The San Diego Padres have rattled off a bunch of wins in the month of May.
After a mediocre start to the season, Jayce Tingler‘s squad has figured it out. The pitching is rolling, the bats are crushing, and the chemistry is peaking. Nonetheless, the Padres should be examining the trade market as they aim to compete for a National League West crown, especially with the glaring issues regarding Tommy Pham.
However, Pham has become a liability both at the plate and in the field. Pham has regressed big time ever since joining San Diego. In 2021, Pham is hitting just .195 with one home run and only 10 RBIs, and 27 strikeouts in 42 games. Sure, Petco Park is a pitcher’s ballpark, but those numbers are not World Series-caliber numbers.
“We want to see him start to pick it up and be a little more productive at the plate. There’s no doubt about that,” Jayce Tingler said regarding Pham.
On the plus side, Pham is getting on base. He had four walks on Saturday against the Mariners and has 26 base on balls on the season, which is absurd considering his inefficiency with the bat. All in all, they need a better option in the outfield.
So, here is one trade possibility for the Padres in an effort to bolster the lineup and find a reliable, productive everyday outfielder.
Padres Trade Option #1- Mitch Haniger
Another trade with the Seattle Mariners? Thankfully, Preller has a rapport with a lot of teams in the bigs due to his insane level of trading since taking the job in San Diego. And yes, Haniger is a massive upgrade over Pham.
While Haniger is 30 years old, he is enjoying a stellar start to the 2021 campaign in the Pacific Northwest. Haniger is batting .257 with 13 home runs and 31 RBIs, b0th team-highs.
Another bomb for Mitch Haniger. That’s his 13th on the season and his 8th in his last 20 games. pic.twitter.com/tLeD2dG4kH
— Jerry Slapshot (@Jared_Carrabis) May 23, 2021
Haniger has suited up for all but two games on the season, which is exactly what the Padres need- healthy, productive outfielders. Wil Myers and Trent Grisham are entrenched at their respective position, and for good reason.
Haniger can slide in and immediately become an everyday starter in the outfield.
The only concern is that Haniger is on an expiring deal, although the Padres’ desires to push all their chips in and bring home the first-ever World Series trophy to downtown San Diego is all they are focused on.
As for Pham, he isn’t going anywhere until the end of the season. The organization loves him, and Tingler has praised his work ethic time and time again. At worst, he becomes a bench bat and a platoon guy to give Myers, Haniger, and Grisham an off day.
What would it take to get Haniger to San Diego?
Proposed Trade Package:
Mariners Receive Tucupita Marcano, Aaron Northcraft, Connor Lehmann
Padres Receive Mitch Haniger
Is this an overpay? Not really. To be frank, the Padres aren’t trading away their prized prospects. As for the Mariners, they aren’t set to compete in the American League West in 2021, so dealing Haniger makes sense.
Marcano is a good piece, and with the Padres’ plethora of infield options, he is more than expendable. Northcraft might end up getting DFA’d by Seattle. However, Lehmann is the piece that makes Seattle take this deal.
He is extremely raw, but his size (6-foot-7) is rare. The former 7th-round pick from 2019 absolutely dazzled in college at St. Louis.
7th-rder Connor Lehmann signs w/@Padres for $35k (pick 203 value = $225,800). Saint Louis senior RHP, 19 K in Atlantic 10 tournament game, 6-ft-7, up to 94, changeup is best secondary pitch. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 11, 2019
On the other hand, the Padres pitchers are loaded, especially with MacKenzie Gore waiting for his opportunity, not to mention Mike Clevinger returning from Tommy John in 2022 along with Adrian Morejon.
The addition of Haniger would be worth it and immediately cement the Padres as the best lineup in the National League- and possibly the best starting nine in all of baseball.