Padres Rumors: Who Will be Traded by the Padres?

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Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres have a team that should compete for a playoff spot deep into the summer. The team is made up of a lot of new players this season. Despite that they have played well together so far. Even with the average play so far, the team has shown signs that it can be a very special squad.

There are still a few key problems with this team. The easiest to pin point is the pitching staff and their propensity to give up the home run. They currently lead the major leagues with 51 home runs allowed so far this season. That number is atrocious and needs to be fixed. Bud Black and Darren Balsley are rightfully upset with the location and execution of their pitchers throws. This is something that can be alleviated with hard work.

The Padres pitching staff was supposed to be a great strength to this team so their struggles are mysterious. Some are blaming Derek Norris and his pitch calling and receiving skills. The team surely misses Rene Rivera, and to some extent Yasmani Grandal. Both catchers had extraordinary pitch framing numbers that baseball analytical people drool over. The real culprit is probably a mixture of both added to the fact Derek Norris is new to the Padres teams. Norris and the whole staff are still in the process of learning each other.

There will be a trade, that is an absolute given. The Padres are already showing interest in a plethora of different shortstops. They have been linked to Ian Desmond, Starlin Castro and Troy Tulowitzki. All three of those shortstops would be huge upgrades but each comes with their drawbacks too.

The Padres current infield position is cloudy at best. Each position is in question and the team really needs to settle on an everyday lineup. Bud Black juggling the lineup on an everyday basis, is not productive to a team trying to find an identity. At first base Yonder Alonso had been on fire to start the season, but once again an injury has derailed him at the moment. It seems like an old story for the Padres and they are surely becoming impatient internally. Wil Myers filled in for Alonso and looked very comfortable there. So comfortable that I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the first baseman of the future. Where that leaves Alonso is a mystery, perhaps he could be dealt if a team wants to gamble on him.

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At second base the team is invested long-term into Jedd Gyorko, but he had not performed early in the season. Recently the second baseman has turned the corner and seems poised to begin to contribute. Yangervis Solarte and Cory Spangenberg have both spent time at second base as well. Solarte had many big hits for the team in the first weeks of the season and while Gyorko was slumping, Solarte seemed to steal his job. Spangenberg until recently had been relatively quiet but has started each of the last seven games for the Padres. He provides much-needed speed to the top of the order, and that speed is something you can bring to the ballpark everyday. Speed does not slump.

Will Middlebrooks had been the everyday third baseman through the first month but began to slump and was out of the lineup for eight straight games. After a home run on Wednesday night, Middlebrooks seems like he is about to snap out of his funk. The Padres have been rotating Solarte and Spangenberg while Middlebrooks works to fix his hitting issues. Middlebrooks added two more hits on Thursday and the rotation will continue by Bud Black.

The only position that has been consistent in terms of playing time is the shortstop position. Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista are in a straight platoon where Amarista plays against right-handed pitchers and Barmes plays against south paws. This combo has resulted in average play on the field and below average play with the bat. The shortstop position is where most logically see the Padres trying to upgrade.

With Middlebrooks, Alonso, Gyorko, Solarte, and Spangenberg all trying to play three infield positions, you have a problem. Two of them must sit on any given day. That type of circus atmosphere every time the lineup card is written can’t be good for the team.

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