Could the Padres Be After a Starting Pitcher from Toronto?
With the Toronto Blue Jays ready to deal starting pitching, should the San Diego Padres explore a possible deal?
The Toronto Blue Jays could begin trading away veterans for young players to build around their top prospects, according to Mike Johnston of Sportsnet.
In an article published to sportsnet.ca on May 1, Johnston said that the Blue Jays calling up MLB No. 1 prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. “could merely end up being the tip of the iceberg.”
Johnston included a quote from MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal in his article, who said he had been told that the Blue Jays might trade veterans like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Justin Smoak for young assets as part of a rebuild. The Blue Jays have three promising prospects in their top 30: Guerrero, Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio.
News of the San Diego Padres’ interest in acquiring a veteran starting pitcher, be it through free agency or a trade, has been quiet in recent weeks. That could change if Stroman and Sanchez are to become available shortly. But what would it take?
Still boasting the best farm system in baseball, the Padres have a stockpile of talent in their minor league system. With the talent either already at the major league level or arriving in the majors soon, some of their prospects are sure to find themselves blocked from debuting in the majors with the Padres.
One of those prospects looks to be Josh Naylor. Naylor can play first base or a corner outfield spot. First base belongs to Eric Hosmer until at least 2022, which could stretch to 2025 if Hosmer chooses to play the final three years of his eight-year contract.
The two corner outfield spots are split between three players – Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Franmil Reyes. Once Travis Jankowski and Franchy Cordero return from the Injured List, the Padres will have six outfielders on their major league roster.
Sending Naylor to Toronto in a trade gives the Blue Jays a young, quality-hitting outfielder to add to their rebuild. Naylor is currently .305/.393/.590 with an 11.5 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A El Paso. Throw in the fact that Naylor is from Canada, and Toronto has a marketable player on their roster.
Another prospect who is potentially blocked is Austin Allen. The Padres’ No. 20 prospect is currently catching at Triple-A El Paso. The two catchers at the major league level are Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia. Behind Allen in the system are No. 18 prospect Luis Campusano and No. 30 prospect Blake Hunt. The Padres have plenty of catching depth, and Allen looks to be the odd man in the middle.
Packaging these two prospects with a pitcher could be what it takes to acquire Stroman, who currently leads the American League in ERA (1.43). MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino aren’t going anywhere, as both pitchers are expected to debut in the majors in 2020. The Padres also are high on Ryan Weathers, whom they selected with the No. 6 overall pick in 2018.
Outside of those three are Adrian Morejon, Michel Baez, Logan Allen, Jacob Nix, Cal Quantrill and several more.
This is just one scenario to acquire Stroman or Sanchez from the Blue Jays. The Padres’ young rotation has been impressive through the first month of the season, but the rotation as is, without a quality veteran leading the way, won’t keep the Padres in the contention discussion past the All-Star break.
Mike is the sports editor for the Fayette Advertiser, and has been with East Village Times since 2015. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report. He is an avid Padres fan who is keeping the faith and trusting the process.
Well, the Jays just traded for Edwin Jackson, because most of their pitchers are injured. They’re not likely to be trading pitching anytime soon. There are Padres fans who have the hots for Stroman, but don’t seem to have an inkling of his personality.
He’s been at odds with the Toronto front ofice in the past, and just popped off against his manager after being pulled from a game. I imagine he’s on the block not only because he’d be a tough re-sign, but because the Jays may well see him as an example of addition by subtraction. I doubt he would mesh well with the current Padres manager or players.
It’s always entertaining to see what fans of other teams think their dross and blocked prospects can bring from other teams ‘in rebuild mode.’ As at least one responder noted, the Blue Jays are well-stocked in Naylor-level corner prospects (and it’s a first for me to see him mentioned as an OF, despite having watched him for hears, being from the next town over from where he lives). And catchers. So, the complete basis for the trade speculation in this post is ill-informed of the Toronto organization. But hey, we all do it. I look at depths for other teams and try to find trades for Sanchez, who’s becoming a bit of a pariah on his team and the overly-energetic Stroman, plus for Smoak. Even Ken Giles gets my mind spinning. But in each case, the spectre of that Chris Archer trade looms for executives to match. Stroman has been awfully close to Archer over his career. He started the finals for the US in the last World Cup. Sanchez won an ERA title and is really only a trade candidate due to fingernail issues. Otherwise, he’d already be pitching in the second year of a five year extension. Unlikeability and all (all including his agent). Nobody is exactly anxious to see the kind of deal you’ve offered. A maybe or two for Stroman doesn’t cut it.
As others have said, a deal for a pitcher with two post-seasons available to them AND post-season success will cost a chunk o’ talent. You mentioned Weathers and another quintet of prospect hurlers. Two of them plus an OF off your roster would likely be the price. My guess? Morejon, Quantrill (because he IS the son of an ex-Blue Jay/Canuck) and a toss up between Renfroe and Cordero. Depending on the timing, I could see injury insurance headed back to the West Coast depending on where the injuries are at the time of the transaction. The mythical transaction. I honestly think the Jays decide to extend him and trade Sanchez. A month ago, my calculus was exactly the opposite. But it does seem strange to trade a player and then immediately start looking for … another Stroman.
Your offer for Matt Boyd of Detroit, with one of the hurlers you highlighted, might get you that pitcher you need.
Just to clarify about Naylor-level prospects … Rowdy Tellez appears to be a 30 HR kind of adequate first baseman and Vlady is going to end up at 1B just because there’s 3B’s behind him in the prospect pipeline. Groshans might be the guy after Drury is the bridge 3B. That leaves a middle IF trio of Bichette, Biggio and your old SS Galvis to be mentor. That ignores Gurriel and a host of SS prospects that have run into some early season bumps, but it’s the most-stocked position in the organization. Since 1B/DH types with power are always available, Naylor’s Canadianism is meaningless (we just PAID LA to take Russell Martin out of town). Talent plays. And right now, Naylor’s talent set doesn’t set Canadian hearts beating. If Roger Clemens pitching to two straight pitching Triple Crowns didn’t put any fannies in the stand, Josh Naylor is not going to either. We’ve got a thumper with defensive issues in Hernandez to play one of the corners. Gurriel, Johnathan Davis and Anthony Alford are all available to hold the line in the OF with Grichuk. And to be honest, I’d personally love to see Dalton Pampey (another Canadian) get healthy and play to his talent level. By the time the Killer Bees are in Toronto, the purse-strings will also have loosened to go free agent hunting. All of this is not to diminish Josh. Nice kid. Talented kid. Some team will eventually decide that having a Jose Martinez-like player around to pinch hit is a good thing. That team is unlikely to be Toronto.
I am looking at the August rotation hypothetically and working backward to today. I had really felt we missed an opportunity in the off-season to add Kluber and clarify the outfield. Look how, first, our own kids have pitched, and second, how Kluber was (even prior to the injury). The right move proved to be standing pat. That shows what I know. But, it, and the injury bug, have damaged our pen.
IF Lamet returns to the top 5 as he is capable of being and IF (long shot) Richards were to return, I am not sure I would do much. Maybe sign a one year prorated contract to Keuchel the day after the draft? I like Stroman a lot as he’s been in postseason chases, and he’s a fiery competitor. He’s also “contract motivated” ( aren’t we all…). I would rather deal (if possible) from our excess MLB options if possible. Hosmer has come around as I had hoped, but as young as Naylor is, I would hate to send out our only real organizational depth at first (and a potentially lethal OBP/power bat that is controllable). I know Franmil is a beast who has shown the ability to adapt at the MLB level. But, he and Margot and Renfroe are both “needs” for Toronto and also all right handed for us. And, Renfroe – again, a favorite – is only controlled for two more seasons. The only places to get left handed balance in the foreseeable future in the everyday lineup are 2B and the outfield. Other positions are thankfully locked up. Are we assuming Urias (right handed) is going to take the 2B job long term? Maybe that lack of balance is not as concerning as I think it is
Is your proposal unreasonable? No. I don’t know that either MiLB player loss would close our window. But, I would not be sending HIGH level prospects for 1.8 years of control of a starting pitcher when we have essentially a 6 man rotation right now prior to the two potential in-house improvements. I mean who are you sending down? Lucchesi? If we acquire Keuchel and Stroman, who goes down? Or, do they move to the pen? In that scenario, I may be a greater supporter. Do you push Strahm and Lucchesi to the pen? I am starting to like this actually… Realistically, how many years before Gore and Patino (etc.) emerge? If we get to the deadline, and we need a veteran or two as leader/rentals to bring a title this year, okay. That’s different.
It’s interesting. Lol. Naively, I would target left handed long-term everyday bats and bullpen (not Kimbrel) unless the IL will clear up sooner than later or someone like Munoz is on the cusp. Or, unless a guy like Stroman can be had cheaply. I don’t know what I am talking about…just random opinion. I trust the baseball ops group to keep bettering the team and lengthening the window as they have been doing.
I am a Jays fan and i can GUARANTEE you Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman are going to be traded for PITCHING prospects not position players. The Blue Jays farm system is probably the top farm system for position players in baseball. Jays management needs Pitchers for the future not more hitters, there can only be nine playing at once. So please no more articles about trading all star callibre pitchers for excess hitting. Good Luck to the Padres this year.
None of the Toronto pitchers are top of the rotation guys. We already have plenty of middle of the rotation pitchers. I do not want to trade any assets for excess middling players as we no longer need depth. We need to save our trade bait for true top of the line players that will put us over the top.