Cashman needs to trade for Josh Bard immediately

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The Padres just picked up heavyweight champ Michael Barrett from the Cubbies, leaving the incumbent Josh Bard in a precarious position. Now Bard isn’t nearly as good as his 2006 numbers suggest (.338-.406-.537, 9 HR & 40 RBI while splitting time with the Pizza-man), but he’s better than his 2007 showing (.253-.335-.349, 2 HR, 19 RBI in full-time duty) as his career line suggests (.267-.330-.408).

Bard would unquestionably be an upgrade over Wil Nieves, but he’s also an almost ideal backup:

  • He doesn’t strikeout all that much (1 K every 6.4 AB, compared to 1 every 4.2 AB for Jorge and 1 every 6 for Wilbert).
  • He’s relatively cheap ($1.05M salary, but that’s because of a healthy arbitration raise after his career year last year).
  • He switch hits.
  • He’s got experience working with a young pitching staff from his Cleveland days (for when Hughes, Joba, et al come along).
  • He’s a great clubhouse guy; I’m talking captain material.

San Diego already has a solid backup catcher in Rob Bowen, and Bud Black doesn’t strike me as a three-catcher kind of manager. What would it take to get him? I have no idea, but I’d try to swing a Tyler Clippard & Brett Gardner for Bard & Cesar Ramos deal. Gardner makes sense for the Pads, they’ll need a cheap, speedy centerfielder to cover the gaps when Mike Cameron hits the bricks as a FA this winter, and Tyler Clippard, well, you all know how I feel about him. Ramos is similar to Clippard, except he’s a southpaw, he’s from a big time college program (Dirtbags in da house!) and has pitched some in some huge games.

Cash has to pull the trigger on this one, it’s a chance to upgrade one of the club’s weakest spots without having to forfeit a ton of talent, and/or getting locked into a soon-to-be albatross contract ($19.1M to Helton in 2011? Sheesh). Just think of how awesome it’ll be when Bard gets that big hit against the Red Sox to help win the Yanks the division.

Update: Turns out the Rob Bowen was part of the package that went to the Windy City; maybe the Pads will take Wilbert as part of a deal…

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Hughes to start throwing within a week
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  • Gibb

    That would be awesome, but mlbtraderumors says that the padres sent Rob Bowen as part of the deal.

  • http://ducksnorts.com/blog/ Geoff Young

    Nieves didn’t have a real good run in SD back in ’02; doubt anyone is in a hurry to see him back here.

  • John

    I would call that trade the steal of the year.
    I’d be willing to go Clippard, DeSalvo, and Gardner just for Bard. The few times I saw him he seemed like a solid defensive catcher.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Hey, Geoff. I don’t think any team is in a hurry to see Nieves on their roster…

  • Rich

    You list all his offensive accomplishments, how is he defensively?

  • http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/rings/ Sean McNally

    Forget Bard… he can’t catch the knuckler, so clearly he’s terrible ;-)

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Sean, a backhanded slap to Varitek is always appreciated around these parts.

  • Mike from CT (formerly of DC)

    I would love to have the right deal for Bard, but Barrett is a free agent after this year, do y’all really thing the Padres are going to trade him and risk not having any catcher next year?

    Sadly, it ain’t going to happen.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    Everyone’s got a price, Mike, and Bard ain’t exactly a catch. The Padres would give him up for the right price.

  • Rich

    Considering how little Torre would play Bard, there is no way that I would give up Clippard. I think he’s worth more anyway.

  • neil

    Chase Wright for Bard?

    or Clippard for Bard and Meridth?