It is no secret that the San Diego Padres are going to make some moves fairly soon.
The team is not ready to compete in the N.L. and will likely move any and all assets in an attempt to gather more prospects.
The Houston Astros are a team on the rise and hold the best record in all of major league baseball. They are already printing postseason tickets in Houston, and rightfully so, as the Astros stand at 48-24 on the season and have a 12-game lead on the second place Mariners.
The two teams match up in a potential trade as the Padres will likely be moving bullpen pieces and possible veteran bats, as well as a few starting pitchers. The Astros need starting pitching, but the Padres really lack anything of interest to Houston in that regard, unless Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard, or Jhoulys Chacin catch lightning in a bottle.
The Padres do have many bullpen figures, including Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter, Kirby Yates, and Brandon Maurer that might be of interest to the playoff-bound Astros. They also could provide the Astros with some infield depth (Spangenberg, Schimpf, Solarte). The question is what do the Astros have to offer? And would they be willing to pay the asking price of the Padres’ G.M.
In researching the Astros, there has always been a player that I liked. His name is Colin Moran and he is currently the Astros #23-ranked prospect. The third baseman was drafted in the first round in 2013 (sixth overall) by the Miami Marlins out of the University of North Carolina. The left-handed hitter was traded to Houston with Francis Martes, Jake Marisnick, and a 2015 compensation pick for Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates. The deal turned out horrible for the Marlins, as Marisnick has played often for them in the past few season, while Moran and Martes are both top prospects. In fact, Martes is the Astros #1-ranked prospect and was just called up this past week. The Marlins got some service out of Cosart, but Wates is hitting .230 in Triple-A and Hernandez is a Dodger. Not to mention they gave away a pick too.
A.J. Preller is looking for a package like that for his talent. People often talk about the Astros’ powerhouse lineup being built on draft picks, but it was wise moves like the before mentioned trade and international signings which truly made them who they are. Sound familiar? That the plan in San Diego and we are witnessing it first hand.
If you are looking for value, then Moran might just be your man. He came with the pedigree of a polished hitter, but had little to no power. Well, he has changed his approach. He no longer walks as much, but he has found the ability to make best of his 6′ 4″ frame. The power is always last to develop on a hitter and it appears that is the case with this young man as he already smashed his 15th home run of the year in just 217 at bats. Moran hit only 10 in 459 at bats last year in Triple-A.
In this video taken earlier this year, Moran drives a home run to right center field. The power is certainly developing and now might be the time to get a player, who has value on the rise, at a position that the team could use some immediate help.
The Padres will be looking to make a move or two in the coming months. The team is all about rebuilding for the future.
Defensively, Moran has a rocket arm and can man the hot corner, though he doesn’t have the best range due to his below-average speed. His hands are solid and his shortcomings can be improved upon, though he will never be a speed burner.
The 24-year-old Moran could be an excellent piece for a future Padres dynasty. He has no place in the current Astros’ lineup, and is clearly ready for major league service time. His left-handed bat would look excellent in a Padre lineup that needs balance. It is a possibility, but the question is what would it take? These next few months will be fun as the team brings in further talent that could very well get this franchise over the hump into major league baseball relevancy.