The Padres have traded pitchers Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter to the Royals for pitchers Matt Strahm and Travis Wood, infielder Esteury Ruiz and cash, a major-league source confirmed Monday afternoon. FanRag’s Robert Murray was first to report the deal.
The Royals, who are currently tied with the Rays for the second wild card spot in the American League, have been looking for pitching depth all month after establishing themselves as deadline buyers. In today’s deal, Kansas City acquires a starter and Cahill and two relievers-- one righty and one lefty-- in Maurer and Buchter.
Cahill, 29, has posted a solid 3.69 ERA and 3.39 FIP in 11 starts with San Diego after signing a one-year deal over the winter. He emerged as one of the top rental starting options on this year’s market (along with new Twin Jaime Garcia) and will slot in behind Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas and Jason Hammel in the Royals’ rotation for the rest of the season.
Maurer, 27, has struggled to a 5.72 ERA while registering 20 saves for San Diego this season. He’s under control through the 2019 season and was also connected to the Yankees in trade rumors earlier in the month.
Buchter, 30, is in the midst of his second consecutive solid season for San Diego, owning a 3.05 ERA and 11.0 K/9 in 38.1 innings. He posted a 2.68 ERA mark in 63 innings last season and will be Royals’ property through the 2021 season.
San Diego was known to be shopping any player on its roster not named Wil Myers and made its first strike today by unloading the trio of pitchers to Kansas City. Lefty Brad Hand is the club’s most valuable trade chip, though it doesn’t appear general manager A.J. Preller is close to unloading Hand at the moment.
Strahm, a lefty who will miss the rest of this season due to knee surgery, posted a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings as a reliever last year for the Royals before struggling to a 5.45 ERA in 34.2 innings this year. He has potential as a starter in the majors once healthy, giving the Padres an option they control through the end of the 2022 season. He was recently ranked by Baseball America as the Royals’ second-best prospect.
Wood, 30, drew strong interest from San Diego before signing a 2-year, $12 million deal with Kansas City late in the winter. He may get a chance to start for the Padres in the short-term after struggling to an inflated 6.91 ERA in 41.2 innings over 28 appearances (three starts) with the Royals. Kansas City will reportedly pay the remaining $7.8 million on Wood’s deal over the next two years, with the clubs likely splitting the $1.5 million buyout on the lefty’s $8 million mutual option for 2019.
Ruiz, 18, is hitting a robust .419/.440/.779 with three homers in 21 games for the Royals’ rookie affiliate this season. While his youth has caused him not to show up on prospect rankings to this point, he is seen as a high-upside second base option for San Diego down the road.