The San Diego Padres have been scouting Nomar Mazara. Is he a fit for the team considering they are loaded in the outfield area?
Recent reports have been suggesting that the San Diego Padres have been sending scouts to keep tabs on Texas Rangers’ outfielder Nomar Mazara. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News mentioned that the Padres, along with other teams, have been scouting the outfielder.
San Diego’s interest in Mazara is confusing to say at the least. Once a top prospect for Texas, Mazara has seen his star fade as he has struggled to adjust to Major League pitching. Mazara has collected a batting line of .255/.307/.438 in 381 plate appearances, which accounts for a wRC+ of 86 and a 0.1 WAR. While Mazara has still displayed good power numbers (14 home runs and a .183 ISO), he has sacrificed his ability to consistently get on base, evidenced by his a strikeout rate of 22.8% and a walk rate of just 6.0%, which are both a career-high and low, respectively.
Mazara has floundered in his attempts to hit opposing left-handers consistently. In 113 at-bats versus southpaws, Mazara has hit a lowly .204/.233/.372 with five home runs. However, he has been more attuned to hitting against right-handed pitchers, posting a much cleaner .280/.341./470 batting line with nine home runs.
Mazar struggles at the plate have transitioned to his work in the outfield as well. He has posted a minus -5 in Defensive Runs Saved as well as a minus-1.1 in Ultimate Zone Rating in 2019. Fangraphs does credit Mazara for improvements on his Range Runs rating (minus-4.2 in 2018 to just 0.0 in 2019) but does mark his outfield arm runs rating as a negative (6.3 ARM in 2018 versus a minus-2.6 ARM in 2019).
The Padres are a confusing pair because their outfield scenario is already stuffed to the gills with players. Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are performing as advertised (with Renfroe even making strides on his previously-suspect defense), Wil Myers and his albatross contract are here to stay unless Myers is shipped off in a trade. Manny Margot has been riding a hot streak in July, and both Josh Naylor and Travis Jankowski are waiting in the wings in the case of an emergency.
While it is still unknown what the Rangers would want in return for the 24-year-old outfielder, the Padres will certainly not be sending any top ten prospects to Arlington in exchange for his services, especially when they could send those assets to another team in their hunt for a top-flight starter. With a bloated outfield and Mazara’s recent struggles, a deal between the two teams is unlikely to happen by the end of the July MLB Trade Deadline.