Can Holland help the Padres?
If he is healthy, he would most definitely be an upgrade for the staff. Holland is a fly ball pitcher who has been victimized in recent years by playing his home games in Texas. He has also been hurt by less than stellar outfield defense on the Rangers roster. A move to Petco Park, compiled with Manuel Margot, Travis Jankowski, and Hunter Renfroe in the outfield, could be just what the doctor ordered to improve on his numbers. Holland will not blow you away with his stuff, but he will change speeds on you. He knows how to pitch, and with a move out west, could blossom. I can just imagine the conversations he could have with former Padres lefty Randy Jones. That would be a great conversation.
The Padres need starting pitching, and as mentioned before, they are looking for the right type of personality to add to their young up and coming squad. Holland would bring a looseness to the clubhouse and he would help keep the players on the right track. At $11 million per season for the next two seasons, he is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. The Padres have the room to take on his salary, but they would have to be confident that he is 100 percent healthy. A change of scenery might do wonders for him. Health is the key word though as he does no good for the team while on the D.L.
What do the Padres have to offer?
The Rangers are in the need of starting pitching, but that is not the Padres’ strong suit right now. With Tyson Ross coming back from an injury, the staff is full of question marks. Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter are probably going to be dangled to teams because of the Padres depth as far as left-handed relievers goes. Both are enticing players, but it remains to be seen if the Rangers covet either pitcher. Brandon Maurer also makes sense, but the Padres would be hesitant to move their closer. All three pitchers have value, that is for sure.
With Ian Desmond and Carlos Gomez both scheduled for free agency, the Rangers do have a need for a center fielder. Delino DeShields Jr. is presently penciled in to start the season in center, but the team will surely explore other options. Desmond could be re-signed, but he is not a long-term answer in center and the Rangers are loaded with infielders. I just don’t see the Rangers paying the price tag that Desmond will command on the open market. Gomez could be retained, but he was released by the Astros in 2016 and is an emotional mess. You can’t be sure what you have with him. That brings me to Travis Jankowski.
Jank would be an upgrade for the team offensively and he also would provide a leadoff option for the team. The Padres have Manuel Margot, so losing Jankowski would not be end of the world. The Rangers could also use some speed in their lineup and the swift outfielder would provide that. Jankowski makes sense for the Rangers, but the Padres would naturally have trepidation about dealing a homegrown talent like him. Holland is a risk. An expensive risk. Jankowski is no guarantee either, as his strikeout percentage was abysmal last season when he took over the everyday role from an injured Jon Jay. The Padres have the talent to offer to the Rangers. The teams match up for a potential deal. We will have to wait and see what comes up after the World Series is over.
Chances of a (mega) trade?
The chance is always there between these two teams. I have speculated multiple times that these two franchises match up well for a huge barter. Jon Daniels and A.J. Preller are fraternity brothers from their days at Cornell University, so the two have an excellent relationship. They have surely spoken about deals many times. Nothing major has come to fruition, but there is always a chance of a major deal reminiscent of the one the Padres and Astros did in 1994 for Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley. That 12-player trade helped shape the Padres for the late 90’s and powered their 1998 World Series run.
The Texas Rangers have two young players that the Padres have major interest in. The first is Jurickson Profar, whom A.J. Preller himself has indicated that he covets. Preller is well aware of who Profar is and what he is capable of. The second big-time talent is Joey Gallo. He has probably the most prolific home run swing in all of minor league baseball. He just hasn’t the opportunity to play on an everyday basis. The third baseman is blocked by Adrian Beltre currently. Gallo could play first base, but the Rangers are more likely to search for a veteran to play the position for 2017. Someone like Edwin Encarnacion could end up in Arlington. Profar is a shortstop, but is blocked by Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Rougned Odor at second base. He has no spot on the team.
Both of these young men have very nice value. The Padres would not be able to obtain them for a package of second tier prospects. It would take something like Jankowski, Maurer, and Hand to even get the conversation started. In reality, the Rangers would require a Cal Quantrill or Anderson Espinoza type prospect to get a deal done for both Profar and Gallo. The Rangers need to make a move to improve their team now. The team is built to win presently. Having Gallo and Profar on the bench or in the minors does nothing for them. Their best value for the franchise is to be used as pawns to upgrade the major league team. Unfortunately, the Padres just don’t have the correct trade chips presently to help the Rangers enough for a mega deal. Now, if Tyson Ross were healthy, that would be a different story. If the ace pitcher can come back and show he is healthy and productive, he could be a very pleasant trade acquisition for a team looking to make it to the next level. That is a big if though, as the pitcher is currently recovering from Thorasic Outlet Surgery. Without a healthy Ross this deal ain’t happening. The Padres aren’t prepared to move Renfroe and/or Margot in a trade, and that is what it would take for a Gallo/Profar deal.
Derek Holland possibilities
As for Derek Holland, he is one to keep an eye on. Preller knows the man very well, and if he believes he’d be a great fit, then something could be worked out. Alex Dickerson as a corner outfielder or first baseman makes sense for the Rangers as well. It really all depends on how confident the Padres are that Holland can return to his 2013 form. Darren Balsley loves reclamation projects and Holland could very well be the 2017 version of Drew Pomeranz. Between Hand, Maurer, Buchter, Jankowski, and Dickerson, the Padres have players that can help the Rangers improve now. How much value each has to the Rangers remains to be seen. A Holland trade could happen, but chances are it would be a multiple player deal and not just a straight one-for-one deal. Never put anything past A.J. Preller as he attempts to improve his club. He has familiarity with Holland and could see him in a mentorship role for the up-and-coming young pitchers.
The Rangers are probably going to move Holland, as they already have lefties in the rotation (Cole Hamels and Martin Perez). Holland is returning to form after shoulder surgery and could be on the upswing as far as production. At 30, he is no prospect by any means. His price tag will be within reason, and if the Padres are truly interested, he could be had. Padres management would have to be confident in his health though, as the last thing they need is another injured pitcher. The Padres need innings eaters. A mega-deal with Profar and Gallo is always on my mind, but the Padres do not have the immediate help the Rangers would need to get a deal done. Stay tuned. The World Series is almost over and Preller is just about to start Prelling.