…Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, who just made what might be the worst trade of the summer. Scott Linebrink has not had a good season for the Padres. His QuikERA (my preferred version of PERA) is 4.78, and that’s pitching against National League West hitters in Petco Park. Yeah, Linebrink been better than this in the past, but relief pitchers have short life spans, and the general rule is that declines in their peripheral performances are fairly sticky. I doubt that he’d PECOTA out at better than a 4.50 ERA in Miller Park if we re-ran his numbers today. Nor is it clear that he’s any better than the fourth or fifth best pitcher in the Brewer bullpen.
The first reaction on our internal mailing list was “What? The Padres are selling?”. But I tend to turn that sentiment around thusly: for Kevin Towers to break form and trade a near-term asset in the midst of a pennant race means that he simply got too much offer to refuse. Teams already err on the side of applying discount rates that are far too steep on future seasons, but everyone has their breaking point; if the Diamondbacks offered Justin Upton to the Yankees for Andy Pettitte, would they dare refuse? Now, Will Inman is not Justin Upton, and the Padres will give up draft picks in the deal. But frankly, if Towers turned around tomorrow and tried to trade Inman for a nine-week rental, he could probably come up with a player who is far more valuable than Linebrink.