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Padres acquire Randa from Reds

Padres acquire Randa from Reds

PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres satisfied their need for a consistent right-handed bat and an everyday third baseman with the acquisition of veteran Joe Randa from the Reds on Saturday in exchange for a pair of Minor League pitchers.

Going to Cincinnati are Justin Germano, 22, and Travis Chick, 21. Both are right-handers who were considered candidates for spots on the Padres' roster, Germano as a starter, Chick as a reliever. Germano had a brief stint with the Padres last season, going 1-3 with an 8.86 ERA.

"I've gotten to see [Randa] a lot over the years," said Padres general manager Kevin Towers, who completed the deal. "He's one of those guys I've admired. He flies under the radar, but he's a .285 hitter who hits a lot of doubles, a guy who plays the game the way it should be played.

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"He's a baseball player. He doesn't have a big superstar name, but if you watch him day in and day out, you appreciate him more."

Randa, 35, signed a one-year deal with the Reds this season for $2.15 million after spending eight of his first 10 Major League seasons with the Royals. He will report to the Padres on Sunday.

"I was very excited to hear that San Diego might be in the possibilities," said Randa, adding he wasn't surprised by the deal. "I've played against [Mark] Loretta and [Brian] Giles. They both know how to play the game. They play the game like I like to think I do.

"I look forward to being a complement. I've played for [Padres bench coach] Tony Muser, and he's one of my favorite people."

Randa is batting .289 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound gap hitter has 26 doubles and has scored 44 runs. He has a .356 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentages. He is coming off a 3-for-5 performance on Friday night in which he homered and drove in three runs. Before that, he was in a 4-for-32 spin.

"My last at-bat as a Red was a home run," Randa said, "so I went out in style." "I've played in big ballparks before," he said. "I stick to my game. I'm a line-drive, gap-to-gap guy."

Randa is a career .286 hitter with 115 homers, 691 RBIs and 297 doubles in 1,375 games. He's considered a solid defender with average speed; knee injuries having slowed him in recent seasons.

His .971 fielding percentage over the past four years is the highest among American League third basemen, surpassed only by the Marlins' Mike Lowell and the Cardinals' Scott Rolen during that period.

Randa is batting .302 against left-handers over the past four seasons. The Padres are batting only .245 against southpaws with 17 homers in 902 at-bats. They feel Randa will provide balance in a lineup loaded with left-handed hitters, notably Dave Roberts, Ryan Klesko and Giles.

"We haven't been getting a lot of production at the position, and this guy's as consistent as anybody," Towers said. "Our ballpark, we feel, will be good for him. We were looking for another right-handed bat. We've struggled against left-handers.

"It's not often you're in this position at the deadline in first place. As much as we hated to move Travis and Justin, we didn't have to give up anything on our big club."

The Padres, Randa said, "have a good makeup of a team. They have a good manager. There are a lot of positives going on there. They're in a pennant race. It's going to be a lot of fun [playing] a lot of games that mean something."

As for his impending free agency, Randa said, "Right now, I'm focused on what's at stake now. But San Diego's always been on my map. I've had my agent talk to them the last couple years, but we just didn't get anything worked out."

Padres bench coach Tony Muser managed Randa in Kansas City and offering a glowing endorsement.

"He does a good job on defense and can hit you 12 to 15 homers, maybe 20 in a good year," Muser said. "He's a doubles hitter -- not a thumper, but a guy you can rely on consistently. He usually hits his homers when you make a mistake inside or over the middle. He can turn on a ball.

"I remember hitting him second in the order with his ability to hit to right-center. He can hit fifth, sixth. He's going to put the ball in play. Late in a game, you can move the runners and depend on him to make contact.

"He's a good guy on a club."

Muser took to calling Randa "Joker" in Kansas City after people kept asking the manager why Randa was always smiling.

"I'd tell them that's not a smile, it's his normal look," Muser said. "That's when he got the nickname 'Joker.'" Reds manager Jerry Narron feels Randa will thrive on the challenge of playing big games in the fall.

"One thing I think Joe's going to find out is just how much he's missed over the last 10 years not playing in October," Narron said. "And he's got a chance with that club out there to experience something that he's not gone through before.

"He's definitely going to be missed. This guy's been a quality guy in the clubhouse, and he's done an outstanding job on the field."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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