Despite a strong start to the 2014 season, there is a report circulating that San Diego Padres catcher Nick Hundley has been put on the trade market by his club. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres are in “active discussions” with other teams about the 30-year-old catcher, and it makes a great deal of sense given the future of the position in San Diego and the contract Hundley is carrying.
In the same article from Lin, Hundley was asked about rumblings that he would be moved, and had this to say:
“I’ve been around this game too long to speculate on things like that. Those are decisions that are outside of my pay grade. As an employee of the San Diego Padres, it’s my job to prepare and to help us win. That’s my only job. Whether I’m a Padre for my entire career or not, it’s an irrelevant fact. The only important thing is I come prepared to help us win.”
Hundley peaked as a player during a 2011 season that saw him achieve 3.3 fWAR on the strength of stellar defense and a .477 slugging percentage in 308 plate appearances, and for the entirety of his career, he has put together a very respectable 7.2 fWAR in 1,775 plate appearances on the strength of his defensive profile. Still, Hundley has fallen out of favor thanks to a horrible 2012 season (.157/.219/.245 slash line) and the emergence of Yasmani Grandal, and it makes sense to move him with $4 million left on his deal.
The Padres shouldn’t be short on interest for Hundley, and a contending team with a catcher weakness and/or injury would seem like the perfect landing spot.