If the Padres are Buyers They Must Add Pitching at Trade Deadline

Credit: USA Today Sports

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Relief Pitching

The Padres bullpen has been a disappointment in 2019. Coming off of a 2018 season where Fangraphs rated the Padres bullpen second behind the Yankees in WAR, the Padres bullpen is currently 18th on Fangraphs bullpen WAR ratings this season.

This ineffectiveness has stemmed from injuries to Jose Castillo and Aaron Loup along with bad performances and continued reliance on Adam Warren, Phil Maton, and Brad Wieck.

What’s more is that Craig Stammen has not been his usual self throughout 2019. Accumulating a -0.4 WAR, according to Fangraphs, Stammen’s ERA has spiked to 4.12 while his susceptibility to the long ball has drastically increased.

Therefore, adding another reliable arm to stabilize this bullpen, while bridging the gap to Yates, who has the highest WAR of any reliever in baseball, would undoubtedly strengthen this Padres team for a postseason run.

Felipe Vazquez, who’s nickname is fittingly ‘Nightmare’, would come with a high price tag due to his dominant stuff and control until 2024. With a 98.1 average fastball velocity and command of 3 different types of breaking pitches, Vazquez would be the ideal set-up man for Yates for the remainder of the season. Sure, Vazquez would come at a high price, but he is exactly what the Padres need – a proven, controllable reliever with unhittable stuff.

However, the competition for Vazquez this offseason will undoubtedly be fierce, as postseason contenders such as the Dodgers, Braves, and Phillies are all seeking bullpen help. Consequently, the Padres may have to find some under-the-radar relief help.

Acquiring David Hernandez from the Reds or Sam Dyson from the Giants could prove sufficient. Hernandez, who Padres fans may be familiar with due to his extensive time in Arizona, is putting together his best major league season at 36-years-old. With a 1.2 WAR and 11.29 K/9, the impending free agent would be a much more cost-effective option in comparison to Vazquez.

Dyson is another under-the-radar name who could be on the move. In the shadow of Giants’ closer Will Smith, the one-time failed closer for the Texas Rangers has rediscovered himself in a Giants uniform. Not only has Dyson has compiled a 2.48 ERA, but the right-hander has been one of the best pitchers in inducing weak contact, according to baseball savant. And with control through 2020, Dyson would be an asset useful for the Padres in their playoff pursuits next season.

Overall, the Padres have a few pitching holes to fill if San Diego wants to consider themselves true postseason contenders. And with the July 31st trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Padres won’t truly be ‘all in’ unless they start adding some pitching in the coming weeks.

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Ben Friedl
A recent USD graduate, Ben grew up in San Diego and has been a life-long Padres fan. Currently, Ben is residing in Chicago, IL where he is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Media Journalism at Northwestern University.

5 thoughts on “If the Padres are Buyers They Must Add Pitching at Trade Deadline

  1. Starting the season with Tatis on the ML roster says they wanted the top 25 on the big leauge team. Your definition of high powered offense is different than mine. The Padres are in the bottom third of the league in 4 of the 6 frequently used categories for 2019. With that being said, I will assume you think they should be buyers but it’s not really clear.

    The message being transmitted through all exterior Padres outlets is they will not mortgage the long term future to chase a 2019 post season run. They are in listen mode and without a clear upgrade to now and the future; they are prepared to continue with the plan of filling needs through their own system . I too share this opinion. Upgrading the pitching mean very little without addressing the C, 2B, and the OF.

    You inadvertently support the positions above by laying out the pitching woes. Cal and Logan will continue to pick up innings and experience the more they are involved. Dinelson will be able to work his way back to his pre TJS self the remainder of the season without the additional pull of post season pipe dreams. Chris Paddack wont have as tight of restrictions in 2020. Assuming Garrett Richards makes it back in Sept, he can get a head start on prepping for a big 2020 spring training and anchoring a legitimate post season run.

    Chasing names like Matz, Stroman, Bumgarner, Vasquez et al would prematurely expend the prospect capital AJ and crew have built over the last 3yrs. For what? An outside shot at a one game playin. Pass. The one guy with control, Neil Huntington said early this week is absolutely not getting traded.

    The bullpen, everyone dead horse at the moment. Perhaps you might want to look inside the system before seeking what they might already have. Andres Munoz and Jose Castillo arent that far away for immediate relief. Both Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon are also coming back from obsticals in Amarillo and will certainly get a crack at some point this season. Pedro Avilia and Miguel Diaz have shown well in small doses and will have an entire offseason to prepare for their spring training push.

    The last thing to consider and you will begin to hear a lot more about is the 40 man roster crunch and protecting assets from the rule 5 draft. There is absolutely zero chance the Padres can protect everyone they want to so the next 3.5 months can be used to prioritize who amongst these names they need to protect. Tyler Higgins, Trevor Megill, Travis Radke, Eric Yardley, Jean Cosme, and Darius Valdez.

    Who knows, a post season appearance isnt completely out of the question if everything absolutely falls in their favor but to go all in 2019 could cause more harm than good.

    Gooood Padres.

    1. Totally agree. I would rather wait another year or two and then go for it all. The young pitching staff (starters) are actually doing a tad better than I expected going into the season. My main concern is 2B, C and CF. In a dream scenario the Yankees would take Myers off our hands for a mid level AA player.

  2. If they hadn’t traded Hand and Cimber the bullpen wouldn’t be such a wreck. As for starters, sure, go ahead and trade for a good one. But don’t count on Howdy Doody knowing how to use him. All these workload-limited starters, and they are always left in until they give up a big inning, or totally run out of gas.

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