Padres complete deal with Rangers

Padres complete deal with Rangers

The biggest deal of the Padres' busy winter is official.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Terrmel Sledge and right-handed pitcher Chris Young are San Diego-bound courtesy of the Texas Rangers in exchange for right-handed pitchers Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka and Minor League catcher Billy Killian.

"In Gonzalez, Sledge and Young, we've acquired some talented young players who have had success at the Major League level," said Padres vice president/general manager Kevin Towers. "Despite giving up some arms in Eaton and Otsuka, we feel that this is a deal that will not only benefit us in the long run, but will also make us a better ballclub in 2006."

A solid all-around player with an excellent glove, Gonzalez is expected to share first base with veteran Ryan Klesko, gradually finding a comfort level in a new league and new environment that has a familiar feel.

A San Diego native who attended Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Gonzalez was the No. 1 overall choice in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft by the Marlins.

Gonzalez, 23, batted .227 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 43 games for Texas in 2005. In 84 games with Triple-A Oklahoma, he batted .338 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder recently batted .306 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs and 43 RBIs in 67 games with Mazatlan in the Mexican Winter League.

Sledge, 28, is considered a pure hitter who will provide outfield depth and a left-handed bat off the bench.

He batted .243 with one home run and eight RBIs in 20 games with the Nationals in an injury-shortened 2005. He suffered a season-ending injury to his right hamstring on May 2 at Los Angeles and subsequently underwent successful surgery.

Sledge showed his ability to hit Major League pitching with the Montreal Expos in 2004. He has a career batting average of .267 with 16 home runs, 20 doubles, 70 RBIs and 52 runs scored in 153 games.

Young, 25, went 12-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 31 games (all starts) for the Rangers in 2005. His 12 victories tied a Texas rookie record while he ranked among Major League rookie leaders in strikeouts (137; second), wins (tied for third), ERA (fourth), starts (fifth) and innings pitched (164 2/3; fifth). Additionally, his 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fifth in the American League.

A former basketball star at Princeton, the 6-foot-10 Young has a career record of 15-9 with a 4.34 ERA. He has registered 164 strikeouts in 201 innings, across 38 games, all starts.

Eaton, 27, went 11-5 with a 4.27 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) in 2005, tying his career high in victories. From April 21 through June 9, Eaton ran off a career-high eight-game winning streak, tied for the third-longest in the National League in 2005 and the longest by a Padres pitcher since Kevin Brown won 11 consecutive decisions in 1998.

Acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-player trade on Nov. 10, 1999, Eaton has a career record of 47-41 with a 4.34 ERA in 133 outings (131 starts). He ranks among all-time franchise leaders in wins (tied for 12th), innings pitched (12th), games started (tied for 10th) and strikeouts (10th; 623).

Otsuka, 33, went 2-8 with a 3.59 ERA in 66 relief appearances for the Padres in 2005. He ranked second among Padres relievers in games pitched, while also ranking second among National League leaders with 22 holds.

In two seasons with the Padres, Otsuka, a successful closer in Japan, has a 9-10 record with a 2.57 ERA in 139 games. His 1.75 ERA in 2004 is the lowest ever by a San Diego reliever with at least 70 appearances.

Killian, 19, batted a combined .261 with 14 RBIs in 32 games at Rookie League Arizona and 14 at short-season Class A Eugene. In two Minor League seasons in the Padres organization, Killian has a career batting average of .244 with 15 doubles and 27 RBI in 89 games.

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