Regardless of what the San Diego Padres want to call it, it’s clear that the team is in a transition period. After A.J. Preller’s whirlwind 2014-2015 offseason proved fruitless, the team has clearly begun to go in a completely different direction. With the trade of James Shields last week, and to a lesser extent the trades of Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit, and others last offseason, the Padres have begun to change direction after a disappointing 2015 season. The many acquisitions did not work out, and the Padres have already started to move several of those pieces that were so recently acquired, including the aforementioned Kimbrel and Shields.
Currently sitting in last place in the National League West, and still fresh off jettisoning James Shields, the Padres clearly should pivot towards being full on sellers at this year’s trade deadline. With the big contracts of Kemp and Upton, and to a lesser extent Jay, still on the books, the Padres should be in a position to obtain any value they can out of those players while they still can. The Padres aren’t going to be competitive in a strong N.L. West for the foreseeable future, so shedding payroll, getting younger, and stocking minor league talent should be the number one priority over the next month or two.
While it’s pretty clear where the Padres stand around baseball circles, and their position as sellers in the immediate term, there is less agreement about how far the Padres are willing to go. The question remains: if the Padres are truly entering a rebuilding period, how far are they willing to go? If a rebuild is in the Padres future, they need to do it right. After the struggles this franchise has experienced over the last decade plus, the new front office can’t afford to get this one wrong.
As painful as it is to say, the Padres front office must consider all options when planning this year’s trade deadline. If the team is seriously considering rebuilding from the ground up, and they really should be, they may have to burn the whole thing to the ground. That may have started with Shields, but it certainly shouldn’t end with him, or with Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton, or Jon Jay for that matter.
If the San Diego Padres front office is serious about putting a winning team on the field in the future, no player should be off limits in trade talks. This includes the Padres two best performers, and two most valuable trade assets, in Wil Myers and Drew Pomeranz.
When I first begin formulating this thought in my mind, and began getting those thoughts down in text, it seemed impossible to imagine the Padres actually trading Wil Myers. With the news that the Padres are in fact open to discussing Wil Myers in trade conversations, as discussed by Jon Heyman in his latest article on Thursday, it has become a reality. While it may be hard to imagine the Padres without Wil Myers, trading him, as well as Drew Pomeranz, may very well be the best set of moves to put the Padres in a position to compete sooner rather than later.
This obviously doesn’t mean the Padres are certainly going to trade Wil Myers, but they will at least be listening. Given their position as an organization, it makes complete sense for them to be willing to listen on any player currently on the big league roster. With a poor big league team, and a severely weakened farm system, acquiring long term assets should be on the top of the Padres to-do list. Trading one or both of Myers and Pomeranz seems to be the easiest path to help return the farm system to it’s further glory.
While moving the likes of Upton, Jay, and Kemp would also be good steps, none of those three players are bringing back any sort of substantial return on par with a potential return in a deal for either Myers or Pomeranz. With both players being cost controlled for the next several seasons, with both Myers and Pomeranz under team control through 2019, both would demand quite a hefty price in a trade. However, given the Padres current organizational position, it may be unlikely that the Padres will be able to field a competitive team by the time those two are set to be free agents.
In my opinion, the Padres should absolutely consider trading both Pomeranz and Myers sooner rather than later. However, neither player should be traded unless the price is absolutely, one hundred percent “right.” Considering what the Padres gave up to acquire Wil Myers, in Trea Turner and Joe Ross, the price should be enormous when considering any trade involving him. While both players are strong trade assets, there is no reason to force a trade just for the sake of making a trade. Even so, trading one or both of these players for that right price will position the Padres very well for competing within the next several seasons. After the 2014-2015 offseason failure, AJ Preller and company have no choice but to the right the ship. A blockbuster trade may be just the remedy they need.
Editorial and Prospect Writer for East Village Times. Twenty-five years young, Patrick has lived in San Diego for his entire life and has been a Padres fan nearly as long. Patrick lives for baseball and is always looking to learn new things about the game he loves through advanced stats.