Six Intriguing Bats The Padres Could Add at the Trade Deadline

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Credit: USA Today Sports

With the July 31st trade deadline coming up, the San Diego Padres’ front office must take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror to find out whether they will be buyers at the deadline for the first time since 2010. If the Padres decide to be buyers, the Padres offense has some holes to fill.

Second base and center field have been inconsistent positions for the San Diego Padres all season.

The center field platoon of Manny Margot and Wil Myers have produced an aggregate .207/.285/.305 slash line this season, good for 29th in all of baseball. Meanwhile, the Ian Kinsler and Greg Garcia tandem at second base have hit a combined .243/.311/.406, ranking 23rd in all of baseball.

While the Padres could call up top prospect Luis Urias to take over duties at second base, the team remains reluctant to do so.

Consequently, the team may look to the trade market to add some much-needed offense to both of these positions.

Whit Merrifield

John Sleezer/Kansas City Star

All-Star Whit Merrifield is a player who can split time defensively at both second base and centerfield while simultaneously improving each position offensively. With a slash line of .310/.357/.504, 11 HR, and 12 SB, Merrifield is a five-tool player who can provide athleticism at the top of the lineup.

The 30-year-old recently signed a team friendly four-year/$16.25 million contract with the Royals, which propels Merrifield’s trade value into the stratosphere. Padres will have to give up a treasure chest of prospects to get Merrifield. Therefore, the likes of Luis Urias and Luis Patino may move the other way in a deal with Kansas City. A high price to pay for one of the more consistent, versatile, and monetarily cheap players in the game, but it’s undeniable that Merrifield would provide control and flexibility for the Padres for years to come.

Fit = 10/10

Starling Marte

Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

While the current Padres centerfield tandem is one of baseball’s most offensively inconsistent, Marte, when healthy, is one of the most reliable bats available. A career .286/.339/.445 hitter, Marte normally hits between 10 and 20 HR and steals over 30 bases every year. If acquired, the Padres would be getting a two-time gold glove award winner provides range in the outfield and speed on the basepaths.

Of course, with two years of control beyond 2019 on a team-friendly deal, bringing Marte to San Diego would cost a comparable amount of prospects in comparison to Merrifield.

Also, the addition of Marte would severely limit future chances for Margot and Myers in center field. The Padres could offer one, or both in exchange for Marte. But at this point, both Padres’ centerfielders possess little to no value on the trade market.

Also, will the Pirates be sellers? With a 42-44 record, they are half a game better than the Padres in the NL wild-card standings. What’s more, is that their front office has openly expressed their desire to compete in 2019 if the team continues to hang around. However, with a sub-par minor league system, the Pirates may end up waving the white flag and trading players like Marte to increase their chances of competitiveness in the future.

Fit = 7/10

Derek Dietrich

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Reds, who are in a similar position to the Padres, also must decide in the coming weeks if they are buyers or sellers. But with multiple players headed for free agency at the end of 2019, the Reds may deem it necessary to be sellers.

If this is the case, the Padres could inquire about Derek Dietrich. With 18 home runs this season, Dietrich and his gold-chain-wearing, eye-black-mustachioed swagger could be a valuable trade piece regardless of whether the Reds decide to be sellers. With starting second baseman Scooter Gennett back from the injured list, Dietrich has been relegated to a bench role and could be a piece the Reds would be willing to part with via trade.

If acquired, Dietrich would immediately become San Diego’s best offensive option at second base. Additionally, Dietrich has extensive playing experience in left field as well as at all four infield positions in his career. Therefore, if Andy Green prefers the likes of Ian Kinsler or Greg Garcia to start at second base, Dietrich could serve as a late-game double switch option off the bench, a role incredibly vital for any successful national league playoff team.

Unfortunately, Dietrich, who got off to a blazing hot start, hit a mere .140 in 72 at-bats in June. But, if the Padres want to take a chance on Dietrich, the 29-year-old might only cost cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Fit = 5/10

Dee Gordon

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A player with similar defensive versatility to that of Merrifield, Dee Gordon has seen time at both second base and center field over the past two seasons. While Gordon provides league-average defense at second base, his -8 defensive runs saved in center field is among the worst in baseball, according to Fangraphs.

However, what makes Gordon an attractive option is his speed. It’s no secret that the Padres lack baserunning ability, so adding a player like Gordon who can wreak havoc on the basepaths would improve the Padres for the remainder of the season, while also giving them a unique stolen base threat in the postseason.

Unfortunately, the negatives seemingly outweigh the positives with Gordon, as the 31-year-old is still owed $27.8 million over the next two seasons. What’s more is that Gordon does not improve the Padres offensively, His 74 wRC+ is well below the league average of 100 wRC+, is worse than Greg Garcia (111 wRC+) and Wil Myers (94 wRC+), and is only marginally better than Manny Margot (70 wRC+) and Ian Kinsler (71 wRC+).

Unless the Mariners are willing to eat most, if not all of Gordon’s salary, this move doesn’t make much sense for the Padres.

Fit = 2/10

Jonathan Villar

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

After being sent to the Orioles from Miluakee at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for Jonathan Schoop, Villar has understandably fallen off the radar for most baseball fans. With that being said, it’s easy to forget that in 2016 Villar stole 62 bases for the Brewers en route to being one of the most productive middle infielders in baseball.

While Villar will most likely not return to this kind of form, he remains a serviceable major leaguer with above average speed. With ten home runs and a .256/.326/.421 slash line, Villar would serve as an improvement at second base for the Padres. Also, with 16 steals this season, Villar would give the Padres another stolen base threat besides Fernando Tatis Jr.

With one year of control after this year and the ability to play shortstop, second base, and third base, Villar is essentially a better version of Greg Garcia – a marginal upgrade the Padres will most likely not have to give up much for.

Fit = 8/10

Yasiel Puig

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

You either love him, or you hate him. Although ‘The Wild Horse’ may be one of baseball’s most polarizing figures, Yasiel Puig may be one of the most intriguing players to watch at the trading deadline. Again, the Reds are still in the Wild Card hunt– but are one bad losing streak away from making players like Puig, who is in the final year of his contract, available on the trade market.

While Puig has gotten into his fair share of on-the-field scuffles this year, it’s undeniable what Puig has done offensively this season. The 28-year-old is hitting .346/.402/.731 with eight home runs over the past month, and with impending free agency on the horizon, the Reds may feel inclined to trade Puig for a cost that’s not beyond the Padres price range.

What’s more is that despite the occasional blunder in the outfield, Puig provides above-average range and throwing arm at all three outfield positions. Sure, Puig’s acquisition would limit at-bats for Myers and Margot for the remainder of the season, but this will be a necessary sacrifice if the Padres hope to make the postseason in 2019.

Fit = 10/10

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Ben Friedl
A recent USD graduate, Ben grew up in San Diego and has been a life-long Padres fan. Currently, Ben is residing in Chicago, IL where he is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Media Journalism at Northwestern University.
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Mikey
Mikey
2 years ago

What about going after a lefty 2nd basemen like Kolten Wong? And he is on the last year of his contract. Sure, he might not be the best bat on the market. Maybe he will be a better hitter at Petco than in STL. Plus, he already has a great connection with Greg Garcia playing in STL and at UH together.

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikey

No point in trading for rentals

Billy Bobaloo
Billy Bobaloo
2 years ago

Lol. I’m neither. You’re 12, so I won’t bash you in return or ask you to come out from behind your big, tough keyboard. Remember though, we are taking a lot of salary back from the Royals. I guess I’m betting they’d rather take a shot on a player they drafted who has All-star 30/30 potential over a couple overpaid vet pitchers and an aging catcher – all moves made to support a previous team that now no longer fit. They’d probably get more out of Myers than we will. We’d probably get more out of the pitchers than they… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bobaloo

You are indeterminately wrong about my age. The Royals have no interest in moving Perez or Kennedy. And they ESPECIALLY aren’t interested in Wil Myers. They traded him for a reason and now he’s about to start making $22.5m a year. What an idiot you are for suggesting a trade involving another team taking Myers without getting back a Gore-type prospect in return. THAT is what it will take to move that guy.

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bobaloo

No interest in moving Perez or Duffy*

They need to make it so you can edit comments on this site…

George k
2 years ago
Reply to  Ryan

Dump Myers and move on.

OregonCopper
OregonCopper
2 years ago

I’m going to say NO to PUIG, GORDON, and MERRIFIELD for a variety of reasons including their respective ages/need/fit.

However, at 28 years old AND a switch hitting second baseman with skills that match up with this team, I think if the price is right they should go get VILLAR.

It seems the Padres Brass is having reservations about URIAS, especially his bat…VILLAR is young enough to stick around for a while, shouldn’t break the bank, and has enough experience that he should contribute to the overall leadership in the clubhouse and on the field…

Just a thought…Go Pads!!

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  OregonCopper

1. According to who are they have having reservations about Urias?
2. What’s with saying each player’s name in ALL CAPS?

George k
2 years ago
Reply to  Ryan

I love villar for are infield

Tanned Tom
Tanned Tom
2 years ago

Of course the number one move to make this summer is to trade Wil Myers. He’s not a bad player, but after signing Hosmer, and with Renfroe busting out, there is just no position for him. Playing him in CF is a nightly exercise in wishful thinking. Now with his insane contract moving him will not be easy. But unless the organization wants the most expensive bench piece in MLB, they just have to bite the bullet and trade him. It will be costly and ugly. Either you pay down his salary enormously, package him with something close to a… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Tanned Tom

Urias is the same age that Rizzo was when we gave up on him.

OregonCopper
OregonCopper
2 years ago
Reply to  Tanned Tom

I agree completely, but getting someone else to take on MYERS is going to be tough…I never liked the trade where WM came to SD…even with TATIS, Id rather have Trae TURNER than WM, but I digress… Somehow dump WM to Baltimore in a package to pick up VILLAR would be ideal IMHO…WM should only be a DH and fined if he brings a fielder’s glove to the stadium…remember when he trashed Andy GREEN on a live gaming site for calling the guys in for extra defensive work? Dude should’ve been setting land speed records on the I-5 to get… Read more »

George k
2 years ago
Reply to  OregonCopper

Dump)
Myers now

Ryan
Ryan
2 years ago

No on Merrifield. Urias will be better than him once the Padres’ window opens.
And has been said before, the Padres already have enough RHH corner OF’s so Puig is out.
Oh and no one is taking Myers unless we attach him to Tatis or Gore.

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