San Diego Padres Potential Trade Chips: Part 1

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Credit: AP Photo

Now that the off-season is officially upon us, it is time to review some possible trade chips for the San Diego Padres as they try to jumpstart a dormant franchise. The team has depth, and with that, comes a probability of a trade in the near future.

2018 is over. Finally. In a long rebuild process, the future is finally starting to become the present as the Padres are projected to be “contending” very soon.

This offseason should tell us just how soon we should expect a playoff-caliber product on the field.

In part one of this two-part article, I will examine the possible pieces Padres’ general manager A.J. Preller could part with on the major league roster. Part two will consist of the minor league prospects who could be traded and should be out soon.

It could happen:

Hunter Renfroe — By now, we know the outfield is an absolute logjam, with five or six guys competing for three or four spots in 2019. Something has to give. And there’s no doubt the Padres are in full evaluation mode of the current surplus, analyzing the future potential of every guy. There’s going to be some risk-taking in the trade operation and the team will have to part ways with talented assets. One guy who has shown enough promise to be a starter in MLB but lacked consistency since coming up, is Renfroe. There’s no question the second half of his season has been exciting, and a refreshing change from most of his career. However, the Padres should trade him now when his value is what I believe to be at its highest. While Renfroe is a good piece, he’s not a championship-caliber player and the team is better off packaging him with minor league prospect(s) for some quality major league talent. 

Travis Jankowski — Another piece in the outfield puzzle is Fast Freddy. While Jank has the ability to steal 40+ bases in a full-time starter role, his bat isn’t serviceable to be in the everyday lineup. He’s best suited as a 4th outfielder and I definitely see the Padres hanging onto him in that role if they trade Manuel Margot. But the Padres (as we see it) are committed to Manny as the center fielder of the future and that’s why Jankowski is a hot name to get dealt this winter. 

Austin Hedges — Ahhh, the tale of the crowded catcher. Hedges’ job security status was placed on high alert when the top catching prospect in the league, Francisco Mejia, was acquired in the Brad Hand deal. Since then, he’s played like a guy who doesn’t want to lose his job anytime soon. This has to be the hardest decision in the organization. There are two options: keep both guys or trade Hedges. I’m on team “play one guy” against a tandem at the position, and that’s why I would like to see Hedges get traded this offseason. The league knows he’s a top defensive catcher and has a strong ability to manage a pitching staff. The bat, however, has lacked. We would all love a Padres lineup where everyone can hit, 1-9. So along with an outfielder, I believe Hedges is on his way out and Mejia will be the catcher of the future. 

Credit: AP Photo

Cory Spangenberg — Lost in all of this is super utility man Cory Spangenberg. Spangy will never be an everyday starter on a contending team. But he can play pretty much anywhere on the diamond with above average speed, which translates to some decent value. The Padres could hold onto him with his diverse skill set, but there’s no doubt that many teams could use his repertoire. Preller will surely look to ship him this offseason with the middle of the infield locked up for the foreseeable future. 

Robbie Erlin — Longtime Padre Robbie Erlin looks misplaced in a rotation that should have no room for him. While I could see him coming out of the pen and doing a solid job, many teams should see Erlin as a project starting pitcher. Don’t be surprised to see Robbie’s name in a trade package. 


Wil Myers — Myers has been quite a story since coming over in the Trea Turner deal. While missing considerable game time due to injury-plagued seasons, he’s shown flashes of brilliance. He’s also played just about everywhere in the field as the Padres have made it apparent they don’t really mind how it’s done, as long as his bat is in the lineup. The question with Myers is if his bat is good enough to warrant that type of treatment. He’s yet to play a full season since being in a Padre uniform, which is troublesome with his five-year extension. With an already crowded outfield and players looking on in the minor league, Hosmer locked up at first, do the Padres bite the bullet with his defense and play him at third base or do they stick him in a corner outfield spot and deal with the outfield surplus as a separate issue? Or do they trade him? It’s an interesting spot as his value could either plummet heavily or rise significantly this coming season. Do the Padres believe in him enough or do they get substantial talent back while they can? I don’t see them giving up on Wil and that’s why we see him in a Padres uniform next season. However, I know I’m not alone in saying that I wouldn’t mind having Wil on another team based on effort, attitude, and injuries. 

Credit: MLB

Kirby Yates — If there’s been any glimmer of excitement in the organization throughout our 12-year playoff drought, it’s at the closer position. The Padres produce elite closers at the highest rate of any major league organization. Yates is no exception as he has turned into a fine back-end pitcher. The Padres have seriously always been lucky with their bullpen, particularly at the closer position. That trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon with a plethora of excellent bullpen pieces in the major and minor league system. Yates has legitimate closer talent and teams will surely be calling about him just as they were at the deadline. If he’s around, he’s a lock to be the guy for the 2019 season. But with so many other options, he could be deemed expendable by Preller for other major league needs. 

Manuel Margot — Margot was supposed to be the guy — the longtime anchor in center field. But the bat just hasn’t come alive. It’s been two full seasons and it’s probably time to worry about Manny. It doesn’t matter how good the defense is if the bat doesn’t produce. The Pads really like Franchy, and have Franmil with Renfroe in the current picture (while Wil’s best spot is back in the outfield). It’s just too crowded. If Jankowski doesn’t go, Margot will. If Margot doesn’t go, Jankowksi will. 

Players that could net something but won’t be on the roster either way:

Jose Pirela — Pirela is so average. There’s been a ton of uproar about his presence in the lineup this year, and rightfully so. He won’t be on the team next year, but maybe Preller could squeeze something from another team who sees a place on their bench for Pirela.

Carlos Asuaje — Asuaje was supposed to be involved in the second base duties for most of 2018. He disappointed greatly. There doesn’t look to be a place on the roster for him, and similar to Pirela, could net minimal value. 

Look for part two, coming soon, where I will take a look at some possible minor league trade chips.

22 thoughts on “San Diego Padres Potential Trade Chips: Part 1

  1. I wish Padres fans and BO personnel would look at winning rosters prior to making decisions about who to keep and trade. Somehow, people don’t seem to recognize the depth good teams have. Padres teams – maybe – outfit legit players for most of a starting lineup. Maybe. Then, the inevitable injury bug or underperformance by an individual or two come, and then over half the everyday lineup is journeyman and rehab candidates. THIS IS NOT HOW TO WIN. Look at the Cubs, Astros, Red Sox, etc., but also look at the Indians, A’s, Cardinals. It’s not entirely about money. It is about depth.

    If you’re thinking we need one catcher, you don’t get it. Playoff teams have at least two. If you want to trade Hedges (fine), you must sign or trade for another catcher. Mejia is still a prospect. Do you want to win? Some teams don’t even see Mejia as a catcher.

    If you’re comfortable with lineups that are halfway-filled with guys who can’t hit at least .250 AND get on base at .333, you’re comfortable not having a championship lineup. Further, you need at least a couple bench guys who PLAY AT THE SAME LEVEL.

    If you want to win in 2019, SD needs significant free agent additions on largely shorter term contracts or savvy trades. I don’t want to disturb the minor leagues much if at all. I recommend Marwin Gonzalez on a potentially longer term contract if needed. Josh Harrison potentially. Winning ball players with multiple places they can succeed on a ballteam.

    If you’re about waiting for the kids and being almost exclusively farm-driven, then say so and let us set those expectations as fans. Lots of ways to win. But, one way to lose in 21st century baseball is to think one guy is the answer at a position. In the NL, you can’t play offense only guys or defense only guys or guys who can only play one position unless they are the absolute best at that position.

    Before getting too critical of Hosmer, remember the lineup he was hitting in. How many professional hitters does an opposing team need to prepare their game plans for the 2018 Padres? Seriously. As a former pitcher in high school and college, my coach, catcher, and I would look at that lineup and know 2 things: 1). This team doesn’t value contact. They will strike out without concern, and 2) Don’t give Hosmer or Myers legitimate pitches. I will take my chances that Renfroe, etc. trying to beat me with solo homers. Point being: Put legitimate hitters around Hosmer before assessing him.

    Good days comin’. It’s a matter of who to determine when.

  2. But the question is which players have any trade value? At some point we need to keep good players, so let’s hold onto Stammen and Yates.
    Guys who are gone, with no trade value:
    Lopez, Ellis (free agent), Pirela, Asuaje, Dickerson.
    Some trade value:
    Reyes. Yeah he hit for half a year, but he’s a zero with the glove or on the basepaths. Trade to the AL.
    Renfroe. A one-note player. Hits for good power, but poor average and OBP. No value as a runner or fielder. You just won’t find players like this on good teams, and he turns 27, so he’s run out of potential.
    Margot. They will most likely keep him, he’s only 24 and has less than 1000 PAs. But he has distinctly not impressed, so we should be open to moving him.
    Hedges. Great gloves are hard to find.
    Trade if at all possible:
    Myers. Poor attitude, immature, injury prone, below average bat for corner positions, also not much of a fielder. Will have to eat some salary but he really needs to go.
    Hosmer. I know. Untradeable due to NTC and hellishly bad year. But this was a massive blunder and needs to be corrected at some point. Might as well see what can be done. One of these guys need to be shipped out.

  3. Trade Reyes. He’s not an NL’r, but only if we get something massive in return. He’s a 23 yr old who had a heellluva second half in his rookie year.

    Trade Stammen and Yates

    Keep Myers, at least let him build up his value. He’s worth less than zero and our best offensive player, unfortunately.

    Keep Jank, he’ll provide insurance in case Cordero needs more time in AAA coming off his injury.

    Roll with Renfroe, Margot, Myers and Cordero as a 4th.

    Guerra at SS for the first month of the season til Tatis and let him hit .210 like the rest of our shortstops have but w elite D.

    Villanueva at 3b. See if he can start hot and has any long term value. Not sure if Ty France will be on the 40, but if he is, he’s our next call up there.

    Urias and Hosmer at 2nd and 1st.

    Hedges and Mejia platoon w Hedges playing 120 games and Mejia playing 40+. Also getting starts in OF and maybe some 3rd. He’s too short for first. He’d also be a great double switch player and pinch hitter.

    We should also trade for Danny Duffy. Austin Allen, Erlin, Pirela, and a 15 prob. Royals would eat half the contract and we could afford the rest($23mil) next 3 years. Or pay the whole contract w way less prospects

    Starting rotation


    Still terrible OBP type hitters, but we need one more year to find out if Myers, Villanueva, Hedges, Margot, and Renfroe are for real.

    Padres 2020 is when we can really start to get excited.

    1. Agree with a lot of your points, but we are not getting a massive return for Reyes, and let’s stop pretending that Pirela is a trading chip.

      1. Haha optimistic on Pirela that we can get SOMETHING for him. Not sure why we couldn’t get a haul for Reyes?? As stated he’s only 23 and had an incredible second half. His defense limits him yes, but if we can’t get a young SP or 3b for him, then keep him

        1. Why can’t we expect a haul for Reyes?
          Because he’s 23 and already 30 lbs. overweight (at 275), gains any more weight and he’s unplayable.
          Can’t field or run.
          Had less than 300 PAs with good numbers, so he’s not established market value.
          Teams do not pay for this profile anymore. And the idea we can get a young starting pitcher for him is pure fantasy.

  4. What this team really needs is to bring someone in to oversee baseball ops. Someone to be a real GM while Preller becomes the head of scouting. This off season is going to be riddled with moves that will see Preller play favorites to “his guys”, just watch. It is already happening. That is the reason why Margot was gifted a starting job even though Jankowski outplayed him all year. Margot should have been benched, his AVG, OBP and steal numbers are terrible for a player who is supposed to be getting on base and using his speed.

    1. The reason Margot starts is that he has the potential at 24 to get better, whereas Jankowski at 27 does not. We have to continue to invest in the potential of young players and not block them with 4th OF types.

  5. LOL, yes let’s trade Renfroe. The guy who in 2017 set the franchise record for HR then in 2018 increased his AVG, OBP, walk rate and strikeout rate. Yeah let’s ship him out…

    1. Totally agree with you. I don’t see how getting rid of your best overall hitter (Reyes) and your best power hitter (Renfro) makes a team that can’t score runs better. Without Reyes and Renfro, Myers and Hosmer will never see a good pitch the rest of their Padre career. I would also like to keep Galvis for one more season. If Tatis comes up later in the season, he can get some starts at short and platoon at third with Villanueva. I think watching a pro like Galvis for half a season will really help the kid.

  6. I keep finding it funny that people are under the impression that we have a crowded outfield. On a normal baseball team, exactly how many of these guys are bona fide starters? Maybe Renfroe? You can possibly make a case for Reyes if he continues to develop. Otherwise, Myers has peaked (if you can call his participation “peaking”, Margot is floundering, and guys like Jankowski are typical middle of the road 4th or 5th outfielders. There’s no logjam folks, there’s a large group of mediocrity and no one is taking their position and owning it. Renfroe possibly is, Reyes could if his D develops. You could dump four of these guys and you wouldn’t miss any of them. Except of course, we”re stuck w Wil.

  7. The obvious trade is Myers for anybody ! Everyone that stays will be more valuable. Margot is my 2nd choice. DO NOT trade Reyes or Renfroe. The Padres will be sorry if they do and we’ll be stuck with low power .250 hitters. And no more Royals rejects (Moustakas). The King of Ground Balls doesn’t need his old buddies around. He’s got enough to work on without distractions

    1. You are one of the few people that make sense. Reyes is the only contact hitter in the lineup (and sometimes his contact goes 450 ft. I know Andy is not allowed to do this but Franmil should be starting in front of Myers…

  8. OF: I’m still not sold on Renfroe, though there was improvement. Here’s what I propose: trade Renfroe, have an OF of Myers, Reyes, Margot, Cordero, and Jankowski. Time and injuries will tell us which ones will stick and which ones won’t (’19 is Margot’s last chance to stick; we’ll know more about his status by early June).
    3B: Someone currently NOT in the organization (Moustakas?). Mejia gets spot starts.
    SS: A fill-in; I think Galvis will sign elsewhere. Tatis will be ready by the end of the season.
    2B: Urias.
    1B: Hosmer (with Mejia and Myers getting spot-starts vs. lefties).
    C: Hedges starts 60% of the time, Mejia 40% (with spot starts at other positions, too).
    Gone: Pirela and Spangenberg (don’t give up on Asuaje just yet).

  9. And does not everyone find it a bit ironic that three out of four managers in the national league west that finished above the Padres are ex-Padre coaches or managers?

    1. Lol. Well AJ likes yes men who don’t ask for decent talent in offense or defense. Andy or someone like him will be around a long time. But Black was decent but vocal and that doesn’t work here….

  10. What about Dickerson? Isn’t he coming back next spring? Sign Moustakas for third. Put Myers in left, Cordero in center with Renfroe in right with his power and cannon arm. Trade Franmil, Margot, Spangenberg, Asuaje, Pirela, Richards, Nix and Kennedy.

    1. Why would you trade the only guy who might hit .300? It’s amazing people keep mentioning Reyes as trade bait, he’s the only outfielder who can hit to the opposite field and make regular contact.

  11. Concur with Roddy. With Renfroe, you get a BA around .250 (max) but big power potential (30+ HRs)- there will be some teams that will go for that because he has a low salary. Myers, when healthy, will probably approach .270 but still has 30-30 potential and is a better LF than Renfroe, HOWEVER, the future salary obligations and past injuries will make it difficult to trade him for like value. Franmil will make a fantastic DH, but Padres want to see if he can improve OF play to be a regular – he has made great strides and is a super team player. All 3 are limited to LF or RF. Padres expect Cordero to make strides similar to Franmil and he has the best speed/power combination of the remaining OFs and he could play CF with a little more work. I still like Margot and see Jankowski as part of a larger trade package. Wild card is Mejia, who could start in the OF and has decent speed besides sharing time with Hedges. Rowdy is right – need to see more of Mejia before handing him the full-time catching chores.

    No other OF prospects on the immediate horizon unless you think of Naylor as an OF; he’s a higher average, lower power version of Franmil. Reed, Olivares, Rosario and Ornelas are still unproven and several years away. On the other hand, if Austin Allen shows well at C in Arizona, might make it easier for them to either play Mejia more in the OF or trade Hedges.

    Note: Padres have some good prospects at C in the minors and probably the best two college players in the 2019 draft are catchers. 1 will probably be available at the #6 pick. For that reason, might see Padres go with Hedges and Mejia for the first few of months with Hedges departing at the trade deadline if he can sustain his BA somewhere above .235 and Mejia shows growth as a major league hitter.

    1. Good stuff and I mostly agree. I’d like to think we move a few of these guys though, including Margot and pick up a true everyday CF who can hit and get on base. A Steve Finley type would be a godsend for this team but I’m sure also costly

  12. Personally, I think the team will trade Renfroe and shift Myers back to LF, where he is an above-average defender. Margot will remain in center and Cordero and Franmil will most likely platoon in right. Padres will get a 3B either in trade or sign a free agent like Moustakas (good buddy of Hosmer).

    Pirela and Asuaje are the two worst players on the Padres by fWAR, and have little to no trade value. My guess is both get DFA’d during the offseason. I don’t see Hedges traded until the Padres get to know Mejia better.

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