The San Diego Padres stocked their 2015 lineup with many sluggers in a valiant attempt to make the franchises first playoff appearance in nearly a decade. Bringing in Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks was a brilliant attempt to boost an anemic offense and put some runs on the board. Or at least it was a great move on paper.
The Padres pitching staff was highly regarded coming into the 2015 season. The offense had typically been the issue as the Padres recently had struggled to score runs. All these hitters that were brought in by A.J. Preller had one thing in common. They were all right handed power hitters. Teamed with Jedd Gyorko, the new lineup had a propensity to swing and miss and they did that a lot. Too many times runners were stranded and the San Diego Padres failed to play as a team. It got really bad to watch for the fans.
One thing A.J. Preller first mentioned in the offseason about the future of the team, was creating a sense of balance. He is not referring to the inner peace we all seek inside, but the balance throughout the lineup. At one time last season, Will Venable was the only left-handed thrower on the whole Padres roster. That is incredible. Only one person out of 25 that is a southpaw on a major league roster. Talk about no balance. Yangervis Solarte, Cory Spangenberg and Yonder Alonso were the lone left-handed batters in the lineup, but each are line drive style hitters and hardly menacing at the plate.
The Padres need a left-handed power type hitter. They need one now and they need one for the future. With a nucleus of young talent like Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot and Wil Myers, the team desperately needs a power bat from the left side of the plate. The closest thing the Padres have to a power hitting lefty currently is Brett Wallace. He has proved to be very useful, but is no spring chicken and is hardly a long-term solution in the lineup. Is there a solution in a trade?
Joey Gallo is the answer. He provides the youth (22) and left-handed pop that the Padres need in the middle of their lineup. He would not be cheap by any means, but the Padres and Rangers match up very well for a potential trade. They match up on several scenarios and could easily get a deal done that helps both teams now and into the future. In fact Dave Cameron of FanGraphs agreed with my original piece a couple of days ago and believes now is the time for both teams to discuss a potential mega swap.
Reports are the Rangers are already over budget for the 2016 season. Taking on salary would be tough for the Rangers at this point. Still the team is built to win now and if ownership has to extend a little, they will have no problem doing so. The Padres could provide salary relief depending on who else the Friars gets in the deal for Norris and Ross. That is where this whole thing gets really tricky.
The Rangers are currently reportedly trying to extend the contract of Adrian Beltre who is a free agent at the end of the year. If the team is able to do so, losing Gallo wouldn’t be as horrible for the Rangers. Ian Desmond and Josh Hamilton will man left field and Prince Fielder will play some first base and DH. Mitch Moreland will probably play most of the time on the field at first and with that, its obvious there is no open spot for Gallo on the Rangers current 25 man roster. At least not in an every day starting capacity.
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