The San Diego Padres should very well be active in the trade market very soon.
At first, I thought about titling this piece “The Padres Will Be Active on Trade Market Soon”. I had a change of heart because there is only one thing you can predict about this Padres’ regime: They go to the beat of their own drum. As soon as you think you can predict what they are up to, they do the exact opposite. When you zig, they zag. That is just how A.J. Preller wants it.
The Padres have plenty of veteran-type players that would be of interest to teams in contention this season. Pitching, in particular, is what the Padres could help teams with. This current Padres’ squad isn’t deep in arms, but they do have Tyson Ross as a starting pitcher and several arms in the pen that have been effective and could be useful.
What the Padres might be doing in potentially dealing some of these arms, is trying to open up space on the 40-man roster. There are several young players that are on the cusp of being ready for major league service time and they need room on the roster to bring them up. Also, this winter, the team will need to protect several young names in the 2019 Rule-5 Draft.
The Friars should be movers and shakers soon. When Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe both return from the D.L., something will need to be done. The outfield situation is crowded and there is no easy answer for who will get playing time. You have to figure the Padres are in a mode to deal.
Let’s briefly review some names, as the trade season is set to begin later this month:
This is probably the most likely player to be moved, as he is a free agent at the end of the year. The Padres can expect to fetch a middle-tier prospect for Ross and that should be more than enough to get a deal done. The Padres could get creative and package Ross for multiple players, but we will have to wait and see.
With more than 2 1/2 years of control on Hand, the Padres are certainly in no rush to move the closer. Hand’s value is arguable at its highest right now because of all that team control. The Padres might be tempted to shop him as the trade deadline nears. A left-handed pitcher with a slider of his caliber is extremely valuable, so the Padres could certainly get a decent offer worth pondering. There will surely by Hand rumors in the near future.
With a year and a half of service time left on his contract, Stammen could also be viewed as an attractive trade chip. The right-handed reliever has thrown well this year for the Padres and would be a great addition for any team with playoff aspirations. Expect to see him shopped by the team.
Yates is not a free agent until after the 2020 season. The 31-year-old has been solid this 2018 season and the team might be tempted to cash out on the reliever. Being that he is under team control for such a long time, the Padres might also choose to consider keeping him to provide a veteran presence in the bullpen.
The Padres are reportedly sending him to Triple-A with the idea that he works on playing third base and shortstop. The Padres like Asuaje and probably envision him as a utility player. He could re-emerge with the team in 2018, or the team could package him in a trade to a contender looking for infield help.
Another player who has great versatility is Spangenberg. He can play four or five positions on the diamond and has left-handed power with speed. He strikes out too much and fails to do the little things that a player of his skill should do, but he has some value. The team could package him with a reliever to a playoff contending team. Anything can happen.
I know, I know. He is playing out of his mind right now and has shown the ability to be a true leadoff-type hitter in the majors. Jankowski is not young and the analytical numbers suggest his hot start is a fluke (sorry). The Padres could choose to deal Jank as he clearly is not in their future plans. With Myers, Margot, and Cordero on the team, Jankowski will struggle to get playing time moving forward. His value is minimal at best right now though.
He is back and playing in El Paso and looks to be nearly 100 percent after an elbow issue. Renfroe has ridiculous power, but his lack of plate discipline has clearly upset the Padres. He could be shopped, but the return is really unknown. The outfield is crowded right now and some key decisions have to be made.
These are just some of the names that could be dangled by the Padres as they search for more talent for the future. The Padres also have a very deep farm system, so there is a slight chance that they move a prospect or two in order to get exactly what they want in a potential trade. Preller is very savvy and will wait it out to get a deal that he views as productive for the team. This could be an interesting 2018 season as this team formulates a plan back to relevancy.