San Diego Padres Trade Deadline Preview

Credit: AP Photo

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

MAJOR LEAGUE PADRES WHO COULD BE ON THE MOVE

RHP Kirby Yates, 32 years old

-2019 stats: 36.0 IP, 1.15 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 30 SV, 2.2 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2020; arbitration-eligible in ’20
-Likelihood of being moved: medium

Yates is undoubtedly the hottest name in all Padres-related trade rumors, but it remains to be seen if he’ll even be available at the deadline. He has enough control (contract-wise, although pitching-wise works here too) to be enticing to both buyers and tweeners, and quite frankly, is one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. If things go south from now until the deadline, the likelihood of him being moved could certainly be elevated to “high” territory, but for now it seems likely that a combination of his control and the uncertainty of the Padres bullpen moving forward as they look to contend in 2020 will most likely keep him in San Diego.

If the argument is to be made to trade him, and there certainly is one, it probably starts with the murkiness in center field and at second base, and ends with Edwin Díaz. What does Díaz have to do with this, you might ask? Well, a certified tweener in the 2018 Mets traded for him in a deal that included Robinson Canó but surrendered top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Anthony Swarzak to get him. In short, Díaz has been awful in 2019 and the sub-.500 Mets find themselves down two big-time prospects as a result. So for Yates, just proceed with caution. That’s all I’m saying. There really is no wrong move here.

RHP Craig Stammen, 35 years old

-2019 stats: 47.0 IP, 3.83 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 0.0 WAR
-Contract status: free agent at season’s end
-Likelihood of being moved: medium

Stammen is a very interesting case. He’s been struggling this year more than he ever has as a Padre, has no years of control remaining and will be entering his age-36 season in 2020. But, he’s still been solid. If a buyer comes calling about Stammen, the Padres will certainly listen. But the return for a non-anchor like Stammen likely won’t be all that hefty, so he could theoretically be brought back next season on a short, light deal as a form of reliable bullpen insurance.

It is important to note, though, that the bullpen is sure to be much better next year. It’ll resemble something along the lines of Matt Strahm, José Castillo, Andres Muñoz, Luis Perdomo (how about him this year, by the way?), Trey Wingenter and maybe Yates. Throw in a possible starter-turned-reliever like Dinelson Lamet and a prospect like Michel Báez or Adrian Morejon, and that’s suddenly a pretty good group. If Preller deems that to be “good enough”, Stammen might not be re-signed, in which case trading him at this year’s deadline would make the most sense, regardless of the return.

OF Hunter Renfroe, 27 years old

-2019 stats: 289 PA, .252 BA, .921 OPS, 27 HR, 2.5 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2023; arbitration-eligible in ’20
-Likelihood of being moved: medium

This all depends on how much the Padres value a true top-of-the-rotation arm. If they do covet someone like that, Renfroe and a very good prospect may be necessary to get a deal done. But Renfroe has also been, at his best, the best offensive player on the team and a borderline All-Star, and at his worst, a surprisingly reliable defensive outfielder who’s a threat to leave the yard at any moment. Two months ago, Renfroe’s likelihood of being moved would most likely be “high”, but by all indications, he’s slugged his way out of that range at this point.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Now, he’s an integral part of the team moving forward who would only be shipped if he headlined a deal for a superstar. One thing to be cautious of with Renfroe, though: his peripherals haven’t improved much at the plate. He’s striking out more than he ever has, and isn’t getting on base at anything higher than his career average. But he’s been barrelling almost everything he gets his bat on and has turned himself into a real defensive asset, so his floor might have raised even when the traditional metrics for determining those sorts of things haven’t budged.

OF/1B Wil Myers, 28 years old

-2019 stats: 291 PA, .217 BA, .715 OPS, 12 HR, -0.5 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2023; due average annual value of $22.5M
-Likelihood of being moved: low

If the line above instead read “likelihood that the Padres want to move him”, I would have to find a word stronger than “high” to put there. But because of his atrocious contract, his market is completely and utterly nonexistent without a significant sweetener that the Padres simply don’t want to attach. We’re talking top-five-prospect-in-the-system territory here, and to get rid of someone like that just to shed Myers’ contract is too big of a pill to swallow. The only hope here is that Myers starts producing to the point where the price of the sweetener drops significantly. Until then, this isn’t happening.

C Francisco Mejía, 23 years old

-2019 stats: 103 PA, .211 BA, .599 OPS, 2 HR, -0.4 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2023; arbitration-eligible in ’21
-Likelihood of being moved: low

Mejía only appears in this article because of the hesitancy the Padres have shown with him since he was acquired at last year’s deadline. He’s been injured a bit, but for the most part, he simply hasn’t been afforded consistent enough playing time to determine what he really is or can be at the major league level. Austin Hedges brings obvious value with his glove and staff management, but Mejía’s offensive profile is just too enticing to be sitting on the bench, or worse, traded. He’s shown flashes of greatness, which, with the playing time he’s received, is all he could’ve shown so far. Hedges is what he is at this point. Mejía is still a stone that’s been largely unturned at a position where the current production leaves a lot to be desired. In other words, it would be a real shame if Mejía was moved this early in his career.

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

C Austin Hedges, 26 years old

-2019 stats: 216 PA, .185 BA, .555 OPS, 6 HR, 0.1 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2023; arbitration-eligible in ’20
-Likelihood of being moved: low

Is Hedges a starting catcher on a good big-league team? Probably not. Is he a solid backup at a position where one of those can be an extremely valuable asset? Yes. Look, 1,000 plate appearances are typically enough to figure out what kind of hitter someone is, save for the rare outlier. Hedges is at 1,137 right now and appears to be trending in the wrong direction. It’s safe to say he will never be a league-average hitter. But he is legitimately the best defensive catcher in the league and a true leader of a staff that will most likely decide just how good this team will be in the coming years. The value that Hedges brings in the clubhouse and as one of the better backup catchers in the league is more than the value he would bring back in a trade. Moving him with a limited market just doesn’t make sense right now.

LHP Joey Lucchesi, 26 years old

-2019 stats: 96.0 IP, 3.94 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 1.2 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2023; arbitration-eligible in ’20
-Likelihood of being moved: low

The only scenario where Lucchesi is moved at the deadline is if he’s demanded by a team in a trade for a top-of-the-rotation arm. There is no chance the Padres actively shop Lucchesi, but they also won’t let him be the hold-up in a deal that could potentially bring a superstar to San Diego. Essentially, he’s not going anywhere unless he gets caught in the crossfire. He’s quietly been very good for the second consecutive season.

LHP Eric Lauer, 24 years old

-2019 stats; 91.1 IP, 4.04 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 1.0 WAR
-Contract status: controlled through 2024; arbitration-eligible in ’21
-Likelihood of being moved: low

Lauer is in the same boat as Lucchesi here. He’s solid, he’s controllable, yet there’s no independent market for him. He’s not stopping a blockbuster deal, but he’s not being shopped either.

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Brady Lim
Born and raised in San Diego, CA. Currently living in Eugene, OR as a junior at the University of Oregon. Journalism major, Padre fan, music lover. Attended my first Padre game at the Q in 1998 when I was three months old. Follow me on Twitter: @BradyLim619.

8 thoughts on “San Diego Padres Trade Deadline Preview

  1. Is it just “Ryan now?

    Ok Ryan, not sure why you’re so obsessed with me.
    But that’s cool, I appreciate the hate.

    Werent you the one who was banned from mlbtraderumors.com at least twice for being west coast Ryan by being an annoying douche to everyone who disagreed with you and your
    “Why trade for him when we can sign him in TWO years” comment constantly. You were also red rooster who again, was banned. You denied it, I called you out, and even Steve Adams commented saying you were in fact the same person..as he was able to track your IP address. Even after that awkward revelation, you still talk shit. Nobody likes you Ryan…well maybe Tanned Tom.

    And I prefer to talk baseball, not argue w an 80 yr grumpy asshole/whiny 30 yr old living at home.
    Go play your Xbox. I’m sure you have a ton of friends there.

    In regards to Wil Myers, cool, good job Einstein, you predicted Wil Myers would suck this year. Bravo.

  2. Good job. Love these types of exhaustive views of the market. Probably the Reds are not sellers though. They’re only 4.5 games out of 1st in their division and do have a positive run differential, meaning they might be a better team than their record indicates.
    One of the criteria teams use to evaluate prospects, particularly their own, is coachability. If Urias has still got the big leg kick, and has been hard-headed about changing it, then you are right that he could be moved. It is essential to trade top prospects once you have given up on them, and before other teams come to the same judgment. Coachability was why Renfroe was demoted, and why Gyorko was traded, to pick just two examples.
    And of course the big domino is Myers. Yes it will be like giving birth to an elephant to trade him. But dealing him saves at least some money, and opens up a valuable roster spot for a more useful player, be it Jankowski, France or whomever. Pretty much simply has to be done.

    1. “It is essential to trade top prospects once you have given up on them, and before other teams come to the same judgment.”

      That’s what Josh Byrnes thought when he traded Anthony Rizzo.

      Oh and Hunter Renfroe seems pretty coachable to me.

      1. Still hits for a low BA, a crappy OBP, and strikes out too much. Perhaps you don’t understand what is meant by coachable.

  3. 1. Trading Stammen doesn’t mean they can’t bring him back.
    2. According to who has the organization soured on Urias?

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