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Padilla traded for PTBNL

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Edit by David Cohen on December 19: The player to be named is Ricardo Rodriguez. 200+ innings of 5+ERA ball in his 4 season MLB career; 3 seasons with an ERA over 5, and 1 season with an ERA of 2. There's value for you!

Gone to Texas. I presume that somewhere, Chris Wheeler is dreamily smoking a cigarette...

The Texas Rangers have acquired right-handed starter Vicente Padilla from the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade for a player to be named, baseball sources told ESPN.com. The deal is contingent on Padilla passing a physical exam with the Rangers.

Padilla, 28, has a 51-51 record with a 3.95 ERA in seven seasons with Philadelphia and Arizona. He came to the Phillies with Omar Daal, Travis Lee and Nelson Figueroa in a trade for Curt Schilling in July 2000, and posted back-to-back 14-win, 200-inning seasons in 2002-2003.

Padilla slipped to 16-18 the past two seasons, and new Phillies general manager Pat Gillick had been actively shopping him this winter. Padilla earned $3.2 million last year and is eligible for salary arbitration.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the PTBNL might be righty reliever Ricardo Rodriguez (how's that for alliteration?). Also notes that the Phils remain in pursuit of Braden Looper, and might be thinking about bringing in Sidney Ponson. Insert "problem drinker rotation slot" joke here.

Todd Zolecki reports on the Inquirer website that the PTBNL will be either Rodriguez or "a low-level prospect believed to be an infielder."

Zolecki also sheds a little light on how Padilla's now-former teammates viewed him:

Padilla, who went 9-12 with a 4.71 ERA last season, had been maddeningly inconsistent for the last couple of seasons, with on-the-field and off-the-field issues. ... On the field, Padilla was inconsistent. The Phillies, including Padilla's teammates, often said that Padilla had the best stuff of any pitcher on the team. But he didn't pitch the way they thought he should.
But Zolecki (whom I generally think is a cut above your average beat writer type) has never seemed to think much of Padilla anyway; in his running Q&A feature, he's repeatedly taken shots at the Nicaraguan righty. That said, I can't think of anyone with or around the team who has defended Padilla since Scott Rolen, who seemed to like him in his last few months as a Phillie.

Before the trade was announced today, I was preparing an article on whether or not the Phils should offer Vicente arbitration; presumably the Rangers will now do so. Padilla's career win-lost mark and ERA compare pretty well to this guy, who just signed a deal for $55 million. If you normalize their careers for run-scoring environment, Burnett's little ERA advantage probably disappears altogether. Oh, and Padilla is both ten months younger and doesn't have the injury history that's slowed A.J. Timing is everything, and if Padilla had turned in his 2002 or 2003 campaign now (or if he does it again in '06), he'd be in line to make a hell of a lot of money.

Funny game, this baseball. I hope I'm wrong and the PTBNL turns out to be a stud, but my first guess is that this is a salary dump and a headache-removal action. !Vamanos, Vicente!