Now let’s think outside the box.
The Padres have a developed farm system and can easily move players for talent if they choose to do so. They are wisely taking their time in making any moves. This is an important time in the franchise’s history and the correct evaluations must be made by the front office.
The following players are available or might be attainable at the right price. A few have already been mentioned as possible additions, while a few more just seem to be the correct fit.
Possible players to trade for-
It was reported by multiple sources that the Padres and Reds discussed Eugenio Suarez to some extent. The third baseman is a quality defender and signed for the next six years at roughly $63.4 million. That is a great deal for the 27-year-old, right-handed hitter. Suarez owns a career .788 OPS in over 2,200 at-bats in the majors. He slammed 34 homers last year and recorded a .892 OPS last year in 143 games.
The price tag on Suarez is not cheap. That is what scared the Padres off initially. The Reds are correct in asking a lot for a player who is young and under team control at a bargain rate. Can Suarez continue to hit outside of Cincinnati, as they have one of the most favorable ballparks? His career numbers seem to say he can. This remains a possible trade for the Padres as the Reds have a young prospect ready to play third in Nick Senzel and the Padres have the pitching prospects the Reds covet.
In his last year before free agency, the Tigers are trying to deal Castellanos. He has an excellent bat, but there are some real concerns about his ability to play third base. He played in the outfield exclusively last year for Detroit and has not manned third base since 2017. The soon-to-be-27-year-old put up a .854 OPS last year in 154 games and seems to be maturing at the plate.
The Padres want team-controlled players, and with one year before free agency, this seems like a long shot of a trade. Then there is the fact he is shaky at third defensively. The last thing the Padres need is another corner outfielder. They could explore this idea, but Castellanos would have to be relatively cheap for the Padres to trade for him.
For two years, the Padres have been linked to this inconsistent third baseman from Philadelphia. The right-handed hitter has a lot of promise, but could be wearing out his welcome in Philly. He put up a .780 OPS last year and hit 22 homers in 131 games. At 26, there is some thought that he could get better. He has very little patience at the plate and needs to mature in that area.
If the Phillies sign Manny Machado, then Franco could be expendable. The Padres have the prospects and the complementary players that could entice the Phillies as they construct a playoff-worthy roster. Players like Travis Jankowski and Craig Stammen could really be of interest to Philadelphia. This could come to fruition as Franco is under team control for three more years and is just hitting arbitration years.
This is a sleeper idea. The Cubs and Padres have had multiple discussions over the year, so you know the two sides have a great working relationship. It will take more than that to wrestle Happ away from the Cubs. The switch-hitting infielder/outfielder has played all over for the Cubs in the last few seasons. Last year he played all three outfield spots, second base, third base, first base, and even pitched an inning for the team.
Happ put up a .761 OPS at the age of 23 in the major leagues. He struck out 167 times in 387 at-bats but also walked 70 times, resulting in a .353 on-base percentage. There is much to love in Happ as he has power, decent speed, and a quick bat from both sides of the plate. Luckily, the Padres have both the relevant major league talent now and viable prospects to get a deal done. It would probably take a combination of both for the Cubs to pull the trigger.
The Mariners and Padres have probably already discussed this deal. The Padres were reportedly interested in Jean Segura before the M’s dealt him to Philadelphia early this month. Seager could have been in a possible deal to even things out. The third baseman is coming off a horrible year in which his OPS dropped to .673 in 155 games.
He has three years and $57.5 million left on his contract and if traded his fourth year at $15 million would also be triggered. Investing that kind of money for a player when he is 34 is foolish. The Padres are looking for young, cost-controlled talent. They do not need to take on risky contracts for a player who may never reach his peak again.