I really hate Padres GM AJ Preller. There’s just something about him that seems really sleazy to me. Like… he should be coaching football in the SEC or some shit, but instead he’s running the Padres. That’s not to say that he’s not great at what he does, because he is, but he just comes off as such a snake in the grass to me.
Oh what’s that? AJ Preller has already been suspended for skirting rules before? Ya don’t say!
Whatever though, fake it til ya make it I guess. But there’s vehemently bending rules, then there’s adhering to them in a way that is blatantly a means to suppress service time and a player’s potential earnings. Sending Chris Paddack to AAA right now is ABSURD. They’re only 5 games out of the wild card
and Chris Paddack is their best pitcher by FAR this year.
The Padres’ excuse, at least at face value, is valid. They’re more than likely not seeing a wild card birth this year and they are thinking long term and not near term. It’s important to protect young arms. But if that’s the case, he shouldn’t be throwing a single pitch in AAA. Give him 2 weeks off or whatever and recall him. That’s the only way I’m buying that this isn’t a complete and total manipulation of service time.
Now most people know that teams hold down players to start the season in a way to accrue and extra year of control when before they’re eligible for free agency. Each team is guaranteed 6 years of control of a player, assuming that player plays 6 full seasons on the team. Now each “season” is technically 187 days. If a player exceeds 172 total days on the active 25 man roster, they are counted as having played a full season in any given year. Doesn’t matter if he’s in AAA at the beginning, middle or end of the year. There are other intricacies to the rule if a player is on the 40 man or not, but that’s the gist of it.
However, most organizations hold players down at the beginning of the year. I mean… I get it. 7 years of control is better for the team than 6, especially when that player only needs to be held down 15 days or so. But Chris Paddack started the season on the 25 man. Sending him down after he’s been far and away their best pitcher isn’t protecting him, it’s manipulating his earning power. It’s a really, really bad look on the Padres, at least in my opinion. That is, again, unless they don’t pitch him at all in AAA. If he’s only going to be pitching an inning or two every 4-5 days in order to protect his arm, stick him in the Padres pen for the rest of the month then. That’d strengthen their pen and limit his innings. Win/win. But that’s not what this is. This guy said it best:
Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining. This is a bullshit move by AJ Preller and the Padres, and one that is birthed out of a lack of a desire to win baseball games in the now. This is something that HAS to change in the next CBA because it’s keeping some of baseball’s best stars out of the show when they’re A. clearly ready and even worse B. clearly dominating, like Paddack has been.
UPDATE: Okay so there is a technicality in the rule I was not aware of and an agent helped explain it to me:
If a player is optionally assigned for a total of less than 20 days in one championship season, such option assignment(s) shall not count as an optional assignment in connection with the limitation upon optional assignments provided for a Major League Rule. 11(c). See article XXI(B)
so basically what *probably* is going to happen is this: AJ Preller called up Scott Boras (Paddock’s agent) and said “we want to keep him fresh and healthy, we’re going to “option” him for 19 days and he’s not going to pitch”. In this case the option will not count against the player and he will more than likely have 1.000 service days at the end of the season. So it’s *probably* (read: actually) a case in which Paddock is actually being limited to keep him healthy. That said, if he’s down for 20 or more, I was completely correct. But that wouldn’t really make sense at this like… at all.
That said… this service clock shit still sucks and needs to be fixed.
It takes a man of honor, integrity and gumption to admit a mistake. I am doing that here. I fucked up on 99% of this blog. The one part I didn’t fuck up was calling AJ Preller a sleaze bag. Fuck him
I’ll hit the weights and come back better tomorrow