With the rebuild fully underway, the San Diego Padres are in the midst of yet another noncompetitive season.
Despite the overall record at this point, the 25 man roster does still have several guys turning in solid performances who could be had by teams in the playoff hunt come the July 31st trade deadline. We’ll take a look at those names and some potential trade partners that could arise over the next two months.
The most obvious candidates to be traded are those on expiring deals.
The Padres will have little use for these players over the second half of the season, as they won’t be pushing for a playoff spot and we can expect them to be bringing up more of the next wave of prospects as the calendar turns over to August and September. Since these players will most likely be leaving for more lucrative deals on the free agent market this winter, the team might as well get something for them now as none are likely to receive a qualifying offer that would entitle the Padres to a compensatory draft pick should the player decline.
Galvis was brought in as the latest in a long line of veteran stop-gaps to man shortstop for the Padres over the last several seasons. So far he’s been exactly as advertised; despite the hot start in April his bat quickly cooled off and his offensive numbers now sit in line with his career averages, but the defense has consistently wowed fans. In December, the Padres sent minor league pitcher Enyel De Los Santos to the Phillies for just the one year of Galvis. At the time the move was heavily criticized by some writers as one that was unnecessary and counterproductive for a team not expected to compete in 2018. De Los Santos’ solid season so far in the minors has only served to prove their point. In any deal for Galvis the Padres are unlikely to get much at surface value, so they would need to rely on their scouting department to find an ideal piece at the lower levels of a club’s system much like they did with Fernando Tatis Jr. Galvis has played at second a bit in his career, so that versatility will add some value to him.
Potential fits: NYM, CLE, PIT
After a lost 2016 and a disastrous 2017, Ross has looked much like the staff ace that Padres fans remember during his previous stint with the team. He’s regained his control of a devastating slider following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and has put together the best campaign so far of any of the team’s consistent starters to start the season. Although a clear number one in this rotation, on most competing teams he would still slot in as a number two or three starter. Down the stretch, such a pitcher could fetch a nice return. Even for just half a season. There’s been some mention that the Padres might choose to hold onto Ross and even extend him past this season to be a veteran anchor over the next few years. However, Ross can still be resigned in free agency this winter after spending the second half of the season elsewhere. Preller has held on to veterans on expiring deals at the deadline in the past (see: Justin Upton), but the right team, if hungry enough for starting pitching, may be pushed to pony up and pay the price for Ross.
Potential fits: NYY, PIT, LAA, SEA
Lyles has worked as a bit of a swingman for the Padres’ pitching staff up to this point in the season with great showings out of the bullpen but mixed results in his four starts. He’s collectively had better numbers across the board compared to his career averages, and much of that can be owed to the success of his curveball, which he’s shown far better command of than in past seasons. His highlight of the campaign came on May 15th against his former organization, the Colorado Rockies, when he struck out 10 in 7 ⅓ perfect innings before allowing a walk and a base hit and being removed from the game. In his two starts since, Lyles has given up nine runs in 10 ⅓ innings. With Lockett coming up from El Paso to start tomorrow’s game, Lyles seems to have lost his fill in spot in the rotation for now and can hopefully regain his early season dominance in some shorter appearances out of the pen. He’s signed through the end of this season but there is a team option on his contract for 2019, making him more than just a rental for any teams looking for extra bullpen help.
Potential fits: CLE, SEA, LAA, ATL
As usual, the big bright spot for the team has been the performance of the bullpen. Thanks to an offseason extension of Brad Hand, the late innings are locked down by guys who are under multiple years of club control which will be very appealing to competitive teams. Darren Balsley has consistently shown how great he is at revitalizing pitcher’s careers and these three are no exception.
Brad Hand: Hand came over as a waiver claim from Miami where he bounced between the rotation and bullpen, never showing sustained success in either roll. Since arriving in San Diego, Hand has been one of the most dominant LH relievers in all of baseball, taking on the closer during the 2017 season but also showing versatility while being used in high leverage situations earlier in games as well. His strikeout out numbers have been phenomenal, at one point he held the record as the fastest pitcher in franchise history to 100 K’s, and he’s seemed to have improved with his ERA+ rising from 136, to 198, to 201 in each of his three seasons here. Hand is currently under contract through 2020 at a total $19.75 million with a team option for 2021.
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Growing up in Dodgers country, Bradley would proudly display his Padres fandom through the roughest years of non competitiveness and rebuilding. With the Padres on the verge of contending, he’s excited to get the opportunity to cover them on a regular basis along with their minor league system.