greene has finished three of his last four seasons on the disabled list.

Greene has better than average power for a shortstop and has been dazzling in the field at times. But his penchant for striking out on low outside breaking balls and his low-key demeanor vexed many in the Padres' front office.

Greene further worried the Padres last year when he turned down a four-year contract offer. The Padres believed Greene was going to walk as a free agent following the 2009 season.

Before Greene was traded, the Padres had $30.5 million committed to five players for 2009 -- including the $11 million due Peavy. The Padres' projected budget for 2009 is around $40 million. With Greene gone, the Padres have only $24 million committed to four players.

Is that a low enough number to retain Peavy? At the moment, only the Chicago Cubs are openly negotiating for Peavy, and the Cubs had been working from the upper-hand position that the Padres were desperate to trade Peavy to remove his contract ($62 over the next four seasons) from their books.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 5, 2008

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