Padres general manager A.J. Preller has certainly been making moves, as the team has completely restocked their farm system in the last month and a half. Between the MLB amateur draft in June and the international market opening up in July, the team has added multiple excellent young core players. Factor in the additions of Chris Paddack and Anderson Espinoza in the last two trades and the Padres future pitching staff is looking dominant.
A.J. Preller would love to move Melvin Upton Jr. as he has boosted his value this season. When the San Diego Padres acquired Upton he was viewed as a horrible contract and the price tag for acquiring Craig Kimbrel from the Braves. The Padres took on Upton and his salary and he has rewarded the team with fantastic production. He has provided enough production that indeed the Padres are taking offers on the speedy outfielder.
Melvin Upton is “opening eyes” with his play, #Padres GM Preller says, attracting trade interest, as potential 30-30 player.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 15, 2016
Melvin Upton has been a human highlight real this season for the Padres. On a stage like New York or Boston, he would have probably garnered All-Star consideration. In San Diego, on the Padres, he was not even considered. He is currently hitting .262 with 16 home runs and 20 stolen bases. His defense in left and center has been special and if a team is looking for a speedy defender with a rare combo of power and speed, Upton is your man. He is still striking out a lot, but his offensive numbers are up all across the board. He does have value and teams could use his production come August and September.
The Padres have young talented outfielders ready for major league service time now. Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe, Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot and Jabari Blash are all capable of major league at bats. Losing Upton would not hurt the team offensively, even though he has been very productive. Each of these young men come with an offensive prowess and they could conceivably be upgrades over Upton with the bat. Each should at least be given steady at bats to determine their future with the organization.
Preller said Melvin Upton has “opened a lot of eyes.” Playing himself into legitimate trade candidate as the Padres seek to make room in OF.
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) July 15, 2016
There are many potential suitors for Upton as teams look to shore up their squads for the 2016 playoff run. The Chicago White Sox are in need of a center fielder and Upton would fill a big void for them. The two teams already connected in the James Shields for Fernando Tatis Jr. deal. The Cleveland Indians have the need for right handed hitters and also could use some outfield help. Both teams make a nice fit but it is not clear how much money the Padres would have to kick in to get a deal done. Especially if they hope to attain a decent prospect in return.
There are a lot of unanswered questions pertaining to the Padres. A.J. Preller could go in several different directions when it comes to moving players. Melvin Upton Jr. will probably be dealt though. The team needs the kids to play and Upton just makes too much money. A.J. Preller also has a tendency to move players when their value is at its pinnacle. Upton has increased his value so much that if you can move him without eating too much salary, you must do it. Stay tuned Padres fans, A.J. Preller is doing rock star things again.