The San Diego Padres have been on a quest for a shortstop for their Major League team. They battled through a season of Alexi Amarista, Clint Barmes, Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks at the position and appear to possibly have a future answer there in Javier Guerra.
However Guerra is likely a season or two away from being Major League ready so the team still has a dreaded hole at the position. The Padres would hate to have to have a combination of Carlos Asuaje and Jose Pirela open the season at the position. Both young players are capable of playing the position and offer a nice lefty/righty combination at the plate, but neither has had extensive time or success at the shortstop position defensively.
The Padres need an immediate answer at the position for at least the next two seasons and there is a particular team that makes a great deal of sense. The Milwaukee Brewers have Jean Segura currently in the Major Leagues as their starting shortstop. They also have Luis Sardinas whom they acquired in the Yovani Gallardo trade last season from the Texas Rangers. Sardinas is currently in the Major Leagues and ended the season at second base for the team.
The Brewers third option at the position is probably their best. Top prospect Orlando Arcia is nearly ready after playing the entire year at the Double-A level last year. The 21-year-old Arcia is clearly untouchable as he is the #12 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball. The Brewers have high hopes for the right handed shortstop. He hit .307 last season in 512 at bats. He slugged eight home runs and stole 25 bases. Arcia has a fantastic glove and is making huge strides with his bat. He could make the team this season with a good spring.
Segura and Sardinas make intriguing options for the Padres now. Segura had a great 2013 season and seemed destined for stardom. He hit .294 with 12 homers and 49 RBI’s while stealing 44 bases. The next year in the same amount of games Segura’s numbers dipped. He hit .246 with five home runs and 31 RBI’s while stealing 20 bases. The Brewers shortstop made minor improvements last season hitting .257 with six homers, 50 RBI’s and 25 stolen bases. At the age of 26, it is hard to say he can’t get any better. The 2013 all-star year Segura had and the numbers he achieved could easily be attained in the right situation.
Segura has very good speed but makes a poor leadoff candidate. He makes consistent contact, but rarely walks. In fact he only walked 13 times last season in 560 at bats. That’s an unreal stat, and with a little more plate discipline, he could once again emerge as an offensive force. Segura does posses a very solid glove. He can be a little erratic with his throws, but has excellent range to both sides of the position. The best thing about Segura is he is under team control until the end of the 2018 season. He is just hitting his arbitration years now.
Sardinas is a switch hitting infielder who is very capable of playing the shortstop position. He is only 22 and has a very high ceiling. The Brewers traded for him so it is hard to imagine them moving him unless they were blown away with an offer. Sardinas hit .196 last season for the Brewers in 97 at bats. Being that Sardinas came from the Rangers organization means that A.J. Preller is very knowledgeable of his abilities. There is a sure match for the Padres to the Brewers, but do the Padres have anything that the Brewers are currently looking for?
The Padres have replenished their farm system to a certain degree and could deal young talented players like Michael Gettys or Alex Dickerson. It remains to be seen who the Brewers are coveting but the fact their new bench coach is Pat Murphy could be a deciding factor. The Padres former interim manager took a job in Milwaukee to be the bench coach to his former ASU player Craig Counsell. Murphy has direct knowledge of the Padres farm system.
Rymer Liriano makes an intriguing option for the Brewers. The 24-year-old has a lot of potential but seems lost in the Padres Minor League outfield depth. The addition of Manuel Margot clouds Liriano’s future with the Padres even more. Still Liriano is very young and had a decent year last year in Triple-A El Paso hitting .292 with 14 home runs and 64 RBI’s. He could develop really nicely in the right situation.
The Padres could go in many different angles so it’s not known if the team would consider moving Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner in an attempt to solidify the shortstop position. The Brewers would surely be interested in either pitcher. A.J. Preller should be very active in the coming weeks, especially with the Winter Meetings kicking off the first week of December. The Brewers are definitely a team to keep an eye on. They could easily solve an issue that has plagued the Padres for a couple of seasons and at the same times help themselves.