The Minnesota Twins seem to be a likely trade partner as they have two switch-hitting, major league ready, young shortstops. Danny Santana and Eduardo Escobar are both on their major league roster. Santana is 24-years old and hit .319 last year in 101 games for the Twins. He is currently the Twins starting shortstop, but was used in center field last season too, while Eduardo Escobar manned shortstop.
Danny Santana also slugged seven home runs and drove in 40 runs while stealing 20 stolen bases. The young Dominican played a very decent center field and probably an even better shortstop. In 261.2 innings last season at short, Santana only made two errors. That gave him a .983 fielding percentage, when the league average is .973. Not that bad at all.
Escobar is a Venezuelan native who has been in the major leagues for five seasons with the Twins and Chicago Whitesox. The 26-year old played well last season in which he finally was given an opportunity to play most of the season. Escobar played in 133 games and totaled 433 at bats. He hit .275 with 6 homers and had 37 runs batted in. Escobar had an equally impressive fielding percentage at shortstop last season. He only committed five errors in 771.2 innings. That gave him a .986 fielding percentage. A very impressive young duo at shortstop.
Neither shortstop is a blue chip prospect and neither would cost the Padres must in terms of value. However, both are in the Twins plans and are currently be utilized by the team. So if a trade was to be consummated then the Twins would have to probably get a middle infielder in return. (I’m just saying). With Ervin Santana‘s suspension of 80 games for PED’s, the Twins have a glaring weakness in the starting rotation.
Ian Kennedy‘s injury probably makes Despaigne unattainable, but maybe someone like Robbie Erlin interests the Twins. Erlin is major league ready, but has no spot on the Padres rotation now or in the future.
The Twins have many players I personally like a lot. They have a very strong farm system that is just about to take stage. Byron Buxton, Nick Gordon, Alex Meyer, Miguel Sano, Kohl Stewart, Jose Berrios and Nick Burdi are all highly regarded prospects by major league baseball standards. With all those names down on the farm, they probably could move some decent young players like Aaron Hicks or Kennys Vargas if they feel compelled to.
Vargas is a mammoth young first baseman who reminds me of David Ortiz. With Yonder Alonso playing well, I don’t believe he would be of interest to the Padres. Also, like David Ortiz, Vargas is probably better suited to be a DH. His first base skills are lacking, simply put. Not a good fit for the National League playing San Diego Padres.
Aaron Hicks is the prototypical Petco park center fielder. He is blessed with a rocket arm and has a lot of pure skill, just has yet to harness it all. Hicks can be a force on defense. The problem is he has a career .201 batting average in 467 major league plate appearances. With a whopping 140 strike outs, and only nine home runs, he is currently in the minor leagues.
At the age of 25, Hicks is still young enough to put it all together. He reminds me a lot if Carlos Gomez, a former Twin farm hand who could never put it together while in the Twin cities. Hicks might be a hidden treasure, but he is not a shortstop.
The Twins would deal Danny Santana, as he never showed the offensive numbers in the minors that he showed last season in 101 games. However he would not be all that cheap. It would take Alexi Amarista, Robbie Erlin and a middle reliever for Santana and a mid level prospect. The middle reliever could be anyone from Joaquin Benoit all the way down to Aaron Northcraft. It depends on how much Preller values Santana at shortstop and covets him. Santana would give the Padres a lead-off hitter and shortstop with speed. Something they surely would like to attain. If they covet Escobar, then the Twins would surely ask for less.