The final trade in a furious flurry of moves from A.J. Preller was the acquisition of Brandon Drury from the Cincinnati Reds.
Drury, who is 29, is having a career year for the Reds. He’s slashing .274/.335/.520, with 20 home runs. The struggling Reds were major sellers at the deadline, as pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, along with outfielder Tommy Pham were dealt in the days before the deadline.
Drury is a journeyman who the Atlanta Braves drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 draft. He was moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013 before eventually breaking into the big leagues with the Diamondbacks in 2015. Drury played over 130 games in Arizona in both 2016 and 2017, posting batting stats that were just above league average.
He then moved to the Bronx, playing 18 games with the New York Yankees, before heading north of the border. He spent three years with the Toronto Blue Jays, but a dreadful 2020 season led to him being outrighted. The New York Mets decided to take a flier on Drury, and he had success in Queens. He hit .274/.307/.476 in 51 games with the Mets, but he was still allowed to hit free agency, where he signed with the Reds.
Drury signed a $750K, one-year contract with the Reds, and he’s proved to be highly successful. His 2.2 WAR ranked second on the team, just behind ace Luis Castillo. Drury has benefitted from the friendly confines of Great American Ballpark, which is known as one of the friendliest parks in the MLB. However, 17 of Drury’s 20 home runs would have left Petco Park, and he’ll provide some much-needed power. Only the recently added Juan Soto has more home runs than Drury among Padres players.
Drury primarily played third base in Cincinnati, but with Manny Machado, at third, he’ll have to slot in elsewhere. He’s started at all four infield positions and has an appearance in right field. He’ll be used as a utility man who can slot in anywhere, giving different players a day off or to slot in as DH. With the Padres trading Eric Hosmer and Luke Voit, they’ll need players to fill the DH role, and Drury can provide that.
Brandon Drury three run BOMB! pic.twitter.com/SyB07MJUNA
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 26, 2022
After this season, he is a free agent, and his breakout year should allow him to make much more than the 750K he’s making in 2022. It’ll be highly unlikely that Drury stays in San Diego after this season, but he’ll help the Padres’ pennant race this year.
The Padres sent 18-year-old shortstop Victor Acosta to Cincinnati. Acosta had played very well in the Dominican Summer League but struggled in 2022. He was still the Padres’ sixth-ranked prospect after the Padres had dealt MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, James Wood, Robert Hassell III, and Jarlin Susana.
Drury was the final piece of a massive trade deadline from A.J. Preller, as the Padres made more moves than any other team. They continue to go all-in, recognizing that their window of opportunity is right now.