The San Diego Padres are once again buyers at the trade deadline. After shocking the baseball world last year by trading for star outfielder Juan Soto, the Padres felt like adding more talent was necessary.
It’s been a rough season for the Padres. They currently sit at (52-55) on the year, but even though they have a losing record, they are just five games out of a potential Wild Card spot. Anything can happen if they start winning now.
Let’s break down the players that will now be putting on a Padres uniform in the next couple of days.
Rich Hill, aka … Dick Mountain … will be putting on a different uniform for the 14th time has he joins yet another ball club. Hill pitched against the Padres twice this season and once again eats up innings as he is known to do. The 43-year-old is one of the oldest players in the game and has a career ERA at 3.93.
The move to bring Hill in is a necessary one. However, some can question why the move was made so late. The Padres have been without Michael Wacha for quite some time despite his dominance this season. The team has been calling up players to fill the void while he returns. Now, Hill will take that spot, and if Wacha comes back, then Seth Lugo could find his way to the bullpen.
Hill is (7-10) on the season with a 4.76 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 22 starts. He’s on pace to finish with more strikeouts this season than he has done since 2018 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers (150).
Along with Hill comes Ji-man Choi. The Padres traded for those two players and sent Alfonso Rivas, Jackson Wolf, and Estuar Suero to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ji-man Choi breaks the ice with a solo blast! pic.twitter.com/6PYnASdpA5
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 26, 2023
Choi is now on his 5th team and reunites with South Korean baseball player Ha-Seong Kim. Choi missed about eight weeks with an Achilles strain and was activated July 7. Since his activation, he’s been batting .268 with an OPS of .930. He has smashed four homers and seems to be finding his groove. Choi comes in and starts hitting right away; then, he will likely be a permeant DH/1B option against right-handed bats.
Choi has 67 homers in his career with 236 RBIs and has drawn 233 walks. Both Choi and Hill are rentals for the rest of the season.
Barlow has a chance to be the best acquisition out of all of these players. The former Kansas City Royal is headed to San Diego for Henry Williams and Jesus Rio. Barlow has 13 saves on the season and will certainly be inserted into the setup role alongside Robert Suarez. The right-hander started the season on fire and was one of there top relievers in the game. His numbers have fallen off quite a bit. However, the Royals were an awful team that didn’t have anything to play for.
Barlow has a chance to come in and seriously improve this bullpen which has been struggling. He has held right-handed hitters to a .186 batting average which will be much needed down the stretch for San Diego.
Infielder Brandon Dixon was designated for assignment to make room for Barlow on the 40-man roster.
The final trade of the day sent starter Ryan Weathers to the Miami Marlins for Garrett Cooper and Sean Reynolds. The former first-round pick did not pan out for the Padres but has a shot to seriously improve, as the Marlins are known for perfecting their pitching prospects.
Cooper comes to the Padres as a much-needed right-handed bat for the Padres at the first base position. Choi, Jake Cronenworth, and Matt Carpenter are all left-handed bats. It seems that Carpenter may be the odd one out, so expect him to be DFA’d in the next couple of days. It doesn’t make sense to keep four first-basemen on the roster.
Garrett Cooper gives the Marlins the lead with #13 pic.twitter.com/vC73nxtQPh
— Louis Addeo-Weiss (@addeo_louis00) July 30, 2023
Cooper can also play the corner outfield spots, as he has done so many times for the Marlins. Cooper was an All-Star for the Marlins last season and is batting .256 with 13 homers and 46 RBI this season. He’s batting .348 against southpaws and is hitting .325 with runners in scoring position.
There isn’t much to know about Reynolds as of now, but he will be added to the 40-man roster. Preston Tucker had to be DFA’d to make room. Reynolds is (3-1) with a 2.77 ERA in the minor leagues. He has 12 saves in 17 opportunities with 58 strikeouts in 38 appearances. Reynolds is 6-foot-8 and was selected in the 4th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.
Let’s see if these moves can help the Padres reach the playoffs once again. There is plenty of time for things to turn around.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.