With Freddy Galvis headed for free agency at the end of the year, the San Diego Padres need to make plans for the shortstop position beyond the 2018 season.
The shortstop position has been a dead-end for the San Diego Padres for a long time.
The arrival of Freddy Galvis seemed to stabilize the position early in the 2018 season, but his numbers have fallen back to earth. The backlash from the trade of prized prospect Enyel De Los Santos for Galvis is getting louder and it remains to be seen if that deal will go down as one of “Preller’s Follies”.
Galvis is a free agent at the end of the year and that is why some have been and presently are, up in arms over the trade. Yes, Galvis was a vast improvement over what we have witnessed here in San Diego for almost a decade. However, this Padres’ team was not going to win, so sending away prospects for one-year rentals seems foolish.
The veteran shortstop could fetch the Padres something towards the July or August trade deadlines, but the return will only be a fraction of the value they had in De Los Santos. That is just how it goes sometimes. You make a trade and there is risk. For every bad trade the Padres have made, they have made one good one.
When the winter comes and the team is in search of a captain in the infield, who or what are their options? You have to think that at one point the team will want stability at a position that has been horrendously inconsistent for them for literally decades. At one point this team will be ready to compete and a solid shortstop will be necessary. The youth in the system will deliver a shortstop eventually, but how long will it take?
Here are the Padres current options for the 2019 season at the shortstop position.
This seems like a possible solution as Guerra will be, at the very least, a plus defender at the position once he arrives. He has a very nice left-handed power bat, but will always struggle to make consistent contact. I talked to Andy Green this spring and he was very impressed with this young man. Guerra could earn some real playing time with a solid 2018 season in the PCL. The 22-year-old is currently batting .177 with 57 strikeouts in 141 at bats, so he obviously has a long ways to go.
There is no need to rush this young man but in talking to him, you become aware that he is the one who is impatient to get to the majors. I really think the best you will see from Tatis is when he finally arrives at Petco. At this point, he is just trying to justify his high prospect ranking and pressing far too much in the box. He is a smart hitter with plus tools and should have no problem reaching the majors at some point in the 2019 season or sooner. Is he the answer to start the 2019 season as the shortstop? Only time will tell. The position will be his at some point in the near future.
He has played some shortstop, but is probably viewed as a second baseman longterm for the team. Urias has played all over the infield and could get a look at short as he is presently very close to major league service time. Urias should be up relatively soon and he probably will get plenty of time at the position towards the end of the current year. It will be time to evaluate his defensive ability at the position to determine if the team will have to look elsewhere for help at the position in 2019.
Jose Iglesias, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jordy Mercer are the best options behind Manny Machado at the position in the free agent class of 2018-19. DO NOT expect the Padres to be entertaining Machado and his $300 plus million-dollar demands. The trio of Cabrera, Iglesias and Mercer are nothing but fillers. Cabrera has had a nice offensive output the last few years in New York, but probably shouldn’t be used everyday at the position. Iglesias is a decent glove with potential and Mercer has ability too, but none of these guys are anything to get too excited about. The team might still bring in a veteran like this or explore bringing back Galvis. The door will remain wide open well into the winter as the free agent class has been slow the last few seasons.
Making another small trade for a shortstop and giving up prospects could, once again, be risky for this team. There are players you could try to trade for like Addison Russell or Marcus Semien, but is their price tag really worth it? In the end, the other previous options are probably better for a team rebuilding and getting closer to contention.