Maddux dealt to Dodgers for prospects
There's a chance right-hander could return to Padres in '09
PHOENIX -- Greg Maddux is officially no longer with the Padres.After waiving his no-trade clause and clearing waivers, Maddux has been traded to the Dodgers for two Minor League players to be named later, Padres GM Kevin Towers confirmed Tuesday. The Dodgers had tried to acquire the 353-game winner before the Trade Deadline, but couldn't match what the Padres wanted in return. But after ace Brad Penny went back on the disabled list, the Dodgers had a growing need for a starting pitcher. Towers said the Dodgers' new offer was much better than the one they made before the deadline. "From a selfish standpoint, I would have loved to have kept him around because he was a pro and was a big part of this ballclub both last year and this year, but from a business standpoint we got the best deal that we could," Towers said. "He had that no-trade provision in his contract, and there was only one place he wanted to go, so it kind of hurt us from a leverage standpoint, but hopefully we'll be able to extract a couple good prospects from the Dodgers." The Padres are still picking up a considerable amount of Maddux's contract, which had $2.3 million remaining for the season's final six weeks. Towers wouldn't divulge how much of his contract the Padres would pay or even what two players they will receive in return, but he did say the Padres can select two of five players from a list the Dodgers made. The Padres can select the two players from the Dodgers' system at any time, but the Padres wanted to scout the players on the list a little further before the Minor League season ends in two weeks. The Padres have until Oct. 15 to place the players on their roster. "I certainly enjoyed having Greg here the last year and a half," Towers said. "It's always difficult to move him within the division, especially the Dodgers." Towers said his biggest fear is Maddux will return to PETCO Park as a member of the Dodgers, and he won't be warmly received well by Padres fans, much like in 1999 when Kevin Brown was heavily booed upon his return to Qualcomm Stadium after a season with the Padres. "This guy was willing to stay. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience in San Diego. Even though we weren't winning, he was willing to grind it out for the next six weeks and remain a Padre. He pretty much put it in my hands. "We're 16 games out. In a month and a half he's going to be a free agent. It was either we keep him here on a ballclub that's losing, or hopefully extract a couple prospects that will hopefully impact our club here in the future. "We certainly never would have made this deal if we were in contention right now, but we're not. What we had to weigh was six or seven more starts of Greg Maddux. What does that do for us as an organization?" Maddux could be back in a Padres uniform in 2009, although it likely wouldn't be a bargain. Maddux is just one win away from tying Roger Clemens on the all-time wins list. Maddux was a victim of the worst run support in the Major Leagues and went 14 starts without winning a game, the longest span of his career. With the Padres, Maddux went 20-20 in 60 games. "Greg was a great representative of our team," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Great for the pitchers, great for the position players, great for the coaching staff, great for the organization. One of the most enjoyable guys that I've managed." To fill Maddux's spot in the rotation, the Padres will call up a starter from Triple-A Portland, rather than use veterans like Shawn Estes or Brett Tomko. Estes pitched Tuesday in a rehab start for Portland and wouldn't be available to pitch on three days' rest on Saturday. Black developed a short list of starters to be recalled from Portland, including Cesar Ramos and Josh Geer. Ramos is 9-9 with a 5.24 ERA; Geer is 8-8 with a 4.44 ERA.
Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.