The San Diego Padres have an issue that needs to be addressed. The team has a huge hole at shortstop with only Alexi Amarista as a viable option as the position defensively. Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks spent some innings at the position, but neither are expected to man the position in the 2016 season.
The Padres have some options in the minor leagues as Javier Guerra takes over as arguably the team’s top prospect. The left-handed defensive specialist is considered a few seasons away from being major league ready at this point. The Padres also have Jose Rondon and Ruddy Giron in the minors and all three are under the age of 21. The future seems bright at the position, but the team needs help now at the major league level.
In searching for a shortstop for the 2016 and 2017 season would the Padres consider bringing in Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias via trade? The 2015 American League All-Star would not be cheap, but the Padres could get something done if they value Iglesias.
The defensive minded shortstop has recently been flourishing with the bat as well. He hit .300 last year with two home runs and 23 RBI’s in 416 at bats. Iglesias is not known for his power, but does have a career .287 batting average and a .336 on base percentage in 840 Major League at bats.
Iglesias is only 25 years old and could still blossom even more under the right conditions. He is a right handed hitter who put up a 1.5 WAR rating last year for the Tigers. He is described as a defensive wizard by most scouts and would surely give the Padres a boost on their defense up the middle.
The Tigers have a couple of young options in the minor leagues that they could go with if they move Iglesias. Dixon Machado has already spent some time with the major league team last season and Jacoby Jones is nearly ready as well. In fact Machado has a batting line of .295/.403/486 in 105 winter league at bats this year. He has also hit four home runs and drove in 14 runs. The Tigers could also go after a free agent shortstop like Asdrubal Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez or Ian Desmond if Machado wasn’t ready for major league service yet. The issue is what do the Padres have to offer the Tigers?
The new G.M. in Detroit has been very active and he clearly isn’t done tuning up his roster. Signing Jordan Zimmermann, trading for Cameron Maybin and Francisco Rodriguez are some bold moves. Perhaps the team has a few more in them?
The Padres could offer James Shields or Andrew Cashner. Shields and the money due on his contract would probably hold up a deal but Cashner is an intriguing option. The power right hander is going to be in the last year of his contract. He has unlimited ability but has failed to put it all together consistently. The Tigers could use another starting pitcher so perhaps this could be a nucleus for a potential deal. Iglesias made $1.4 million last season and is due for arbitration this season and the next two before becoming eligible for free agency in 2019.
Tyson Ross would surely interest the Tigers but the Padres reportedly want a huge package in return and Iglesias by himself wouldn’t be nearly enough. The Tigers would have to package more players to get the Padres attention, and even then the Padres don’t seem too likely to move Ross.
Iglesias has some issue concerns. The 25-year-old Cuban missed the entire 2014 season with shin fractures on both legs. He had shin splints and other issues in 2013 while being a member of the Boston Red Sox. The shins are supposed to be 100 percent but Iglesias still missed 40 games last season with knee and groin issues early in the year and a fractured finger in September. He is still very young and to call him injury prone is presumptuous but his injured past has to be questioned in some regard.
The Padres need to pick up a veteran shortstop to play everyday. Padres fans are patiently waiting to see whom it will be. Jose Iglesias might be an excellent option for the team. He could easily mentor the young talented short stops in the minors while solidifying the position for the next two or three years at least. Will A.J. Preller get a deal done eventually? Yes, he has to. Jose Iglesias might be a valuable addition to the team if his asking price is within the Padres limit.