Maddux Dealt To L.A.

The Deal
The Padres traded future Hall of Fame righthander Greg Maddux to the Dodgers for two players to be named or cash.

UPDATE: The Padres acquired two Rookie-level Pioneer League pitchers to complete the trade: lefthander Michael Watt and righthander Eduardo Perez (Sept. 30). The Dodgers selected Watt in the second round of the 2007 draft.

The Big Leaguer
Maddux, 42, is remarkable for both his level of dominance at his peak and for his incredible longevity. He’s taken 33 starts or more each season since turning 30—back in 1996. Though he relies on location and forgiving ballparks now more than ever, Maddux still has gone 6-9, 3.99 in 26 starts for the last-place Padres this season, racking up 80 strikeouts and 26 walks in 153 innings. He’s won four Cy Young awards (all in a row) and made eight all-star teams in a career in which he’s gone 353-233, 3.14 in 733 starts. One more win will tie Maddux for eighth place all time with Roger Clemens. The Dodgers also traded for the veteran righthander in 2006, the last time Los Angeles made the playoffs. 
The Prospect
As noted, Watt was the Dodgers’ second-round pick in 2007, hailing from Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo, Calif. Prior to the draft, we noted that he touched 91 mph and that he was projectable—but that he was unrefined. The Padres saw the same when they scouted him as an amateur, so they were pleased to bring him aboard in the Maddux trade. At his best, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Watt pitches at 90 with a developing feel for his curveball. While still erratic, the 19-year-old made the most progress this season with his feel for pitching, beginning the transition from thrower to pitcher. Watt went 9-4, 4.35 in 15 starts for Rookie-level Ogden, striking out 79 and walking 21 in 80 2/3 innings.

One of two Eduardo Perezes in Los Angeles’ system (the other is a 24-year-old, A-ball first baseman), the righthander went 4-3, 3.38 in 56 short-season innings this season, all but 3 1/3 of them coming in the Gulf Coast League. He struck out 52 and walked 23 overall, but was touched for a 10.80 ERA in his lone start for Ogden. Perez signed with the Dodgers in 2005 out of Venezuela, so he’s already 20. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound righthander has great angle to the plate, but he needs work on his secondary stuff. His projectable body offers hope for increased velocity.

Quick Take
Maddux steps into the rotation spot vacated by Brad Penny, who is out with shoulder tendinitis, giving the Dodgers a known quantity as they pursue the Diamondbacks in the NL West. The Padres already had traded veterans Tony Clark and Randy Wolf this season as they look toward 2009.

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