The 2018 offseason should be interesting for the San Diego Padres, as trade rumors start to swirl. There is no doubt that the team will be active in talks, but whether or not they pull the trigger is another thing.
If the San Diego Padres want to make a splash during the winter, they have a roster that can do it. There are several areas on the team that represent an area of surplus talent. If A.J. Preller wishes to roll those dice and make a trade, he can do it.
You can be sure that in just about every trade rumor, the Padres will be linked to some regard. Especially if we are talking about trade rumors for an elite starting pitcher. Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Michael Fulmer were all linked to the Padres in some degree over the past few months.
With all this being said, the team could very well stand pat and not make a deal either. They could choose to instead cultivate the youth on the group and evaluate what they have for one more season. That might not be a bad idea as the Padres are still not close to being a playoff contender.
No matter what happens. This will be an eventful offseason.
Here are some areas to keep an eye on as the winter starts.
There are several ways the Padres can go with this situation. With the addition of super-prospect Francisco Mejia, the Padres now have two catchers who are young and ready for everyday action behind the plate. Austin Hedges brings stellar defense and is a homegrown talent that has a relationship with all of the current staff. Mejia has a rocket arm, improving receiving skills and is a plus hitter.
Some feel the team would be best served to keep both backstops, as they compliment each other so well. The team will surely have that mindset, but if a trade happens they still have plenty of young depth in the farm system. Austin Allen, Luis Campusano, Blake Hunt, and Luis Torrens are in the minors and progressing. If Preller does choose to deal either Mejia or Hedges, there are players who can fill the void eventually for the Padres.
Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Franmil Reyes have been playing every day for the team lately. Next year, the Padres will have a healthy Franchy Cordero to add into the mix and there is always the possibility Wil Myers goes back into the outfield as well. Travis Jankowski also deserves praise for his efforts this season. They have multiple players who need to play every day and that is why there are whispers the team could explore a deal to possibly lighten their outfield load.
A trade seems likely, but you can never predict what A.J. Preller will do. There is some who believe that a Myers trade is likely, but the Padres probably would not get a huge haul in return as Myers still has a hefty part of his contract due to him in the future. Anything can happen here including the Padres bringing in another outfielder into the mix. The Padres have options and the outfield is a real question mark moving forward.
A Plethora of Pitchers
Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Jacob Nix have established themselves this 2018 season. Each young hurler has penciled their name into the rotation for the 2019 season. Then there are pitchers like Chris Paddack, Logan Allen and Cal Quantrill who are all really close to major league service time. That’s not even mentioning Clayton Richard, Luis Perdomo, Brett Kennedy, Walker Lockett, Miguel Diaz, Colin Rea and Matt Strahm who are all possibilities for rotation spots to start the 2019 season.
The team could choose to part with a few arms to replenish other areas of the squad. One would expect that the Padres are in an eternal evaluation presently as the team makes determinations about the future. There are arms beyond all the names listed above as MacKenzie Gore, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Nick Margevicius, Ryan Weathers, Luis Patino, and others are lurking. The Padres have a ridiculous amount of young arms and some should perform at a very high level.
There will be action this winter. The Padres will be linked to many free agents and liked to a few trade rumors. As the team gets better, Padre fans need to trust the baseball operations department as they scour the market looking for improvements for a team that must start playing better. I hope A.J. Preller is getting plenty of sleep now because these next four months will be a very busy time for him.