The San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox match well in a potential trade as Andrew Benintendi is precisely the type of player the Padres currently covet. At the same time, the Friars could replenish a barren farm system for the Sox in a deal.
The San Diego Padres are poised to make significant transactions this winter.
Much like the firestorm of trades before the 2015 season, there is a sense that the Padres are about to explode again. Hot boiling talent-lava has risen to the surface, and something must be done to prevent an eruption. The Padres have a 40-man crunch this season and Rule 5 draft issues next season that must be addressed relatively soon. There is the feeling that the Padres are going to package multiple prospects this winter in trade offers.
A.J. Preller and his staff have had plenty of time to self evaluate. Internally, the teams best prospects have been scrutinized, as the front office determines who will be kept and who will be dangled in a possible trade scenario. The Padres have plenty of trade chips. That is for certain. Several teams will be very interested in speaking to the Friars about a possible trade.
In the Padres’ quest for relevancy, they need to improve in certain areas. On-base percentage is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. The team has also been enamored with gaining left-handed-hitters in the lineup as well. San Diego claimed Nick Martini from the Oakland A’s for this very reason. The left-handed hitter has a career OBP of .377 in the major leagues. Martini has played well, but the 29-year-old does not seem to be a fixture for the future.
One team that is always active and has a trade history with the Padres is the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the two sides have not always seen eye to eye when it comes to trades, but you cannot ignore the fit for these two franchises when it comes to a potential deal. This past July, the two sides reportedly were even discussing Kirby Yates in a potential trade. There is no doubt that the two teams will trade again.
There is one Red Sox’ hitter who fits the mold of exactly what the San Diego Padres are trying to achieve. And that is Andrew Benintendi.
At 25 years of age, there is a lot to like about the upside of the left-handed hitter. He is not due for free agency until after the 2022 season. That is three years of control for a player who should be entering the best years of his career. Benintendi owns a career OBP of .354 in nearly 1,800 major league at-bats. He will get on base boosting the Padres dreaded on-base numbers that have been suffering for years.
The price tag will not be cheap, though. The Red Sox will not be looking to shop their outfielder. Boston has problems for the future in that J.D. Martinez may opt out this winter, and Mookie Betts is one-year away from free agency. There are some key decisions that need to be made. Some feel Benintendi could fetch more on the open market than Betts and that could entice the Sox. The two extra years of service time is vital in this thought process.
So what would it take to wrestle this budding young outfielder away from the reigning Champs?
It would take a very decent haul of young players. The Red Sox aren’t precisely in rebuilding more though, and that is what makes this possible deal seem like it could be a reality. The San Diego Padres had the youngest major league team in the 2019 season. There are plenty of viable young players who are ready for major league action. Luis Urias, Cal Quantrill, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi, Franchy Cordero are just a few of the names who could provide the Red Sox with instant relief from a Benintendi trade.
It will likely take two major league ready players to get talks started, but the rest of the deal should consist of minor league players who do don’t require a 40-man spot just yet. The Padres could kill two birds with one stone here in emptying their excessive roster while adding a solid major league player with upside. A 4-for-1 deal could make sense. Both teams have much work to do this winter, and each franchise will be active as they retool for the 2020 season. If the Padres and Red Sox talk trade, Andrew Benintendi could be the name discussed most in a potential deal.