Another week has gone by, yet the San Diego Padres remain with the best record in Major League Baseball.
As discussed previously, we examined a possible trade option in Mitch Haniger. A talented outfielder who could step in and take the place of Tommy Pham, who had gotten off to a slow start on the season.
However, Pham has turned it on over the past five games to an extent. From May 26 to May 30, Pham recorded nine hits, a home run, and a pair of RBIs. Manager Jayce Tingler moved Pham to the top of the lineup, and it’s helped quite a bit.
“I do believe the ball is starting to carry a little more. Tommy has always been known as a slower starter. His at-bats have been a lot better,” Tingler said recently about Pham’s improvements.
Nonetheless, knowing A.J. Preller, he will be working the phones, especially with this group filled with World Series aspirations. So, here’s another possible trade option for the Padres and a familiar face from the San Diego area.
Padres Trade Option: Kris Bryant
Oh yes, Kris Bryant, from the University of San Diego making his long-awaited return back to America’s Finest City. This move makes sense for all parties. Bryant can play third, first, and play in the outfield. He could be a piece of insurance for Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer and could immediately start in one of the corner outfield spots and provide a huge boost to an already talented lineup.
On the year, Bryant is batting .322 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs as he leads the Chicago Cubs in seemingly every category.
EXTEND KRIS BRYANT NOW! pic.twitter.com/SslCPSneWZ
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) May 27, 2021
That swing is beautiful. It does help that the Cubs and Padres have swung a deal recently (Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini, thank you very much), and Chicago is still on a surefire path to dump salary in the midst of a rebuild and a youthful rejuvenation.
As for the Cubs, they have a huge decision to make regarding Bryant. Despite their 30-23 record that has them at the top of the National League Central, Bryant’s future in Chicago is murky, at best.
The two sides ended up agreeing to a one-year deal with $19.5 million in the offseason. On the other hand, it appears unlikely that Bryant re-signs in Chicago, especially with the fact of him wanting a big payday. The Cubs slashing payroll, as they did in the Yu Darvish trade, and as they did by letting Kyle Schwarber walk, all but signals an end of the road for Bryant in The Windy City.
So, the Cubs seemingly have to deal him for something by the trade deadline, unless they continue to exceed expectations and make a surprising run at a division crown.
In all, the Cubs’ success doesn’t appear to last for the entirety of the regular season, and Bryant’s name will be one of the biggest floated around as the trade deadline approaches. Don’t count out A.J. Preller from finding a way to make this deal work and bring Bryant to Sunny San Diego.
Potential Options For The Cubs
Leasher is a former 6th round pick currently on the San Antonio Missions. The lefty has posted a 1-1 record with a 2.93 ERA on the year and loads of potential.
Another young southpaw, also with the Missions. Hernandez has struggled in 2021, posting an 8.00 ERA in just 18 innings. On the other hand, he has 19 strikeouts on the year and had 208 strikeouts across 217 innings in his minor league career. Hernandez is the Padres No. 28 prospect.
Rosario is a 21-year-old second baseman with the Missions. Rosario is the Padres No. 17 prospect in the system and has the potential to move up rather quickly.
Ruiz is another young second-base prospect. He is 22 years old and the No. 30 prospect in the Padres minor league system.