Reviewing second base options for the Padres

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Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

With Luis Urias now a Milwaukee Brewer, here is a look at some of the options for the San Diego Padres at second base for the 2020 season and beyond. 

There are plenty of options for the San Diego Padres at second base as they suddenly need one.

Luis Urias is gone as he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

The team has a few internal options that will surely factor one way or another. Several free agents could fit the profile of what the Padres are looking for at the keystone position. Let’s review the options.

Internal options

Ty France

If the Padres want to stay in-house with an everyday option at the position, former SDSU Aztec Ty France makes sense. The offensive punch he would provide at the area would be a welcome addition, but the converted third/first baseman might have issues with footwork and such at an everyday level in the Major Leagues. France is also right-handed, and the team seems to be coveting more left-handed batters in the lineup.

Greg Garcia

There is no doubt that Garcia is instrumental in short spurts, but there are some reasons to be concerned if he is capable of playing second base for 145 plus games in a season. The left-handed hitter will get on base and will make a pitcher work. The fact he has hit .186 in his career against left-handed pitchers means that the Padres will need a right-handed complement to the veteran. Garcia is a strong leader in the clubhouse, and he will earn at-bats somewhere for the Padres in 2020.

Ian Kinsler

Fernando Tatis Jr. recently praised Kinsler for helping him during the 2019 season. The veteran second baseman did not perform well with the bat last season, but he brings value in different ways to the young Padres. If he stays with the team in 2020, it will be at a coaching-type level. The Padres cannot expect much from him offensively, but the players envision Kinsler as a mentor of sorts.

Internal Minor League options

Esteban Quiroz

The 27-year-old Mexican second baseman has the most seniority of this group of three. He played the 2019 season in El Paso, recording a .923 OPS in 96 games. He slugged 19 homers as a Chihuahua, which is a career-high for him in a season. The left-handed hitter is small and scrappy and would probably be a fan favorite if the Padres faithful saw him play every day. The journeyman can play all over the diamond, which adds a plus element to his game.

Ivan Castillo

The Texas League Batting Champion hit .313 for the Sod Poodles and recorded a .808 OPS in 104 games. Pretty satisfying numbers for his first year in the Padres’ minor league system. The 25-year-old is a switch-hitter with strong hand-eye coordination from both sides of the plate. There is not much power from the 5-foot-9 infielder, but he makes up for that with above-average speed. The Dominican infielder has a solid chance to make a debut for the Padres in 2020 if the team fails to add any new second baseman to its roster.

Credit: Sod Poodles

Owen Miller

This calm, cool, and collective infielder will be a Major Leaguer. There is no question in that. Miller displays a line-drive approach at the plate and is described by teammates as a player who always stays even-keeled. Miller will never get too high or too low in the game of baseball, and that dictates a long Major League career. In 2019, the 3rd-round pick put up a .785 OPS in Double-A, which was his first taste of full-season pro ball. At 23, Miller has plenty of time to grow as a player, and that is a scary thought.

Free agents

Scooter Gennett

The 29-year-old left-handed hitter was an All-Star in 2018 when he put up a .847 OPS and hit 23 homers for the Cincinnati Reds. In 2017, he recorded a .874 OPS for the Reds in 141 games. There is potential in his bat, but he had a down year last year putting up a .568 OPS between the Reds and the Giants. There are some defensive concerns with the infielder who is not regarded as a plus defender. The seven-year veteran would be an inexpensive signing for the club.

Eric Sogard

If the Padres want to get nostalgic, they can bring back former Padres prospect Eric Sogard. The left-handed hitter was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Padres but traded in 2010 to the Oakland Athletics in a deal for Scott Hairston. Sogard is a plus defender and a professional hitter. The 33-year-old is a bit on the older side, but he gets on base and makes contact. That is something the Padres lack currently. He put up a .810 OPS last year in 110 games with Toronto and Tampa.

Jason Kipnis

The Indians chose to buy-out Kipnis’ 2020 season for $2.5 million, making him a free agent. The infielder made $14.6 million in 2019 and will surely be making a less player-friendly amount in 2020. The left-handed hitter and two-time All-Star just had three unproductive seasons in which he produced a .705, 704, and .715 OPS for the Tribe. At 32, there may still be life in his bat. Kipnis still hits well off of right-handed pitchers and can play some outfield, which is helpful.

Yolmer Sanchez

The defensive wizard and recent AL Gold-Glove winner was surprisingly let go by the White Sox as they did not want to pay him what he would earn in arbitration. Sanchez has little to no power and doesn’t provide a whole lot of offensive ability. The Venezuelan native is a character and a great clubhouse guy and has shown some versatility with the glove. Sanchez probably is not a fit for the Padres as they will prefer offensive punch from the position.

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Didi Gregorius

Gregorius could play second base very easily if the Padres were to sign him. He is very smooth at shortstop with his footwork, and the transition would be relatively easy for the 30-year-old infielder. The left-handed hitter has plus power and generally makes contact to all fields. He made $11.7 million last year and will probably make a pretty penny on the open market. Gregorius only put up a .718 OPS last year in New York but was coming back from a serious arm injury.

Mike Moustakas

If the Padres covet power from the position, they could bring Mike Moustakas to San Diego to play alongside his former Royals teammate Eric Hosmer. Moustakas started 40 games for Milwaukee last year, and the reviews are mixed as far as his defense is concerned. The infielder slugged at a .516 clip last year and put up a .845 OPS while recording 35 homers. At 31, Moustakas is probably looking for a decent payday and at least a three-year deal. There is risk in this option, but “Moose” would provide instant power from the left side.

18 thoughts on “Reviewing second base options for the Padres

  1. Profar is now a Padre. Preller traded Austin Allen and PTBNL to OAK for Profar.

    Not excited about it. SD needs at least one more impact bat, and Profar is underwhelming. Profar is better served as a utility/bench guy (this move sucks for Greg Garcia, even though Kinsler should be the first one out). Hopefully Preller will continue to explore other options at 2B but at least Profar could be a half-decent platoon guy. I also hope that there’s some semblance of a open competition for the 2B starter in Spring Training if this is the group that SD ends up with.

  2. Give me the 25 plus homers and average second base defense from Moose for two years and pick up Villar at a cheap price . Then you can trade some high end prospects with Myers to Boston for Betts. Bring in some of the younger flame throwers for relief and pitching experience.

    1. Which high end prospects would you be willing to give up for one year of Betts (assuming the Padres cannot or will not resign/extend him for a Machado-sized salary)?

      I would not give up Gore or Patino. If the ownership group and/or Preller were to commit publicly to try and shell out huge money to sign Betts for multiple years, I could swallow the Padres trading a huge package that includes high end prospects such as Trammel, Abrams, Campusano, or Edwards (hopefully not all 4 of those guys)…but I would still not trade Gore/Patino.

      As much as the Padres are crowing about winning now, I still think they (ahem, ‘realistically’) aim to be a wild-card/fringe playoff team (85-90 wins) with the championship window being 2021-2022 when all the young guys (rookies from this past season and the kids coming up in the next year) we do keep are more experienced and have the stamina to physcially last into a postseason run.

      Of course, if they sign a vet SP like MadBum or better and manage to sell the rest of the farm for Betts…that’s a different story.

      Do the Padres want/need both Moose and Villar? I’d prefer Moose of the 2. The Padres need a lineup where Hosmer can hit in the 5 or 6 spot (or later) in order to win a World Series.

  3. Let’s be honest, Andy Green was the problem for Will Myers and Austin Hedges. Both of these guys proved they can hit the ball hard with power but what I saw was no motivation from the dugout. Putting Will Myers at third base was not only a stupid move but a blow to his ego as well as not playing him at first and then having minor league players come and compete for his Outfield position. This is the problem when you take a proven player and push him around to different Corners to make it work for you and not for the player. That was Andy Green’s Problem all along. Austin Hedges needed more extensive coaching time to help correct his hitting. Having coached, it became obvious to me watching him that he pulls his eyes off the ball and doesn’t see the ball at the point of contact. While watching it over and over that’s what I saw but nobody from the bench or the dugout ever worked with him on it. I think he has huge potential. And to prove his potential he’ll probably get traded to some team else where he will like Grandal. The Padres have proven they are way too anxious and unappreciative of their players resulting in poor results.

  4. If we can move Myers reasonably and not just for the sake of dumping him… that’s more palatable. Why? Because if we are going to pay him or another club his salary, we might as well see if he rebounds under a new skipper and regular positional playing time. (Then trade him?) IF he bounces back, we have a good outfielder and platoon 1st baseman. The extra payroll might preclude us from a SP which is a quandary. He would also serve as injury insurance should someone get hurt.

    We have plenty of farm talent to go get Whitfield. I’d take a shot at Villar on a 3 year $15 -$20 deal. It solves the 2nd base issue without losing prospects to be used elsewhere and holds the position down until the other kids are ready. Then, he moves to the utility position as a Garcia likely retires. I would look to trade Naylor and another 40 roster (or more) player(s) to give us flexibility within the roster.

    Pitchers get injured to easily and we need depth that can still win. I hope AJ will go buy or trade for another top starter. I love wheeler at 5/100 Ryu 3/45 or Bum 3/50. Whether that’s enough $, who knows. Doing so gives us an even bigger position of strength to draw from throughout the year. No bullpen starts for giveaway loss games. Those 3-5 games can mean the difference between postseason or not. This way, if one or two pitchers go down, capable reinforcements are available. OR, a valuable trade chip for a playoff run.

    1. I have to say I’m coming around on giving Myers another year to rebound under new coaching after reading the thread, it certainly would be easier to focus on addressing the other needs of the roster (most importantly SP).

      For SP, I like Bum, Wheeler, Ryu in that order of preference. Unfortunately, I think Padres are priced out of Strasburg/Cole.

      Villar sounds like a viable 2B option, and after some quick research, it seems like he has a good bat and a so-so glove for a fair price. Getting him would be a smart move and would let us keep prospects as mentioned. I’m just overly enthusiastic about the idea of Merrifield since he’s the better glove and a Heart and Hustle Award guy who (I believe) would do more to elevate the guys around him and bring more hype to fans, so my trade fantasy is bringing bias into my decision-making. It’s a pipe-dream but worth exploring if only for determining how we evaluate the worth of Padres prospects going into Winter Meetings. The talking heads / pundits are always waiting for Preller to do something they can chat about.

  5. Best and only option after seeing this trade will be to package Myers, Morejon, Baez, Reed and Hedges to Royals for Merrifield. Stop evaluating and get what we need. Then get 1 of the top free agent pitchers

  6. The best choice is Jonathan Villar. He had a WAR of 4.0, the same as Whit Merrifield in 2019. He is 28, three years younger than Merrifield. Baltimore does not want to pay his salary, so it SHOULD be an easy pick-up. He also can play ss which Merrifield cannot play.

    1. Agree, though it might not be so easy, as Villar should get a multi-year deal. Teams like Baltimore and the Mets make our club look a well-run gem.

  7. The comments somehow turned into a discussion about Myers, so I guess I have to join in this topic. First, Myers is MUCH better than Hosmer. Second, if he was allowed to play consistently (150 games, 40 at first, 110 in left) then he would not only turn things around, he would add a ton of value, and would be very helpful to the padres, and become very tradable.

    1. I won’t say he’s much better than Hosmer, but I will say they are redundant. Myers would be a much better player at 1st base. We don’t need both guys. But, I am totally against dumping Myers by overpayment or attaching strong farmhands. Generally, I completely agree with you. Some don’t understand that Myers awful season last year was still better than most of the team,and when he’s right he’s a difference maker.

  8. First, good job laying out the options. Small note, it’s “calm, cool, and collected”.
    Second, people need to stop drinking the Kool-aid. There is no way KC is trading Merrifield for anything less than top prospects. Some B prospects and Wil Myers will not make it happen. And please just stop including Myers in every trade idea. No team wants him, so unless SD pays $50M of his salary, or takes back a bad contract, or attaches top prospects to him, forget it.
    Other teams have their own B prospects and don’t want ours.
    Here’s an analogy. You’re looking to buy a new Audi, and need to trade-in a used car as part of the deal. The dealer will gladly take the 3 year old Lexus you’ve been driving and maintaining. The dealer will not be even slightly interested in the Delorean that won’t start and 3 ten year old Chryslers you want to tow onto his lot. He will instead regard you as a crackpot, and kick you off his lot.

    1. “No team wants him, so unless SD pays $50M of his salary, or takes back a bad contract, or attaches top prospects to him, forget it.”
      I agree, which is why the Padres should eat at least half of the $22.5mil Myers is owed for the next 3 seasons. Myers at $10mil per year AND attached to good young players like Naylor or Baez/Morejon is the only way they MIGHT get rid of him.

      “Other teams have their own B prospects and don’t want ours.”

      SD has 6 prospects in the top 100. KC has 3. You don’t think the Padres can package together some combo of fringe top-100 MLB prospects to get Whit Merrifield? These guys like Morejon, Baez, Owen Miller…they are much more valuable to teams like the Royals than they are to the Padres because the Padres have even more talented prospects.

      Yes, KC would know that the Padres are offering their 7th, 9th, or 10th best prospect (, plus Naylor, an upgrade over Ryan O’Hearn, and was a top-100 prospect according to Baseball America). For the sake of this example right here, Myers is off the table. If the players in this tier are considered the Padres’ B-level prospects, but they become the 4th or 5th or 6th best players in the Royals’ system, can’t you see the Royals framing this as a productive move towards their rebuild? Are you saying that because these players are not in SD’s top tier, the Royals would refuse an opportunity to turn one great player in his (early) 30’s into 3 or 4 possibly very good players in their early 20’s? If the Padres were to trade four guys for one, could KC not turn to their fans and say they fleeced us? KC window of contention is multiple years away. Merrifield will be too expensive by then.

      Yes, all of us here are drooling at any opportunity to trade Myers, and I think the Padres should absolutely pay him at least $10mil per year to have him play somewhere else. But my point in my original post was more towards the idea that KC wouldn’t be considered stupid to get a handful of the players us Padres fans view as the 2nd tier guys. If their team is better with Baez/Morejon and Naylor (plus Owen Miller/Gabriel Arias/Hudson Potts type guys to add depth to the farm), they should consider the hypothetical offer.

      The Cubs (only other team I’ve read connected to rumors) have an even worse farm system than the Padres (two in MLB’s top 100, their best one is ranked between Abrams and Edwards), so they would trade a package featuring MLB talent. Maybe they’ll trade Kris Bryant or Rizzo or Hendricks or some other aging and/or expensive star, but is that what the Royals want? If Merrifield ends up getting traded for proven MLB talent, then good for the team that gives that up to get Whit.

      If the Royals want to rebuild their farm, they should go for a package with quantity over A-plus quality. One Gore-level prospect won’t solve KC’s longevity problem. It has to be 3-4 difference makers. Padres have the best chance to supply that.

      Cute analogy, but cars aren’t people. Your point was that quantity is not a substitute for quality. But getting four or five B-level guys might have as near a chance if not equal or better to build a contender within 5 years than getting one blue-chip prospect. Even if that blue-chip guy turns out to be as good as everyone expects, he just becomes the next lone all-star on a bad team. The Padres are the Royals’ chance to rebuild their team to have multiple contributors, which is how they built their most recent window of contention.

      Thank you for engaging with the ideas being posted here. No need to be aggressive with the Kool-Aid comments and cute analogies that don’t facilitate civil discourse. It’s fun to play armchair GM. Which players do YOU think the Royals would demand in a trade with the Padres. And if you are a Padres fan, who would you trade for Merrifield?

  9. Call KC and go get Whit Merrifield.

    Padres trade Myers, Naylor, Baez, and Miller. Or any combination of young MLB-ready talent mixed in with low-level prospects with upside. Untouchables are Gore, Patino, Abrams, Trammel, Edwards, Campusano, Weathers. Padres offer to eat some of Myers’ money.

    I think the Royals would trade a proven star like Merrifield (even with his very favorable contract) for multiple B or B-plus type young players that fill multiple holes in their MLB roster and bolsters their farm system, so any trade that the Padres can make will have a heavy cost if Gore/Patino are off the table (which they should be). However, one of the biggest benefits of building such a robust farm system is using it to make a serious move for big-time talent when you want to compete. Merrifield will transform this lineup and provide great defense at multiple positions, but I like him best at second base.

    The Padres without Myers would open the OF to more opportunities to figure out who out of Margot, Grisham, and Cordero, if any, will be productive players going forward. Or perhaps the Padres go get a new corner OF with Myers out of the way. With Merrifield’s offensive numbers coming out of 2B, there’s less pressure on having both corner OF’s be elite-level bats, so Padres could experiment with the platoon that they have right now (with Renfroe being the constant).

    Maybe Myers is a no-go for the Royals, even if the Padres offer to pay a healthy portion of the contract. I still think trading a mix of young major league talent and low-level prospects for Merrifield is worth it, and doable if Preller can stomach letting go of 3-5 players for one guy. Padres have a surplus of young, unproven but exciting talent. Use it to go get a star and send a message that the Padres are ready to win now…and can still keep Gore/Patino while achieving that goal.

  10. Right or wrong, “win now” dictums preclude any in house minor league options from being the first look. It is also unlikely France , Garcia, or Kinsler have given the organization much to count on as starters. All project as solid bench men.

    I’m not sure what the team payroll marker is. Clearly, a top starter of some salary is still in the plan, and I expect Bettances to get a deal of some value.

    My hunch is a deal that takes away salary will bring around a second basemen. Perhaps, Myers becomes Seattle’s GMs latest trade recycle. Maybe a Myers, Kinsler, Margavicius for Gordon and Santana? Maybe a Myers, Kinsler, Perdomo, Margavicius to KC for Duffy and Mondesi.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trade him yet unless for true equal value. No add-ons to get rid of him. Hopefully, that bridge hasn’t collapsed yet. Even in a terrible year last year, he was still better than most of our offense. There is no reason he shouldn’t earn starter time and be a huge part of the team in 2020.

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