After the Padres cut ties with the backbone in their bullpen, they were on a mission to scour the free-agency wire to fulfill the empty hole.
San Diego made a bold move when it picked up the slumming division rival closer, Huston Street. He was coming off a career-worst campaign in Colorado, yet the Padres elected to pursue him.
Street wasted no time sinking his toes in the sand. Since coming to San Diego, he has made headlines and planted his name as the ace in the back end of the bullpen. So far, the reward has overshadowed the risk.
Street has resurfaced as one of the premiere closers in the game again, and is only improving as the season progresses.
He is oozing trade market material, but the Padres must lock a deal soon before it is too late. He is worth the money.
From the beginning of May to early June, Street had a setback in his step after he was forced to hit the disabled list after straining his lat.
Despite this minor hiccup, Street managed to corral four saves and allow one run over his first ten appearances before he was plagued by injury.
Since his return, Street has been on a tear. He has recorded eight saves and sits against a career-best 1.29 ERA. Those numbers were good enough to earn him a spot in Kansas City’s All-Star game as the lone representative of the Padres.
The Pads have seen a pleasant rise out of their young gunslinger, Andrew Cashner, who seems like a realistic candidate for the closer role if Street vanishes.
However, after Cashner’s wicked performance against the Astros, which he strung together a solid six scoreless innings of no-hit baseball, he has proven to be a potential ace in the starting rotation.
The issue which poses a threat to the front office is Street’s demanding contract that may prove to be a burden to the team. He is currently the highest paid player on the squad. Although Street has proven his worth thus far, Cashner's cost is much prettier.
The Padres thrive on cheap talent, which they have seen escape from their grip far too often. However, they always seem to choke under peer pressure when the asking prices outweigh the benefits of stationing players in San Diego.
As a Padres fan, July is the quintessential month to clean out the house and exchange old pieces for new ones. This is why their pool of talent in the minor league system is considered one of the best in the business.
Although the friars have shown some growth of recent, they are still well out of contention for a shot at October. The layout for 2013 has already begun.
That being said, there are teams that are still vying for a shot at keeping chase as their divisional battles begin to heat up. And a team like the New York Mets is a reasonable destination for Street.
At 28 years old, it is in the Padres best interest to keep hold of Street's veteran presence because he could very well be the critical ingredient necessary for their future.
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