Padres acquire Pham from Rays for Renfroe

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Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a trade late on Thursday night.

The San Diego Padres acquired outfielder Tommy Pham late in the evening as they search to bolster their roster.

The reports indicate that the Rays will receive Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards in the deal. Middle infield prospect Jake Cronenworth will be the prospect coming to San Diego.

A.J. Preller is hell-bent on improving this Padres’ team, and this is just the latest of several moves made by the young G.M.

The Padres give up a terrific young prospect in Edwards, but the farm system is full of depth at the second base position.

Hunter Renfroe had a terrific start to the 2019 season but slowed drastically in the second half prompting this deal by the Padres.

The 31-year-old right-handed hitter is under team control for the next two seasons. Pham is precisely what the Padres need right now. He is a high on-base player who traditionally plays plus defense. He has recorded a career .373 on-base in a little over 1,800 at-bats.

Pham recorded a .273/.369/.450 batting line last year in 145 games for the Rays. He amassed a 3.7 WAR on his way to a .818 OPS season.

Edwards was ranked the fifth-best prospect in the Padres system by MLB Pipeline. The 20-year-old consistently got on base at the Single-A and High-A levels, batting to a collective .322/.375/.396 batting line with 34 stolen bases. He is an on-base machine but carries little pop in his bat, hitting just one home run in over 500 plate appearances.

Cronenworth is listed as the 17th ranked prospect in the Rays system. The 25-year-old infielder came into his own last year at Triple-A Durham with .334/.429/.520 batting line and ten home runs. Most intriguing is that he was also employed as an opener with the Bulls and threw his fastball in the mid-’90s with a good curveball. If the Padres’ desire, Cronenworth can make an impact on the roster as a rare two-way player.

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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.

23 thoughts on “Padres acquire Pham from Rays for Renfroe

  1. Bill, I have to agree with you about Hunter Renfroe. I picked him to have a record year in 2019 and he was well on his way to it until injuries and a total “club” breakdown in the second half of the season. I have always maintained that something was not right in the clubhouse, maybe our former manager or something else behind the scenes that we are no privy. I watched how Meyers seemed to be disenfranchised in the dugout, what gives? I like Tommy Pham a lot, but the fact that he is 32 with only 2 years left until arbitration vs 4 years of control of Renfroe shows me that Preller is fighting for his job, not looking to build a long-term contender.

  2. I’m seeing another lineup of “if this, this, and this happens we can…”

    Preller is the one we should be designating for assignment! 7-11 is hiring, AJ!

    Now we have 3-4 people to possibly play second base and 12M invested in it. And… more hope than help! Other than watching some of our young pitchers develop, I don’t see much for this year. Preller will put a team on the field that will have our young pitchers pitching from behind and believing they can’t allow a run. I see us averaging less than 3 runs a game.

    Another losing season 75-87 and someone else will have to come in and clean up AJ’s dreadful season of crap trades. The new guy will want his own manager so, a whole new beginning after this season again. Contend in 2021!

  3. A Renfroe for Pham straight up would have been acceptable.
    But, including Edwards for a prospect with Utility player written all over him?
    Another MAJOR overpay by the Padres.
    Whatever happened to waves of talent crashing into San Diego from our minor leagues?
    This seems a lot like 2015 2.0.
    Sure hope we don’t see another Meyers or Kemp type trade during the Winter Meetings.
    We are still paying for those bone head moves.

    1. “This seems a lot like 2015 2.0.”

      Yes, I thought the same thing: An urgency to win now, which other teams know about, which gives them the leverage, combined with Preller’s tendency to make bad deals and overpay, and willingness to forfeit the future for a splash now.

      Those who focus mainly/solely on winning now won’t complain much, and even celebrate, but these moves will make a 70 win team a 75 win team, or perhaps 80…or even 85 if all goes perfectly. But Preller has forfeited much of their capital to finish in 3rd place rather than 5th. Why? Because he is likely to get fired. Shortsighted people don’t see this, or don’t care, while the rest of do.

      1. Totally agree with you Tommy T.

        Plus, just a hunch, the 1st half we saw from Renfroe will likely be the guy the Rays are getting.

        If you think about it, if Renfroe wasn’t injured, would this trade even be considered if the man had finished with a .325 OBP last year to go with that power?? My guess………….NOOOOOO WAY!!!!!! His injuries sapped power and he had to compensate, unsuccessfully. So, this trade will, more than likely, sting for a long time.

        You keep the young affordable guys that can produce.

        I like Pham, really good player. Just think we over paid big time for a 2 year rental that isn’t a super star. Quality player…yes, not a great player.

        Losing Xavier on top of that……….OUCH!

        I mean now we get to see Trea Turner AND the X man kicking butt for other teams for years to come…..AWESOME.
        <—– Also, Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Yasmani Grandal, to a lesser extent Jake Bauers, Mallex Smith. I miss anyone?

        And what do we have left to show for it??? Will Myers at $21M a year (your league leader in strike outs per about!!! yeah), Hector Olivera(I mean….WHO??) at $8.5M this year, Jose Castillo (next annual injury pending) and Gerardo Reyes (no control / command, barely clinging to a roster spot). That folks….is total carnage and self sabotage of the highest order.

        Seems like we keep making moves to compensate for the previous stupid move. Its insanity!!!

        1. You’re right, I was thinking about the value of Renfroe at the all-star break last year, and if they traded him at that point then they could have a had so much more, yet Preller trades him at his lowest point.

          WAR-wise Pham and Hunter were not that far apart last year, and HR has more youth and twice as many years of control. The Rays are selling Pham after his second highest WAR, and when players start to decline.

          The players you list are real, and really sad, and in a few years I think we will have a similar list. Even then there will still be fans defending Preller and his “genius.”

        2. @Padre Rob I think you need to calm down a little bit. There is no question that we need to shake up our outfield and Hunter Renfroe was part of a failed lineup that could only score when hitting home runs. He was a great HR hitter, but the guy barley drove in runs outside of that. The Padres need to move some of their prospects to make this team better for 2020. If they don’t then that makes the Machado and Hosmer signings pointless. I hope they make more trades to improve their team, but I hope it’s for players with a more years of control.

          1. Shake up the outfield? Yes, agreed. But at what price, both on offense and defense, and, as you said, ideally it would be for players with more years of control. But the complaint is not giving up prospects, but the value of the prospects given up, in context of the return. Also, what would make the signing of Hosmer not pointless? I can’t see any way he makes that contract worth it. (unless there is some steroid-like surge, which I would not think a guy like that would ever be involved in, nor suggesting anyone should, just an illustration).

          2. Regarding your comment “I think you need to calm down a little bit. There is no question that we need to shake up our outfield and Hunter Renfroe was part of a failed lineup that could only score when hitting home runs. ”

            I agree, we were home run dependent. Was there to watch many a game and witness it…..yet again.

            But lets look at the architect of that line up (quick guess….Preller).

            The primary issue we had was lack of lineup balance, poor OBP, and a ton of strike outs. <—By the way did you see the MO of Edwards? That's his thing. GET ON BASE.

            We keep looking to address these issues while failing to address the root cause (Myers is a massive one that comes to mind and Hosmer is right there). <—-Haven't seen that get fixed.

            By the way…have you seen the Runs scored / RBI's for Pham last year…77/68.

            Renfroe's (playing injured in the entire 2nd half) Runs scored / RBI's was 64/64.

            We just traded a better defender for a guy that netted 17 extra runs on offense but was a net 21 runs worse on defense?

            For a net total of -4 run differential we just acquired.

            Let that sink in for a moment.

            That doesn't look like an improvement to me.

            I'm not saying Renfroe for Pham was terrible (although it may turn out to be as soon as this coming season, stay tuned). But, paying the premiums we are paying for guys like Pham, Profar and Grisham is mighty steep.

            It should have been, at best, a straight up swap.

  4. This is the best of the the three trades that have been made so far. Pham a definite upgrade over Renfroe and Edwards is good but the prospect they got is closer to MLB ready and coming off a solid year. And they aren’t having to throw in an extra player or cash.

    1. “And they aren’t having to throw in an extra player or cash.”

      Ha, or so you would think, but not when it comes to Preller trades. Per MLB trade rumors, and MLB.com: “It appears the Rays will also land another prospect in the deal, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com.”

      Are you kidding me?! Again! Why?! 3 for 3.

      Pham is an upgrade IF he has the same year as last year, but he is at stage where players decline (he’ll play at 32 and 33 for the Padres). Also, he has a degenerative eye disease, which was part of the reason the Cardinals traded him. He is an upgrade on offensive, but a horrible downgrade on defense, especially compared to specifically with Renfroe. He did play CF at one point, but now is a weak fielding LF who DH’d a lot last year. He gets on base way more, and has more speed (at least more SB’s) but less power (I’d take the OBP over the slugging).

      Edwards is young, but he is exactly what the team has needed for years, a high OBP guy to lead off (or perhaps bat 2nd) and who can steal a lot of bases, play incredible defense, and is extremely versatile (SS, 2nd, CF). Espn said this: “The Rays could play him at shortstop, though a scout who saw Edwards multiple times this season says he believes he could be a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman.”

      The Padres might get better for a short window (a year, maybe 2 if everything goes perfectly). Yet the Rays may go down a little, at worse, but it could even out, or even go their way in the next year or 2. AND they are much better down the road (the get 4 years to 2 years for OF’s, and a prime, top70 prospect who has gold-glove talent and can lead off).

      I hope it works.

  5. I didn’t like it at first because of Edwards and Pham’s age. But, IF Cronenworth is the high OBP SS playing plus plus defense at 2B I am hoping he is as AAA player of the year, then he’s a cheap advanced version to some degree. And, according to reports, Pham is a needed edge in the clubhouse for an organization that traditionally suffers fools. IF Pham can give us two carbon copy seasons like his ’19 I think it works. Roster currently looks like this?

    CF Tommy Pham. R
    2B Jake Cronenworth. L
    SS Fernando Tatis Jr. R
    3B Manny Machado. R
    1B Eric Hosmer. L
    LF Wil Myers. R
    RF Trent Grisham. L
    C. Francisco Mejia. S

    C Austin Hedges. R
    IF/OF Jurickson Profar. S
    OF Franchy Cordero. L
    IF Greg Garcia. L
    OF Manny Margot. R

    Get Myers right and we may have something. This team looks a lot more like a playoff winner than a few hours ago though it’s not what I imagined. More to come obviously.

    1. Cronenworth is a utility player, best case scenario. Did you know that the Rays left him unprotected from the Rule 5 draft last year?

  6. This is the first really good deal of the off season. Because Pham is a very good OF. He hits for average, power, steals bases, and always has a high on-base percentage. His numbers for 2019 were .273 BA, .369 OBP, 121 wRC+, and 3.3 WAR. These are all excellent. And Cronenworth could be the 2nd baseman in 2020.
    Giving up on Renfroe was necessary. He turns 28 soon, so there’s really not much potential left. At this point, this is the player he is. And what he is a terrible OBP slugger who cannot hit right handed pitching. In 2019 against righties his BA was .208, his OBP was .274, and his wRC+ was 88. These are all bad numbers, and since 75% of the time you will face RHP, he is essentially a platoon player.
    We gave up a good prospect in Edwards, but he’s an A-ball SS and the club is fine at SS for maybe the next 10 years.

    1. So Renfroe is what he is because he’s about to be 28 but Wil Myers, a full year older still has “potential?”

      Pham stats look good but I’m not a fan of the two-year rental thing and I’ve heard whispers of him being a negative clubhouse presence.

      With this trade and the Urias trade, they best hope that CJ Abrams develops fast and develops well.

      1. Have not heard that. Have heard he won’t tolerate loser mentality. Good Cardinal way background. It’s needed.

        Team must have decided Abrams is the future at second. I can see why.

      2. Don’t think Myers has any potential left either, although he does have a fair chance to rebound from his worst year to the 1.5 – 2.0 WAR range.
        Pham brings some clubhouse leadership as well.

        1. And Renfroe has a chance to rebound from his worst second half ever to the All Star caliber player he was in the first half. See? I can do that too.

  7. Preller you finally lost me on this trade. What a horrible deal! you were taken on this one. The owners are at fault too as they were the one’s with the “heads will roll” BS. So we get an OFer at the start of his decline phase for a young player on the rise in his prime. This is so much like the Rizzo trade it makes me sick. And we threw in the Xman too, what a joke. Im making my call now… Renfroe hits: .265, 38 HRs, 98 RBIs, 82 Rs and 6 SBs next year.

    1. Yep, incompetence + desperation. That is the best way to explain this, and the other moves. They keep getting worse with each move by A.J. (although they might be a little better for one year, but then far worse).

    2. Bill, I have to agree with you about Hunter Renfroe. I picked him to have a record year in 2019 and he was well on his way to it until injuries and a total “club” breakdown in the second half of the season. I have always maintained that something was not right in the clubhouse, maybe our former manager or something else behind the scenes that we are no privy. I watched how Meyers seemed to be disenfranchised in the dugout, what gives? I like Tommy Pham a lot, but the fact that he is 32 with only 2 years left until arbitration vs 4 years of control of Renfroe shows me that Preller is fighting for his job, not looking to build a long-term contender.

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