There is no doubt that A.J. Preller will be looking for inexpensive pitching this winter.
The San Diego Padres need to save money. Currently, only Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish are under contract in the starting staff. Blake Snell, Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, and Nick Martinez are all free agents and can explore signing with any major league team.
So, what will the Padres do?
They could open up their pocketbooks and sign a free agent. But that seems unlikely. A reunion with Snell is not out of the question, but it does not feel certain for San Diego. It would honestly take a minor miracle for that to happen.
With the last half of the rotation non-existent and the team reportedly looking to slash payroll by $50 million, the Padres will need to think outside the box.
Thankfully, formulating a plan and executing it is one of A.J. Preller’s best traits. You can argue about his choices in talent, but if the young G.M. sets his mind to obtaining a player, he will do it. That type of mentality will be needed this winter as the Padres overhaul the 40-man roster.
The Miami Marlins are blessed with starting pitching and could part with Trevor Rogers in the right scenario.
Rogers is 25 (will be 26 later this month) and Miami’s first-round pick in 2017 out of Carlsbad High School in New Mexico. The lefty missed most of last season with a right lat strain and a left biceps strain. Nothing too serious as Rogers is expected to be at full strength this spring.
In 2021, Rogers went 7-8 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.150 WHIP in 25 games and 133 innings pitched. He was named an N.L. All-Star and struck out 157 batters while only allowing six homers on the season. At 23 years of age, Rogers was one of the most promising young pitchers in the league.
His 2022 season was forgettable as the southpaw went 4-11 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.505 WHIP in 23 starts and 107 innings pitched. A lat injury ended his season early, and it obviously lingered into 2023. There is some injury risk with this pitcher, given the fact he only made four starts this past season at the major league level.
Rogers is a high-upside pitcher. His fastball velocity shot up to the 96-97 mph level in his all-star season. If he can retain his velocity, then his secondary will continue to generate swings and misses. For the Padres, pitching coach Ruben Niebla may be able to get some more production from this young pitcher. Niebla has a track record of success when it comes to refining pitchers who are raw.
Preller and the Padres could pay the asking price of the Marlins. The Padres have multiple position players who are emerging in the minors, and the team is also well-stocked in the pitching department at the lower levels. The two sides worked together in the past and would welcome a trade.
If the Padres want to compete in the coming years, they will need young, controllable pitchers. Trevor Rogers is signed through the 2026 season and will be first-year arbitration-eligible this coming season. That is exactly the kind of arm that the Padres need to stockpile while they wait for the cream of the minor-league pitchers to develop.
A.J. Preller and the Padres are on the prowl. Stay tuned. It should be an interesting winter.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.