Every year in late August major league baseball teams replenish their roster in an attempt to create the best squad for a September playoff push. There are plenty of teams in it this year who have playoff aspirations and with that the San Diego Padres and A.J. Preller could still be active in the trade market.
Names like Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis, Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Brian McCann, Mitch Moreland and Matt Wieters have all reportedly passed through waivers and may be dealt before the end of August and still play on their potential new team for the playoffs. Shields and Kemp are both former Padres and their inclusion on this list truly shows you what kind of mess this franchise was in to start the 2016 season. Changes needed to be made to the roster and they were.
The Padres are shaping the future of the franchise and they will certainly not be opposed to moving a player or two and gaining some young talent in return. The August Waiver period is a secretive process in most regards. The previous listed players reportedly have cleared waivers, but nobody really knows for certain until a deal is done. There have been no indications that any of the Padres have passed through waivers at this point.
Only time will tell if Preller will have a chance to get another deal done. There are certainly some Padres that could be of interest to playoff contending teams. Let’s take a look at some possible names the Padres could move in the next week or so.
The catching depth the Padres currently have leads most to believe that Derek Norris will surely or has been placed on waivers. He is still relatively young and under team control at a decent price, so it is possible that multiple teams claimed him. The Padres and their G.M. are not one to trade a player while his value is down and Norris is surely stunted his value with a horrible offensive year. I really do not expect the Padres to deal Norris before the end of the year. With that being said, A.J. Preller will probably move him. He usually does the opposite of what everybody thinks. Truth is the Padres will only move Norris if the get a decent return. The franchise still values him and he will not be traded just for the heck of it.
The currently injured outfielder is close to returning to game action. A fastball to the forearm in late June from the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez has sidelined the outfielder. If not for his injury, Jay would have surely been dealt by now. He is in the last year of his contract and at the time of the injury, was playing really well. He has great baseball instincts and has a clutch left-handed bat. For a playoff team, he would be a huge addition. His injury clouds him being dealt though. Reports are he will not return until September so Jay would have to do some quick healing and the Padres would need to get creative with their roster. Still to a playoff team, Jay could be a huge piece and taking him on with a slight injury issue is well worth it this time of year. Playoff teams need to take risks in order to hoist that World Series trophy.
Clearly Ramirez has fallen out of favor with the Padres. The team called up young shortstop Jose Rondon to take his place and it was announced by manager Andy Green theat Ramirez would take a back seat the rest of the season to younger players. The Rondon experiment did not work as he was shipped back to the minors and Nick Noonan was recalled to play short. Noonan has since been optioned and the uncertainty about the Padres shortstop position continued. Ramirez had been rotating with Adam Rosales but clearly neither was a long-term option. Luis Sardinas was recalled this week after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners. He will probably man the position for the rest of the year. Meanwhile Ramirez could be productive for a team looking for a backup/mentor-like shortstop. The chances of dealing Ramirez are not very likely and the return for him would be a fringe prospect at best.
Another veteran who could be of interest to a playoff team is Wallace. He has the ability to play third base occasionally so that gives his value a slight boost. The left-handed power hitter has decent pinch-hitting numbers this season and could be helpful to a potential playoff team late in the game. Wallace is not in the Padres plans for the near future so he could easily be attained. His demand is minimal at best, but the Padres would not command much for him.
The veteran right handed pitcher makes this list simply because he eats innings and still has very good stuff. His inconsistency is maddening but with Jackson in the last year of his contract, he has all the motivation in the world to finish the year out strong. The Padres might have some interest in Jackson for next year, but that really depends on his contractual demand. Teams could have interest in Jackson for a PTBNL. Preller will explore all options.