Disappointing pitchers change hands

By Jim Callis

July 2, 2005

Hoping that a change of scenery can turn around disappointing seasons for three pitchers, the Padres and Yankees engineered a trade on Saturday. San Diego received Paul Quantrill in exchange for Tim Redding and Darrell May, both of whom New York immediately demoted to Triple-A Columbus. The Padres also sent cash to the Yankees to help cover the difference in salaries exchanged.

A 36-year-old righthander, Quantrill had been designated for assignment along with Mike Stanton on Thursday. Quantrill had been one of baseball’s top setup men from 2001-03 before signing a two-year, $6.4 million free-agent contract with the Yankees. He continued to excel in the first half of 2004, but was worked so hard that he collapsed in the second half (7.09 ERA) and hasn’t recovered. He took the loss in Game Four of the American League Championship Series last October when he served up a two-run homer to David Ortiz in the 12th inning. In 2005, Quantrill has gone 1-0, 6.75 in 22 appearances. His strikeout-walk ratio is just 11-7 in 32 innings, while opponents have tattooed him for a .361 average and five homers. He relies heavily on his sinker, and it hasn’t fooled anyone since declining into the mid-80s. He’ll make $3 million this year before becoming a free agent again. His career record is 67-76, 3.82 with 21 saves in 813 games.

Redding, a 27-year-old righty, has been dealt twice in four months. He asked for a trade if he couldn’t win a job in Houston’s rotation during spring training, and the Astros obliged on March 28, shipping him to San Diego for catcher Humberto Quinitero. Redding has a plus fastball and a big-breaking curve, but he hasn’t located his pitches well since winning 10 games with a 3.68 ERA in 2003, his first full season as a major league starter. He has been a disaster this year, going 0-5, 9.10 in nine games (six starts) and missing six weeks with a shoulder strain. He has a 17-13 K-BB ratio in 30 innings, and opponents have batted .328 with seven homers against him. He’ll be arbitration-eligible again after making $750,000 in 2005. He owns a career mark of 21-33, 5.04 in 100 games.

May, a 33-year-old lefty, also changed addresses during the offseason. The Royals sent him to the Padres last November in a four-player trade that brought Terrence Long to Kansas City. The Royals foolishly gave May a two-year, $4.95 million conract after he went 10-8, 3.77 in 2003—an aberration he never has come close to repeating. This year, he has gone 1-3, 5.61 in 22 games (eight starts). Like Quantrill and Redding, May hasn’t been missing bats. He has a 32-20 K-BB ratio in 59 innings, and has given up a .303 average and 10 homers to opponents. His best pitch is his changeup, and he tries to keep hitters off balance by moving the rest of his below-average arsenal around the strike zone. May, who makes $3.225 million this year, has a career record of 26-42, 5.04 in 159 contests.

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