Ceda was signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2004. He pitched for the Padres’ Dominican Summer League team in 2005, and was 4-2 with a 1.50 ERA, two complete games, and 83 strikeouts in 60 innings.
This year, with the Arizona League squad, the right-hander was 2-0 with an ERA slightly above five. Those numbers may be somewhat misleading, as Ceda allowed nine runs in his first two appearances with the team, spanning five innings.
Since then, he has picked up two wins and allowed four earned runs and 12 hits over his last six appearances, a span of 18 innings. He made four starts and appeared in four games from relief.
“We have the same info as everyone else,” one Cubs minor league official said after the trade. “He’s a young kid with a great arm and a great body.”
One Padres official who saw the 6’4”, 207-lb Ceda in action with the team this season was San Diego Director of International Scouting, Randy Smith.
“Jose Ceda is a guy we signed basically in a rain storm throwing in the Dominican inside the batting cage,” Smith told MadFriars.com, the Padres’ equivalent to Inside The Ivy on the Scout.com network. “Last year, he hit 99 a few times. It doesn’t necessarily mean success, but it sure is a nice way to start.”
The Cubs and Padres swung their second swap in recent days Monday. On July 22, the Cubs sent RHP Scott Williamson to San Diego for minor league pitchers Fabian Jimenez and Joel Santo.
“He throws pretty well,” said Padres minor league catcher Clint Naylor, a teammate of Ceda’s on the Padres’ rookie league club. “He has a bit of sting. He is quite good. He has the best fastball - it is pretty straight but 98.”