The Padres Have Indeed Inquired About Christian Yelich, But What Would it Take?

Credit: MLB

The San Diego Padres are reportedly one of the many teams that have inquired about Miami Marlins outfielder, Christian Yelich.

Yelich has made it known that he is unhappy about the recent trades of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna as the Marlins have been in full sell mode. They might be willing to trade their last star outfielder, as well as his contract.

While San Diego is willing to play ball with the organization, it would take a lot to get the outfielder. But with the Padres trading for shortstop Freddy Galvis and having conversations with Scott Boras’ client Eric Hosmer, it is not much of a stretch to see A.J. Preller and the rest of the Padres front office willing to dip into their vast prospect pool to acquire the talented outfielder.

The 6′ 3″ Yelich is a left-handed bat and has been one of the most consistent hitters in MLB. He has hit over .280 in each season he has played, while also having an OBP of at least .360 in each of those seasons as well. The outfielder has also ran into some power as he has aged, hitting 21 and 18 home runs in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Last season, Yelich had a batting line of .282/.369/.439 while sporting a healthy BABIP of .336. His 19.7 K% is also balanced out by a BB% of 11.5, which means Yelich is willing to take a walk. He is also a threat on the base paths as he pilfered 16 bases in 18 attempts.

Yelich was placed in center field as an experiment during the 2017 season, but he is a much better left fielder. Yelich had -6 defensive runs saved and posted a UZR of 0.1, yet still ranked 11th of all MLB center fielders in DRS. To compare, Manuel Margot had eight DRS and a 5.2 UZR as a center fielder and Jose Pirela had four DRS and a 4.1 UZR as a left fielder. In 2016, however, Yelich played both left and center field and had 6 DRS and a -0.1 UZR collectively. Yelich picked up a Gold Glove award in 2014 thanks to collecting 11 DRS and a 9.9 UZR, both of which were career highs. He has great ability with the glove and would help solidify the outfield no matter where he plays.

If Yelich were to be traded to San Diego, he would most likely slot in left or right field in place of Pirela or Hunter Renfroe, respectively. Yelich can still offer some solid glove work and sneaky base running, but it will be his bat that would earn him a daily spot in the lineup and offer protection for hitters like Austin Hedges and Wil Myers.

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It would take quite a lot to actually acquire him. Miami is asking for deals that eclipse both the Ozuna and Stanton deals and would most likely be interested in one or two of the Padres’ top five prospects. The Marlins would most likely want one or two of Mackenzie Gore, Fernando Tatis Jr, Cal Quantrill, or Luis Urias. The Marlins picked up three pitching prospects from the Cardinals for Ozuna as well as a left-handed outfielder. Miami would be interested in the talents of Quantril (No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com), Anderson Espinoza (N0. 6 prospect), or Joey Lucchesi ( No. 9 prospect) to match the pitching talent they’ve previously acquired (please note that I’m not saying the Padres should trade all three of these players, just that the Marlins would be interested in acquiring at least one of them).

The Fish are also looking for outfield help thanks to their gutting of the outfield. So they may be interested in players like Franchy Cordero (No.12 prospect) and/or Jorge Ona (No. 11 Prospect), as Cordero’s speed and power as well as Ona’s power ceiling may intrigue the Marlins enough to pull the trigger on a deal. Of course, the Padres could also include players like Pirela or Travis Jankowski if Miami wants major league talent.

Any way you slice it, the Padres would have to probably eat some (bad) salary on a deal. Wei-Yin Chen or Martin Prado make sense as the Marlins wish to cut as much salary as they can. The Padres have payroll flexibility at the moment and the amount of bad money the Padres take in a proposed deal might dictate what prospects the Marlins get back in return. Chen is owed $52 million while Prado is owed $28.5. Either player could help offset the fact that Yelich is signed at a bargain price.

It will be interesting to see how a new ownership would deal with Preller after the last trade involving Colin Rea. In 2016, the Padres sent Andrew Cashner, Tayron Guerrero, and Rea to the Marlins for Carter Capps, Jarred Cosart, Josh Naylor, and Luis Castillo. However, Rea was injured in his first start with the Marlins and the Padres reworked the trade, sending Castillo back to the Marlins for Rea. Miami cried foul however and insisted that the medical records were not completely accurate. The Marlins felt cheated and felt that the Padres had sent them an injured player, and joined the Boston Red Sox in filing a grievance against the Padres. After an investigation by the MLB, Preller was given a thirty-day suspension and the Padres made swift efforts to reinforce their medical staff.

This is a new Marlins team, however, that would be willing to make trades with Preller if it meant acquiring talent. Preller seems to be interested in Yelich and, if this is the year the Padres push for .500, a player of his caliber would be worth acquiring even if it meant sacrificing top talent. The future is looking bright for this Padres squad, and Christian Yelich would make it even brighter.

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Jason Freund

I am currently attending Grossmont College and have been a big fan of San Diego Sports for years. I currently have media credentials with the San Diego Sockers and am a proud member of the KUSI Prep Pigskin Report. My future goal is to work as a reporter for a proffesional sports team. I look forward to contributing to this site and hope to write some great stories.


This article has 29 Comments

  1. If the Padres gave Miami all of their top ten prospects, would they be giving up anything? San Diego’s top 10 in 2010, for example:

    1) Donavan Tate, OF
    2) Simon Castro, RHP
    3) James Darnell, 3B
    4) Jaff “Commodore” Decker, OF
    5) Wynn Pelzer, RHP
    6) Everett Williams, Grade B
    7) Logan Forsythe, 3B,
    8) Edinson Rincon, 3B
    9) Cory Luebke, LHP
    10) Aaron Poreda

    Why is it that fans assume all their top prospects are future stars, when almost all the time they don’t amount to shit?

    1. Really!? All of those picks are from past regimes and you seem to have missed the shift in baseball to coveting the stockpile of UNDER 20 prospects. Are the Astros wrong? The Cubs? Dodgers? Etc. Not to mention that this is not football with its itty bitty draft.

    2. What kind of an argument is this? I understand you are mad about what is going on, but the Padres system is easily a top-3 system and rising, as the majority of their players are 17-22 and in the low minors.

          1. I personally think this may in fact work. I would personally swap Morejon out for Espinoza, but this is still a nice proposal

      1. You want to trade for a guy who will be the team’s best player, on a great contract, w/o giving up even Fernando Tatis Jr. – amazing.

        1. I certainly wouldn’t give up Tatis Jr in a deal for Yelich. The SS position has been a black hole for the Padres since the 80s. He has the potential to be “the guy” for years. I think if they offered either Franchy or Renfroe to go along with Luchessi and a guy like Paddack or someone even farther down the board the Marlins would likely do the deal

  2. I feel as long as they dont give up gore, quantrill, tatis or urias. I say do it. Like luchessi, morejon, ona, jankowski, and maybe another P. Yelich is exactly the kind of player the Padres need. Good all around ball player with a good obp would be ideal. I mean isnt that the point of having such a deep farm system? Not of them are going to pan out. Id rather trade for yelich then sign hosmer!

  3. If the Padres were to sign Hosmer, move Myers to the OF and then acquire Yelich, you would have to assume that Renfroe would be part of any deal with Miami. It is quite understandable that Miami is going to want a very nice return for Yelich, but if they are insisting on adding a bad contract to the deal, they are going to have to expect a lesser return. Sure Yelich has a team friendly deal at 5 years for $58.25M (AAV $11.65M), but if you add on Chen’s $52M, then the AAV is $22.05M, which doesn’t seem like all that great a bargain.

    I would hate to see the Padres add Tatis, Gore and Baez in any deal, especially one where they are taking on that kind of dead money. I wouldn’t offer any more than Renfroe, Quantrill or Morejon and a 11-15 guy, if Chen’s contract is the one included.

        1. No way they take that, IMO…Renfroe is a HUGE question mark. And Asuaje is not a player that makes giving up Yelich, hurt. And neither Allen nor Lockett, are impact blue chippers.

          To get Yelich, Preller is going to bleed a little…which is to say, he’s got to give up the kind of impact players that will make him say “what if?…”

          Those type of players are guys like Margot…Morejon…Baez…Gore or Tatis.

          1. Logan Allen is ranked No.8 Padres prospect on Baseball America rankings, so 1 top 10 prospect and two proven prospects in MLB in Renfroe and Asuaje? Plus Lockett might get it done maybe throw in a Jankowski or Spangenberg.

  4. I hate these moves were we take on salary trying to get better prospects as part of the package. Then we won’t spend the money on our own guys when it comes time. If we do sign someone we get years the player is on the decline.

    With our pitching a couple of years away from getting to San Diego then a couple of years more to get to star level, does it make sense to go after established guys now and tie up a bunch of money.

    In a couple of years our 2nd level pitchers will be in the majors and could be moved at much higher value.

    I look at Yelich and don’t see much difference between him and what is projected for Kyle Tucker. It would also allow to use Meyers in the OF for a year of max value before we move him. It would allow Tucker to come up with Tatis and Urias next season. All 3 would have 6 years of control.

    1. Exactly how would they get Kyle Tucker? Yelich is young and proven in the Majors and signed to a great deal, he would make the outfield and lineup much better. He gets on base and has many tools. Tucker is projected, not proven. Yelich would help move the Padres forward with proven experience, if they could trade for him and sign Hosmer, that would be two players that were on the USA WBC championship team, experience of winning, guys that would help the Padres get an identity.

      1. They would trade for Kyle Tucker, hopefully along with other LH bats that the Astros have in their system that are currently blocked by current ML players. We have Hand which is a HUGE need for the Astros and LH Pitching Prospects which the Astros don’t have. If I am not mistaken Hand is our TOP ML asset going into this off-season that was on the trading block.

        1. Kyle Tucker is going nowhere when it comes to the Astros. He’s not blocked at all. When he’s ready they will move someone to make room for him. Plus they have the DH slot which allows them more chances to keep hitters.

  5. I’m not sure what the trade package would look like..but I’ll just say that hardcore Padre fans who follow our prospects and know who they are, need to prepare themselves for the inevitable departure of some of the better prospects..

    A number of them are NOT going to see the light of day on the 40 man, let alone the 25 man. That’s just not how this stuff works out, where all of them end up playing for their parent club.

    To get Yelich, and his ‘trade friendly contract’, Preller would have to give up 2 of his very best prospects…and two of his players on the big league roster, in my opinion.

  6. I seriously doubt we can get Yelich, a potential superstar with 5 years of control, without parting with some top 10 prospects. Morejon and Ona (both Cuban, in a city that is 33% Cuban) would probably be a good starting point, if we can eat a bad contract also.

  7. I think maybe a package of Renfroe, Asuaje, Jankowski, Jose Torres and Jose Castillo for Yelich and Chen/Prado would work for both teams

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