The San Diego Padres have a very young staff presently. Youth is nice, but the team does need a veteran presence in the rotation. The Padres have already been linked to several pitchers this winter. Here is a look at a few more who could be an interesting choice for the Friars.
Then there is the next group of pitchers like Michel Baez, Nick Margevicius, Adrian Morejon and Luis Patino that should be here by the 2020-21 season. There are even more young hurlers beyond this group of men. The Padres have pitching on the way and we have only begun to see them arrive at Petco Park.
It is nice to have young pitchers, but you do need some veterans mixed in to get the most out of a staff. Noah Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, and Sonny Gray would be great additions to the team, but nothing has happened in terms of acquiring each potential front-end rotation starter.
There are other options for the team on the trade market though. Here is a look at some. These are not the sexiest of pitchers, but each could provide exactly what the Padres need in 2019; an innings eater.
Arizona appears ready to trade some of their assets in a rebuild. Paul Goldschmidt was dealt to St. Louis last month as the Diamondbacks restructure their team. A.J. Pollock is set to leave via free agency. Patrick Corbin signed with the Nationals in December. There are some rumors that the team has explored the idea of dealing Robbie Ray. Their main concern with the team seems to be dealing Zack Greinke, but Ray could also be dealt if a trade partner meets the D-Back’s asking price.
Ray is a strikeout pitcher who has yet to really find himself in the game of baseball. He went 6-2 last year with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.350 WHIP in 123.2 innings pitched. Ray struck out 165 in that time, but also walked 70 batters. He constantly works deep into counts and struggles to go late into games. With a minor adjustment or two, Ray has the ability to be a special pitcher. He has Darren Balsley reclamation project written all over him. The lefty has two years of service time under his current deal so there could be some interest.
The Cardinals have pitching depth and could be persuaded to deal Wacha. He fell out of favor last year in St. Louis while battling injuries and could be attained at a reasonable price. The right-handed pitcher is in the final year of his contract and could be motivated to have a productive year in 2019.
The 2015 all-star was 8-2 last year with a 3.20 ERA in 84 innings for the Cardinals. He has great size at 6-foot-6 and provides the capability of being an innings eater. That is something the Padres need, but he is only signed for one year. If the price is right, he could be an option.
The Orioles have to be thinking about the future. A player like Dylan Bundy could fetch a decent prospect haul. The 26-year-old, right-handed pitcher went 8-16 last year in 171 innings pitched. He struck out 184 in that time as stuff has never been his issue. He struggles from time to time with consistency, but could be a player worth an investment if you are San Diego.
Bundy has three years of control left, which is very appealing to the Padres. He would not be an easy trade target though. Baltimore could use quantity when it comes to prospects. A package of three-for-one might do it. But the Padres wouldn’t necessarily need to part with their best prospects. This is an interesting option for both teams.
The Padres could explore the idea of taking on Danny Duffy from the Royals provided Kansas City eat some of the $46 million owed to Duffy over the next three seasons. At $15.33 million per season, the rate is not an issue for Duffy, it’s the production he has provided. He can look really solid at times, but the reality is he has never thrown more than 179 innings in a season.
Duffy was 8-12 last year with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.490 WHIP. He has struggled with injuries as well so he wouldn’t be an ideal trade option for the Padres. If the price is right and the Royals eat enough salary, then he could be a decent trade candidate. The Padres would need to be satisfied that the 30-year-old can make it through his remaining three years on his contract as well.