In recent days, A.L. West foes, the Arizona Diamondbacks, have reportedly made shortstop, Nick Ahmed, available to other teams.
After being basically pushed out of his starting role due to the off-season additions of Ketel Marte and Daniel Descalso and the emergence of Ildemaro Vargas, the Diamondbacks have effectively put Ahmed on the “trade block”.
The San Diego Padres have had interest in Ahmed in the past, and you can see why they would, being that Luis Sardinas and Erick Aybar are the only options currently for the team in an everyday role for the 2017 season. A potential trade makes sense on so many levels.
First of all, Dave Stewart, former General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, decimated the teams’ farm system. The Diamondbacks need prospects, and the Padres just so happen to be loaded with them, at virtually every level.
The Padres will likely have to give up a decent prospect in exchange for Ahmed. The name Josh Naylor has been thrown around among Padres fans, but I believe the Padres are possibly stashing him for a much better trade down the line. A.J. Preller does not want to give up one of his top prospects, so I see it as unlikely that he will give up anybody in the top-20 prospects. Besides, the D-Backs have a pretty decent first baseman currently in Paul Goldschmidt.
In addition to a young prospect, the Padres could trade a major league-caliber reliever like a Kevin Quackenbush or a Buddy Baumann. This part of the trade works out well since the Padres have an abundance of relievers and the Diamondbacks have a need for relief pitching.
Another positive thing about potentially acquiring Nick Ahmed is that Andy Green was the Diamondbacks’ third base coach just before being appointed Padres manager. He knows exactly what kind of ball player Ahmed is.
Andy Green has expressed his friendship with Ahmed, and also has expressed his love for Ahmed’s defense. In fact, Nick Ahmed is one of the premiere defensive shortstops in the game, saving 34 defensive runs and recording a UZR rating of +20. If acquired, Green would have fun slotting Ahmed into his defensive shifts that he loves so very much.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) March 17, 2017
Don’t worry, Nick Ahmed isn’t the permanent shortstop for the future. I see him as somewhat of a filler, until one of the youngsters in the minor leagues emerges as a true major league-caliber shortstop. I can also see A.J. Preller trading Ahmed at the deadline this year or next year. He has value.
If A.J. Preller feels the need to throw another shortstop into the mix, the most viable option currently seems to be Nick Ahmed. It should be interesting to see what the Padres’ front office will do in the next couple of weeks before opening day. Trades within the division are always difficult, but anything can happen and Preller has already shown the ability to be creative in trades. Stay tuned.