For a long time there has been a lot of speculation about these two teams matching up on a deal. Perhaps it is the fact that Rangers’ GM John Daniels and A.J. Preller are really good friends. Maybe it is the fact A.J. Preller worked for the Rangers for so many years and helped cultivate their farm system. In reality the fact Preller knows the Rangers farm system so well is probably what holds up a potential deal. Daniels surely does not want to be taken advantage of, but these two teams are a dream match for a potential deal. Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar lead the list of players the Padres could most definitely use. Gallo is exactly what the Padres need. I have written about this before. He is blocked by Adrian Beltre whom the Rangers just extended. It makes sense. Profar is the shortstop and top of the order hitter the Padres could use. The switch hitter is still ridiculously young (23) despite missing the last two season with shoulder issues. He has been playing shortstop with no issues and has been killing the ball since being promoted from triple-A. Profar has three homers and has a .345/.374/.517 batting line in 87 at bats with the Rangers in 2016. He is ready for an everyday role but is blocked by Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus. In reality it would take someone like Drew Pomeranz for the Rangers to consider moving Gallo or Profar. Despite these two obvious players the Padres could use, there are plenty more on the Rangers roster. Let us not forget that the Padres have many current major leaguers that can easily be an upgrade for the contending Rangers. It’s a recipe made in heaven for a deal. Hopefully the two old friends and fraternity brothers can get a deal done.
Derek Norris (C)- The Rangers need a catcher. There is no way to sugar-coat it. Robinson Chirinos, Bobby Wilson and Bryan Holaday are not exactly tearing up the league. The trio are all journeyman catchers and in a perfect world, each would be nothing more than a backup for a major league team. Derek Norris would provide a huge upgrade to the team offensively and he would also improve the defense too. A lot of what happens with Norris depends on Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers catcher is viewed as the number one choice for a team looking for a backstop. When Lucroy is dealt, Norris could suddenly become very attractive. Especially if he keeps hitting the way he has been recently.
Andrew Cashner (RHP)- The Rangers need starting pitching really bad. Yu Darvish and Derek Holland were both put on the shelf recently with sore arms. The team has little behind ace Cole Hamels and Cashner could be huge for the Rangers. The Padres would have to be satisfied in moving Cashner as I stated. They fully expect to retain a compensation pick for losing his services this coming winter. Cashner, pitching in his home state could be special for him and his family. I could easily see the Rangers exploring a long-term deal with him as well. The Padres will make moves. the severity of the moves has yet to be determined. Cashner is a big enigma to this point. Health will have a lot to do with what the team decides to do with him.
Fernando Rodney (RHP)- The Texas Rangers have some bullpen issues that need to be addressed. The team has one of the worst relief squads in all of baseball and if they plan to succeed as it gets warmer in Texas, they better fix this situation. Fernando Rodney has been dominant for the Padres this season and he could easily be traded by the team if the Rangers ante up the correct prospects. The Padres have received more than their money’s worth out of the 39-year-old closer. To sell high on him now would be the smartest thing to do provided the team have a young closer ready to take his place on the staff. Brandon Maurer has the ability, but still needs some seasoning.
Ryan Buchter (LHP)- The Rangers need in the bullpen is great and Ryan Buchter makes a lot of sense as well. The Padres have other left-handed options and could choose to deal the lefty while his value is at its pinnacle. Buchter has been lights out coming out of the pen and is now working as the teams chief set-up man to Rodney. The Rangers would love to add him to their bullpen. In fact I could see multiple Padres being dealt to Texas if the price is right.
Connor Sadzeck (RHP)- This 24-year-old right handed pitcher has a power fastball. He is presently starting at the double-A level where he is 6-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 13 starts and 82 innings pitched. Word is he could make a fast track to the majors if he solely pitched out of the pen. He has a fastball that repeatedly hits triple digits and a power slider. With some more consistency with his delivery he could be a closer or eighth inning man in the majors. He is 6′ 7″ and with a pitcher of that size, often it takes time to harness their motion. He could be a nice find for the Padres as they look for power arms to fill out the future bullpen.
Travis Demeritte (2B)- During the Midway Classic last Monday, I had the chance to see this young man first hand. Demeritte has a smooth swing and uses the whole field successfully. He is only 21 and could move over to third base if needed. He has an excellent arm defensively and fields the ball well. The right handed hitter has 19 homers this season in 254 at bats at the high A-Ball level. He has a few season to go, but with the proper tutelage he could blossom into an everyday player at second base or third base.
Josh Morgan (SS/3B)- The 20-year-old Morgan is a very professional hitter. He continually barrels up balls to all fields and is pretty patient at the plate despite his young age. He has yet to really find a position to play though. Mostly because the Rangers farm system is so deep in the middle infield area. His arm is decent enough so he could easily transition to second, third or shortstop in the future. The only chink to his armor is his power. He has three homers this year in 241 at bats while batting .274 with a .343 on base percentage. Hopefully the power comes in time. The right handed hitting Morgan has nearly as many walks (74) as strike outs (76) in his first two pro seasons and with plate discipline like that he should make it all the way to the majors. Whether or not he can be a starter is the question, but at the very least he could be a decent utility option for a team.
Yohander Mendez (LHP)- I like this pitcher very much. The 21-year-old has made a fast-track through the Rangers farm system. He is currently in double-A where he has maintained a 2.73 ERA in his first six starts. Overall this season he is 7-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 62 innings and 13 starts. The left-handed pitcher has struck out 73 and walked 22 so far this year. His best weapon is his presence on the mound. He relies on an excellent change up but still can hit 93 MPH with his fastball. He is still very young and very thin (6′ 5″ 200 lbs) and it is possible in time he gains even more velocity on his fastball, which would boost his value into an even higher level. He has a very high floor and projects as a mid-rotation starter at the very least. He could progress into something special.
Andy Ibanez (2B)- The Cuban veteran was signed by the Rangers last July for $1.6 million. At 23 he should be ready for major league service fairly soon. The stocky right handed hitter is currently in double-A after a promotion from the high-A level where he hit .324 with seven homers in 49 games and 185 at bats. He is yet another solid middle infield prospect in the Rangers system. He has an excellent strikeout (37) to walk (33) rate this season in 253 total at bats. Ibanez was rumored to be coveted by the Padres before deciding to sign with the Rangers. A.J. Preller is well aware of this Cuban infielder and he could be a viable option for the Padres. The future of this club will be decided in the next few weeks. The Rangers have the prospects that could be very useful to a rebuilding Padres team, we will see if the two sides can get a deal done that benefits both teams. It is surely possible.