Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Catching rumor of the day

With us linked to basically every veteran catcher on the market at this point (Michael Barrett, Johnny Estrada, Damian Miller, Miguel Olivo, etc.), I was kind of intrigued by the latest possibility floated in the San Diego papers:

The Astros gleaned that the Padres were willing to swap Double-A catcher Nick Hundley for corner outfielder Luke Scott, later dealt to the Orioles. Hundley might fetch Pirates corner outfielder Xavier Nady, whose right-handed power appeals to Towers. -Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune

Hundley was San Diego's second-round pick in 2005, out of the University of Arizona. Coming into the season, Baseball America rated him as the Padres' #8 overall prospect, though he didn't make their Top 10 for 2008. He spent last season in AA, where he hit .247/.324/.475, and his defensive skills are regarded as strong (particularly his throwing arm). To my knowledge, he's not related to ex-ML catcher (and steroid cheat) Todd Hundley.

We can probably substitute Pearce for Nady in RF without missing much, if anything, and between Josh Bard, Colt Morton, and Mitch Canham, the Padres have enough catching depth to deal Hundley. I'm not sure that it's entirely equitable as a 1-for-1 swap, but it's not a bad starting point for discussions, and it's certainly more interesting than some ideas I've seen floated in the press.


azibuck said...

"Steroid cheat"? Part of Nitkowski's forthrightness, which you seem to admire, was his admitting that he was seriously considering getting on the juice. Calling anyone that took steroids a "cheat" doesn't know the meaning of the word, especially as it pertains to fringe players.

Vlad said...

I agree that "cheat" is kind of a loaded word in this context, and I mostly brought it up as a way of preemptively disqualifying steroids as a source of impact on Nick Hundley's career. Still, I think it's pretty indisputable that using steroids was cheating; the only question there is whether it's a minor act (like sloping the base paths to make bunts run foul), a medium act (like throwing a spitball), or a major one (like fixing games). I've been thinking about this for a couple of years now, and I still go back and forth a bit on that one.

There are a number of things that I find admirable about Nitkowski. The biggest one is his willingness to stand behind his trainer when the guy's in public disgrace. It would've been a lot easier for him to bail on the guy, and he's actually taking some risk with his own career by supporting McNamee the way he is.

I think it's understandable that Nitkowski would consider using steroids, but (if his account is to be believed) he ultimately decided not to do so. Temptation is universal, but the ability to withstand temptation isn't.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Why don't the Pirates just sign Benito Santiago again and be done with it?

RichieHebner said...

Please, no Barrett or Estrada.

pirate in va said...

Is the consensus among fans, not management, that we need a replacement for Paulino? It appears that from a numbers standpoint (hitting and throwing out runners) that Paulino is above the league averages for catchers. There is lots of discussion about his problems with passed balls and calling games. Is that what fans are clammoring about?
Personally, I think an upgrade at third is more pressing than worrying about taking a flyer on a 30 something trying to have a big year to get a big contract somewhere else.
Just some thoughts.
Vlad-I like the blog so far.