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Cubs Deal Michael Barrett to Padres

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The Cubs have traded catcher Michael Barrett to the Padres for catcher Rob Bowen and 19 year-old outfielder Kyler Burke. Barrett had a much-publicized clubhouse fight with pitcher Carlos Zambrano a couple weeks ago, and he also picked a fight with A.J. Pierzynski last year. To be fair, there are probably about five hundred major leaguers who'd like to punch Pierzynski in the face, but Barrett actually did it, and he's been in two fights now, so he probably isn't the world's sweetest guy.

He is, however, a good baseball player, and he'll be an immediate upgrade for the Padres, who've spent too long this year hoping that Josh Bard's fluky 2006 actually meant something. Padres GM Kevin Towers has shown a knack recently for taking advantage when other teams get desperate and/or stupid - he grabbed Cla Meredith and Bard last year when the Red Sox realized that Doug Mirabelli was the only guy who could catch Tim Wakefield, he got Marcus Giles on the cheap last year when the Braves non-tendered him, and he got two young stars in Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young from the Rangers for pennies on the dollar.

Anyway, the key to this trade will probably turn out to be Burke - he's a very young 2006 supplemental pick. He's struggled in the early going, so perhaps the Padres have good reason for not worrying too much about him, but there's still plenty of time for him to turn it around. In the meantime, this trade is a big win for the Padres.