So whom would the Padres be most likely to deal in upcoming talks? It’s no secret that the Padres would like to move Jedd Gyorko and the $30 million dollars still owed to him. He has started to hit, so his value could be back on the rise after being tarnished early in the year. He has a good chance to be moved provided the Padres can find a suitor.
Along with Jedd Gyorko, starting pitcher Ian Kennedy could also be moved before long. He has been under achieving so far this season and to me looks a little unhealthy. He does not have the same velocity on his pitches like he had last season when he was throwing well. His fastball sits in the 91-93 MPH zone while last season I can remember him getting all the way up to 96-97 MPH last season. That is a huge difference for a starting pitcher. His hamstring injury could be lingering. Kennedy is a free agent at the end of the year and has a very high likelihood to go elsewhere. He is a Scott Boras client and the super agent is sure to command high value for Kennedy.
The Padres minor league farm system is pretty bare. The overhauling the front office did in the off-season robbed the once rich farm system of some of its most prized players. I am not complaining one bit as those Prospects are just that. Prospects. They are no given to be successful major leaguers and the team needed respectable players now. Somewhere around 14 prospects were moved in the off-season to form the team you see everyday. The price tag was well worth the cost, as this team has been exciting to watch.
The Padres do still have some minor league players that could be of value to another team. Robbie Erlin, Rymer Liriano and Tommy Medica could help another franchise out, but there just isn’t any room on the Padres for them. Liriano is in my eyes ready to compete for a major league job. I wrote a previous article indicating that. You may read it here.
Robbie Erlin has major league experience and at the age of 24 could have a bright major league future. Erlin made 11 starts for the Padres last year, but with the additions of James Shields and Brandon Morrow, his job was lost. He being left-handed, provides a valuable commodity. You can never have too many left-handers on your team. This year in AAA El Paso, Erlin is 4-2 with a 5.15 ERA in seven starts for the Chihuahuas.
Tommy Medica also has major league experience and has provided the Padres with a few clutch hits in his brief career. He is stuck behind many Padres players, but could be of value to a team looking for right handed power. Medica can play first base and the corner outfield spots.
The Padres bullpen has a lot of depth and the names of Joaquin Benoit, Shawn Kelley and Dale Thayer might be available via trade. I for one would hope the team holds on to Thayer. Joaquin Benoit and Kelley are both in the final years of their contracts. Benoit would have a lot of value to a potential team. He could easily close or set up for just about any major league team. Kelley had a quality track record but has been shelled as a Padre. He is pitching himself off the roster and the team would love to move him.
With Nick Vincent in AAA right now, the Padres have a quality replacement for any arm they potentially move. Frank Garces and Chris Rearick are the left-handers in the bullpen right now and neither is a real hot commodity. The likely player to be dealt os quite simply Benoit but in order for the team to deal him the rest of the staff needs to settle down. Brandon Maurer and Kevin Quackenbush have solidified the bullpen and both are capable of falling into Benoit’s 8th inning role.
The most likely players to be dealt are hard to determine and A.J. Preller has already shown he has a propensity for the dramatic. Kennedy,Benoit and Gyorko are my two picks to be moved eventually. I would have to think that the Padres are going to hold on to Hunter Renfroe as an insurance policy in case Justin Upton decides to leave via free agency. Austin Hedges is another possible trade chip as Derek Norris has shown that he can indeed be the catcher of the future. Preller could very easily deal Hedges if a team provides enough of the quality players the Padres would surely command.
There will be a trade or two coming soon. It’s hard to imagine the Padres standing pat with what they currently have. The Padres have many valuable trade chips to move. Gyorko, Kennedy and Benoit each have value to teams in different ways. We will just have to wait and see where Preller attack’s the teams needs, and to whom he uses as bait to do so.