Padres looking to move Jake Cronenworth?

Padres Jake Cronenworth

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Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Jake Cronenworth will be traded this winter by the San Diego Padres. Or at least that is what some reports indicate. 

The San Diego Padres are in the middle of an overhaul of their roster.

In 2023, the team failed miserably, and changes needed to be made.

The offensive unit was ineffective as a whole last season, as the team just could not drive in runs with runners on base. Juan Soto and Trent Grisham were dealt to New York as the team shed payroll and acquired young, controllable pitching in the trade. There are reports that the Padres are not done trading either.

Jake Cronenworth‘s name has surfaced as the Padres continue to think outside the box this off-season. Cronenworth is due $7.285 million in 2024 and then is owed roughly $73 million through the 2030 season. His AAV of $11.4 million is palatable as long as Cronenworth can turn his offensive production around. But that is a big question mark moving forward. This may be the Padres’ last opportunity to deal the infielder somewhere and still get a decent return.

For the last four seasons, Cronenworth has seen his OPS, batting average, and OPS+ drop. That is not a good thing.

In 2023, he recorded a .689 OPS and a 92 OPS+ while hitting .229 in 127 games for the Friars. Those numbers are below average and a great concern for his future. At the age of 30, it is difficult to see Cronenworth improve with his bat. But that is okay. The left-handed hitter still has value. Or the Padres would like to think he does.

The versatility that Cronenworth shows is very useful.

He can play all four infield positions and is also capable of playing corner outfield if needed. The former closer out of the University of Michigan can also toe the rubber and pitch an inning if you need it. Though, he has only one career appearance on the mound in the majors. There are several ways to utilize Jake Cronenworth.

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His value is based upon appraisal. A team could be enamored with his left-handed bat and take a chance on the two-time N.L. All-Star. It’s doubtful the team can acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter for Cronenworth alone, but the Padres do have the prospect capital to get a deal done.

At this point, the Padres need left-handed bats and outfielders. A trade of Jake Cronenworth can be viewed as a move sideways. It is not clear if the Padres will indeed ship Cronenworth out of town. That all really depends on the return from a team he is potentially traded to. His numbers are declining, but the city of San Diego witnessed the best of Jake Cronenworth.

Padres fans can only hope he returns to those former glory days this coming season.

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