The Texas Rangers are an organization that new San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller knows very well. He was in the Texas Rangers organization for 10 years, after being hired as the Director of International and Professional Scouting in 2004. Preller worked his way all the way to Assistant General Manager, when the Padres hired him in August of 2014.
With 10 years of service with the team, you can be sure that Preller knows their organization very well. He especially knows their prospects and its only fitting that a deal might take place between the two teams. Up until Jurickson Profar went out for the year with a shoulder issue, Profar was being speculated as a possible Padres target. Profar is out for the year now, and that ship has probably sailed. I would not expect the Padres to have interest in him until he shows that he can remain healthy for an entire baseball season. The once promising young talent has a long road ahead of him.
The Texas Rangers are currently in fourth place in the American League West. They sit 8.5 games behind the surprising first place Houston Astros. The team is being plagued by low batting averages, high ERA and poor fielding. The team is playing very inconsistently, and a deal could help them pull out of their present funk.
Looking over the Rangers roster, they have many offensive players that could potentially help the Padres. In my eyes the most evident and potentially helpful player to the Padres is center fielder Leonys Martin. The 27-year-old Cuban outfielder plays an exceptional defensive center field. He is also a left-handed hitter and has very good speed. Martin has struggling so far this year, only hitting .198 with one homer and eight RBI’s this year in 31 games. The Rangers seem very displeased with his inconsistency, but perhaps a change of scenery would help him.
The Padres team is loaded with questions in the outfield presently, so I’m not sure how a deal could be consummated for Martin. Melvin Upton Jr. is to return some time in June and with the return of Yonder Alonso, Wil Myers is set to go back to center, isn’t he? For a deal to get done for Martin, the Padres would have to get really creative. Something that I wouldn’t discount with Preller on the prowl.
The shortstop position is where the obvious need is for the team. Numerous reports have the Padres actively shopping for a shortstop. The team feels Alexi Amarista is more of a super utility man rather than an every day starter. I tend to agree with them in that assessment. The Rangers currently have Elvis Andrus at shortstop and their had been reports of the Padres possible interest, but I doubt it myself. Andrus is owed a ridiculous amount of money ($118 million until 2023) for the output that he is currently showing. He has lost a step on the field and in the batters box. To be quite honest he has never put up dynamic numbers at short. A career .271 hitter with a .334 OBP and only 21 home runs in 3,675 plate appearances. He is not a fit for the Padres, and the team most surely has zero interest in him as a player.
Rougned Odor was supposed to be the second baseman of the future for the team but was sent down to AAA after a slow start this season. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has an exception bat and has the ability to play shortstop. The numbers of him playing short are very bad though. He is most likely viewed as a second base prospect in the major leagues. However if he can play shortstop, A.J. Preller is sure to know about it. Preller worked closely with the Latino players on the Rangers and his knowledge of them is immense. Odor has a nice left-handed swing, the question is if he could make it in the major leagues as a productive shortstop.
The Rangers have a minor league third baseman named Joey Gallo, who easily has the most power in the entire minor leagues. Gallo has hit 42, 40, and 22 home runs in his first three minor league seasons. He is only 21 and is their #1 prospect. He would fit perfectly with the Padres, being that he is a left-hand hitting third baseman. Not a likely scenario, as Gallo would be very expensive to acquire.
Adrian Beltre is one of the best third baseman in the league and Gallo has played some first base for the organization. That might be Gallo’s future position, as his power is unreal. Adrian Beltre has two seasons left on his contract. He makes $16 million this season and $18 million next season. Could the Padres target him? He would provide a huge upgrade for the Padres at the hot corner, but again his price tag would be expensive.
The Rangers would surely covet Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross from the Padres, but as badly as the starting staff has thrown, moving them would be a tough task. Again, it would take a creative trade from A.J. Preller to get something productive done for both teams.
The Padres are surely going to make a move or two before the season ends. A.J. Preller is always ahead of the game, and its a possibility that a multiple team deal could be made. To try to formulate and present that type of trade is a daunting task, but Preller is surely up for the challenge. Making trades in the major leagues is difficult, teams just don’t always see eye to eye in terms of players value. Preller does have an edge with his great familiarity of the Rangers minor league system.