A.J. Preller & Padres Waiting to Take Advantage of Market

Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

There is no question that the San Diego Padres need to make a trade or two in the near future.

With current roster construction, the team has areas that need to be addressed.

The outfield is presently overloaded with talent. With so many players (Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Franmil Reyes) capable of being major league regulars in the outfield, something will have to give eventually for the Friars. If not for the injury to Cordero, the Padres might have had to make a decision in this regard already.

While names like Jankowski and Renfroe aren’t exactly coveted by other teams, the Padres could very easily package them with prospects to entice a team. The team is in position where they have an excess of talent, and dealing a few chosen prospects wouldn’t be viewed as detrimental to the future success of this playoff-starved franchise.

In pondering the future fate of the Padres, you must also consider the upcoming Rule-5 Draft. The Padres will need to protect several players (Luis Urias, Austin Allen, Michael Gettys, Jacob Nix, Chris Paddack, Edward Olivares, Anderson Espinoza, Pedro Avila, and Hansel Rodriguez, among others) in the offseason and place them on their 40-man roster or risk losing them to another team. Surely, players like Urias, Allen, Nix, Paddack, and Espinoza will all be added to the roster. What this means is, at the very least, five players on the current 40-man roster will need to be DFA’d by the team. Thankfully, there are some names on the current roster that could very easily be expelled from San Diego.

In recent weeks, the team has been linked to names like Chris Archer and Noah Syndergaard. Neither would come cheap, though, as they each are presently under team control for multiple seasons. The Rays talk seems to have picked up the most steam, as multiple reporters have indicated that the two sides are long past initial contact about a potential trade. The Rays are known to be seeking young players, and specifically, prospects for Archer. Something could eventually be worked out.

Preller is known to be very patient while pursuing a deal. The Padres and Indians reportedly went back and forth for weeks in regards to the Brad Hand for Francisco Mejia trade. The Indians were reluctant to part with Mejia, but ultimately did as the pressure to improve the bullpen and win was too much for the Tribe.

We could be at that point right now when it comes to trading for a potential “ace” for the team. The asking price may be steep currently, but the Padres know they hold all the cards (for now). They do not necessarily need to make a move immediately. A.J. Preller can be patient. Some fans are naturally a little nervous when names like Luis Urias are put out there by the national media in trade talks. It is scary and seems counter-productive to the “trust the process” mantra that has been fed to the fan base.

However, if a great deal comes along, any prospect should be made available by the Padres. As a prospect, their ultimate ability at the major league level is still very much in question. Even the most “sure-thing” prospect has the potential to be a bust. That is just the way it is.

Currently, as the Trevor Hoffman HOF festivities die down in the Padres’ front office, I would suspect things are picking up in regards to evaluating both major and minor league talent. Look for the Padres to pounce on an opportunity if it arises. Truly, anything can happen. But at the same time, don’t expect something to happen. We all know one thing- A.J. Preller moves to the beat of his own drum. The Padres will not do the typical and they will be creative when it comes to improving the team.

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14 thoughts on “A.J. Preller & Padres Waiting to Take Advantage of Market

  1. I’m just gonna come out here and say this though Mr. James Clark since you are one of the few cogent authors on this site. How about an article that questions whether or not AJ Preller should even have a job? I was under the impression that some piece of a GM’s role was to put a team on the field that competes or even wins. I also thought that their job was to produce and acquire Major League talent. Yet another, was to assemble effective coaching which can then help young talent transition to the Bigs. None of these things have happened, and none are happening, outside of the work of Darren Balsely.

    You ride the wave of prospects and yet, based on our current output, our prospects could be in for trouble in a Padres uniform. Again though, consider looking into the definition of a “prospect”. It really doesn’t matter how our farm system is rated if we do not produce a quality product on the field. Make no mistake, Ron Fowler is not in the business of winning but AJ Preller could do a far better job pretending. We hear loads of “contention by… X year”and yet, .500 seems to be a unreachable goal. Our team has never had a winning season under Preller, does that not alarm you?

    Seriously, are you guys just pundits for the corporation called “San Diego Padres”? There are massive holes in this organization and you waste time writing about Wil Myers or Manuel Margot maybe being good, or release ten articles about potential trades, normally involving Brad Hand (which thankfully have now stopped. Can we please, for f’s sake, get some constructive critique going? This team is failing and there is nothing to show that our prospects (specifically position players will develop at a major league level. No young player in the last five years under player has developed. Hosmer is regressing, Wil is the most expensive nobody in the game. Any thoughts?

    1. PS: At the least, look at Kevin Towers for a few years, or Trader Jack. Preller is missing so many pieces, you guys will be writing about prospects and promise for the next decade. Of course by that time, Preller will be in his 7th year as the Red Sox GM and people will call him a “genius”.

    2. Paul,I could not agree more.The 31st has come and gone.Tatis is out for the year, and most or all of our prospects with the exception of Potts have not hit at the higher levels.Has anyone seen what Buddy Reed average is at SA?Sure looks like he left his game behind in Washington.Not much left to get you excited for this year kiddies.I do look forward to watching some of our pitchers throw especially Paddack.Other than that dust off the Chargers hat football is right around the corner.

      1. Friar Cryer: Thank you for that. In all honesty, I know I’m hanging myself out to dry with comments like that but I feel like no one is really addressing what is really going on with this club in regards to its upper management and coaching. I appreciate the occasional article on here but for the most part, there aren’t really any writers who are offering much, if any constructive criticism. The following quote in this article really got me:

        “The outfield is presently overloaded with talent. With so many players (Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Franmil Reyes) capable of being major league regulars in the outfield, something will have to give eventually for the Friars.” -James Clark

        -No it is not. What you have are several candidates to come off the 40 man to protect allegedly “great” prospects. None of these guys, except a healthy Myers are going to start on most major league clubs. The rest are hovering at “AAAA” which has been the hallmark of our best “talent”. Regardless, it’s alarming that guys like Myers are straining obliques and guys like Margot still can’t run straight on fly balls. That is coaching and that is training and work ethic. We don’t have that here.

        In these and other articles, we keep hearing about spurts of good things from a few players but in reality, absolutely nothing is happening for the Padres. How about some journalistic integrity folks? You can only polish a turd so much. Call out the pile that is this team and the fact that AJ is not doing well in several categories.

        PS: I’ll have to take a look at Reed but it sounds all the same, right?

        1. what exactly is your problem? This site is not created to cater to you.

          You expected a world series this year? GTFO
          The team is rebuilding and has a bright future. You cannot rush teenagers to the major league level. Just relax. Pipe down and enjoy the show when it starts. I understand your frustration, but you are ridiculously jaded in every comment you make. You act as though A.J. Preller went over to your house and kicked your dog. Lastly, DO NOT question my integrity or my writers integrity when you are not knowledgeable of the whole situation.

          1. Remarking “GTFO” is an example of lacking journalistic integrity.

            And I got it. I’ll relent after two brief paragraphs, but “rebuild” doesn’t apply here. “Rebuild” implies that there was a product to begin with. We haven’t built. We have waited. We will wait. Most of us have been waiting for several years and a couple of decades. I’m not jaded about my team (save two high end head office people), I am however, jaded that the journalism in most arenas seems to support a myth, and this club is not busting the myth. We are literally watching nothing happen professionally while it’s being reported in quite different terms. That is the exact formula for modern media. I am finding it concerning that sports writing, even on an independent site is following suit.

            Unfortunately, I am as knowledgeable as you are- my only difference is that I see that it’s patently obvious that this club is a cash cow and not a baseball team- which is converse to what it was the two times it won anything. Since the inception of Petco, or the Fowler era, results are not consistent and sample sizes of success are minute in scope. Yet, they are cited and glammed as if promise is afoot.I’ll question your integrity until we see some neutral analysis, constructive assessment, and historical comparison and contrast. Analyze man, you got this.

  2. The life of a Padres fan is usually looking forward to July 31st with great anticipation of what they might get via trades at the trade deadline, usually by flipping a player to a desperate team. With nothing else to really look forward to, this, sadly, is the pinnacle of their year. This year, however, delight has turned to dread. Now many/most of them are sweating it out, hoping that some team (Tampa Bay) is not going to take advantage of a desperate (and increasingly incompetent) Padres GM.

    1. Yep and we slid by so far. It doesn’t matter though, in the offseason he’ll do an overpay trade for Jake Arrieta or throw 200 mill at David Price after he opts out. That is right up Preller’s dead end alley.

  3. I do like the way you’re thinking about trading in order to free up 40 man roster spaces.
    But if the Mejia trade is evidence of how patient Preller is then this club is in trouble. Trading your best player, signed to a team friendly contract, along with another good reliever for a catcher who is likely to have to change positions is called getting the short end of the stick. Cleveland must be falling off their chairs with laughter, getting two ML-ers for one prospect they’ve tried to trade before.
    If they flip Mejia for Archer, probably including Renfroe and/or Reyes, then the deal becomes Hand/Cimber for Archer which isn’t terrible.

    1. Agreed. We got lucky missing out on Archer but that will turn on us in the offseason. Preller will absolutely overpay for a SP past his prime or a destined unknown. Actually, he could just sign Bryan Mitchell to a monster contract and that would supplant Clayton Richard as our ace, that would make sense for AJ- a Wil/Hosmer type of deal. Personally, I can’t wait to buy a car from a Wil Myers dealership in 2024 when he retires with a lifetime batting average of .230.

  4. Very good time for this article. I have some points to ponder and this is just under the assumption that they don’t swing a big deal for a front line pitcher, (because right now, it will be an overpay)…

    I’m looking at the outfield “talent” you mentioned. Between Margot and Renfroe, I feel like we have two semi-legit candidates for a Yasiel Puig clone: Loads of talent and ability but can’t seem to get there, or simply, are not focused on their craft. Granted, neither Renfroe or Margot can swing the bat like Puig, but in all cases, I see these players floundering in SD (which is nothing new). We don’t develop hitters here and while I’m sure (at least Renfroe) could go to a club like the Cards or Cubs (hello Gyorko and Rizzo) and fix his swing, it’s not happening here. We simply lack that transitional approach for MLB pitching and even have decent hitters regressing like Eric Hosmer.

    My thought is you move on from those two (because really, no one is going to pay for Jankowski or Wil at this point) and grab some Single-A prospects. You free up some space on the 40 man and really, you don’t lose much- if they flourish elsewhere, fine…. Otherwise, and naturally, guys like Spangy are overdue for a DFA because their careers have been DOA since they got here. Protecting the prospects is the only real concern here and somehow, someway, getting these position players to then transition to the MLB. In all reality, jumping to trade for a front line pitcher right now, seems a little overanxious and costly.

    We must have pitching coming sure, but for fuck’s sake, what we really need while we’re not contending is another veteran bat to hold down the 3 or 5 hole- Wil is not that guy. Hosmer needs protection, and Wil needs to be challenged for his overpaid job.. Looking back only a decade or so, the Pads did a decent job of that (even though they were up and down) guys like Klesko, Giles, Hairston, are invaluable to not only the team but younger players. AJ seems to miss the mark on this and I don’t understand why. These types are cheapish and solid. AJ is a great GM on paper (in the minors). How about a team that can at least go .500? Chris Archer won’t get us there next year. Him and a bat,.. maybe.

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