There is no question that the San Diego Padres need to make a trade or two in the near future.
With current roster construction, the team has areas that need to be addressed.
The outfield is presently overloaded with talent. With so many players (Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Franmil Reyes) capable of being major league regulars in the outfield, something will have to give eventually for the Friars. If not for the injury to Cordero, the Padres might have had to make a decision in this regard already.
While names like Jankowski and Renfroe aren’t exactly coveted by other teams, the Padres could very easily package them with prospects to entice a team. The team is in position where they have an excess of talent, and dealing a few chosen prospects wouldn’t be viewed as detrimental to the future success of this playoff-starved franchise.
In pondering the future fate of the Padres, you must also consider the upcoming Rule-5 Draft. The Padres will need to protect several players (Luis Urias, Austin Allen, Michael Gettys, Jacob Nix, Chris Paddack, Edward Olivares, Anderson Espinoza, Pedro Avila, and Hansel Rodriguez, among others) in the offseason and place them on their 40-man roster or risk losing them to another team. Surely, players like Urias, Allen, Nix, Paddack, and Espinoza will all be added to the roster. What this means is, at the very least, five players on the current 40-man roster will need to be DFA’d by the team. Thankfully, there are some names on the current roster that could very easily be expelled from San Diego.
In recent weeks, the team has been linked to names like Chris Archer and Noah Syndergaard. Neither would come cheap, though, as they each are presently under team control for multiple seasons. The Rays talk seems to have picked up the most steam, as multiple reporters have indicated that the two sides are long past initial contact about a potential trade. The Rays are known to be seeking young players, and specifically, prospects for Archer. Something could eventually be worked out.
Preller is known to be very patient while pursuing a deal. The Padres and Indians reportedly went back and forth for weeks in regards to the Brad Hand for Francisco Mejia trade. The Indians were reluctant to part with Mejia, but ultimately did as the pressure to improve the bullpen and win was too much for the Tribe.
We could be at that point right now when it comes to trading for a potential “ace” for the team. The asking price may be steep currently, but the Padres know they hold all the cards (for now). They do not necessarily need to make a move immediately. A.J. Preller can be patient. Some fans are naturally a little nervous when names like Luis Urias are put out there by the national media in trade talks. It is scary and seems counter-productive to the “trust the process” mantra that has been fed to the fan base.
However, if a great deal comes along, any prospect should be made available by the Padres. As a prospect, their ultimate ability at the major league level is still very much in question. Even the most “sure-thing” prospect has the potential to be a bust. That is just the way it is.
Currently, as the Trevor Hoffman HOF festivities die down in the Padres’ front office, I would suspect things are picking up in regards to evaluating both major and minor league talent. Look for the Padres to pounce on an opportunity if it arises. Truly, anything can happen. But at the same time, don’t expect something to happen. We all know one thing- A.J. Preller moves to the beat of his own drum. The Padres will not do the typical and they will be creative when it comes to improving the team.