The 2021 season is a magical one for the San Diego Padres. Or, at least, that is what most believe.
With Fernando Tatis Jr. leading the way, the San Diego Padres have suddenly become must-watch TV. That is highly unusual as the franchise was always an afterthought for MLB die-hards. The success of the Padres is few and far between. To put it bluntly, The San Diego Padres were a joke.
Year after year, fans endured mediocre baseball from an ownership group who had minimal expectations of winning. Earning money from the fan base was the only goal. In seasons past, the owners brought in players like Jim Edmonds, Mike Piazza, Greg Maddux, Ray Lankford, and Ron Gant. They told the fans that these players were not past their prime, and this was an attempt to bring a successful baseball team to the city of San Diego.
We all know the result. Maddux and Piazza may have produced for San Diego, but their appeal to the owners was simply to put more butts in the seats of Petco Park.
Times have surely changed as the Padres approach the 2021 MLB trade deadline with lofty ambitions. Nothing but a World Title will be deemed a success by the group in charge of the team. The roster is full of stars, and the farm system is still stocked with prospects. If the Padres care to make a series run, nothing seems unimaginable.
A.J. Preller is aggressive when it comes to trades. If he covets a player, he will pay the price. Except for his last few trades with Cleveland, Preller seems to win most trades. He is a great evaluator of young talent, and the Padres surely have reaped the fruits of his knowledge.
The Chicago Cubs are currently hovering around the .500 mark and chasing the Milwaukee Brewers by more than eight games. The team dealt away Joc Pederson this week and will likely make more trades as they restructure for the 2022 season. Kris Bryant is the big trade chip as the infielder/outfielder is a free agent at the end of the year. The Cubs and Bryant are not likely to reunite with a new contract, so now is the time for Chicago to deal its homegrown slugger and receive more than a compensation pick next June.
The Padres and Kris Bryant rumors have circled around San Diego before. The former USD Torero has ties to the city and would surely enjoy playing on a team like the Padres. A team full of swag. A team that likes to have fun and play the game they all grew up playing.
Bryant is currently moving all over the field for the Cubs. He’s played all three outfield spots as well as third base and first base. In a recent interview, Bryant spoke about playing all over the field and described it as like playing baseball when he was growing up. As a young player, Bryant played all over the field. The right-handed hitter is getting the opportunity to play the game and have fun. It is no coincidence that his numbers are peaking in 2021.
With a current slash line of .268/.348/.495, there is a lot of value in the slugger. The four-time All-Star and former MVP will require a hefty haul though. The Cubs will need at least a few prospects to get a deal done, and they will likely command players who are not considered lottery picks. To deal a franchise-like player, even in a contract year, a team must be swept off of their feet.
For the Padres, thankfully, they have plenty of depth in the minors to scratch the Cubs’ itch for quality.
Can these two sides agree on a deal in time? Only time will tell.
As far as Bryant and his fit for the Padres. That is a little tricky, but he possesses quite a bit of versatility with his glove. You can envision Bryant playing first base against a left-handed pitcher so that Eric Hosmer can rest. You can also see a scenario where Trent Grisham is out of the lineup against a tough lefty, and the Padres go with Wil Myers, Tommy Pham, and Bryant.
There is a fit for Bryant. The Padres would welcome his terrific bat, and depth is a great thing for a team on a quest for a World Series Title.