Padres Deal For Rockies’ Street To Fill Closer Vacancy

The Deal
The Padres traded for deposed Rockies closer Huston Street, assuming $6.5 million of his $7.5 million salary for 2012 and surrendering a player to be named to Colorado. We may know the identity of the PTBN as soon as Thursday, Dec. 8, following the Rule 5 draft.

UPDATE: The Padres traded high Class A lefty Nick Schmidt to the Rockies to complete the deal. (Dec. 9)

The Padres sought a veteran closer such as Street because their bullpen lacked an anchor after the departures of 2011 closer Heath Bell (recently signed as a free agent by the Marlins) and set-up man Mike Adams (traded to the Rangers in July for pitching prospects Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin). While Street pitched to a career-best 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2011, his extreme flyball tendencies ought to yield better results in San Diego’s Petco Park than they did in Denver’s Coors Field. According to FanGraphs, Street ranked among the most flyball- and homer-prone relievers in the game over the course of the past three seasons, at least among the 88 bullpen arms with at least 150 innings. He allowed flyballs on 43.5 percent of balls in play (21st highest) and 1.18 homers per nine innings (seventh highest).

Rockies Acquire
Nick Schmidt, lhp
Age: 26.
Born: Oct. 10, 1985 in St. Louis.
Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 245. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Arkansas.
Career Transactions: Selected by Padres in first round (23rd overall) of 2007 draft; signed July 3, 2007 … On disabled list, April 1-Sept. 17, 2008.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Lake Elsinore (CAL) HiA 3 5 3.84 12 12 0 63.1 62 35 27 7 23 58 1.34
AZL Padres R 1 1 4.50 2 2 0 8 8 4 4 0 3 9 1.38

The 23rd overall pick in 2007, Schmidt required Tommy John surgery just seven innings into his pro career and missed the entire 2008 season. He hasn’t topped 100 innings in any of three subsequent seasons, though his three-pitch mix intrigues scouts. While Schmidt’s physicality suggests he could hold up as a starter, his health record is spotty at best. He may find smoother sailing in the bullpen, where his sneaky, low-90s fastball, mid-80s changeup and big-breaking curveball would play up. Schmidt finished the California League season with a flourish, going 2-0, 1.29 in three playoff starts for league-champion Lake Elsinore, racking up 25 strikeouts in 21 innings while allowing just six walks and 10 hits.

Padres Acquire
Huston Street, rhp
Age: 28. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $7.5 million, then $500,000 buyout to void $9 million player option for 2013 (Rockies sent $1 million in the deal).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Colorado (NL) 2011 1 4 3.86 62 0 29 58.1 62 28 25 10 9 55 1.22
3-Year Totals 9 9 3.50 170 0 84 167.1 144 71 65 22 33 170 1.06

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