The San Diego Padres will be spinning their wheels for the rest of the 2018 season.
Just as the team starts to play well, they will undoubtedly hit a spell where they make mistakes and play horrible ball. That is to be expected as this is a team of mostly young players that are still finding their way in the game of baseball. It takes time to “flip” a franchise and turn it into a productive one. We are currently in the middle of what some people like to call a “rebuild”. The Padres will not use that word, but that is precisely what they are doing.
This construction is not just limited to the major league team either as the whole farm system was blown up in the last three years and re-organized. It was tragically needed, as the San Diego Padres have failed in all regards in terms of cultivating and developing talent. Something had to be done and it is being implemented now.
With the 2018 team not built to win, it is getting time to think about possibly maximizing players/profits and once again collecting young talent that could help in the long run. Last year, the Padres dealt three veteran arms to the Kansas City Royals. Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill were moved for Travis Wood, Matt Strahm, and Esteury Ruiz. Wood has since moved on, but both Strahm and Ruiz have bright futures with the team. Meanwhile, only Maurer is still with the Royals, and was last seen in Triple-A.
A.J. Preller, like him or not, has a knack for trading and acquiring young talent. Sure, the naysayers want to point to Trea Turner and the Bryan Mitchell/ Chase Headley investment and demean the G.M. for the moves. Yes, the deals may prove to be incorrect trades, but in the long run, his good moves have easily outperformed his bad ones.
As July approaches, the Padres will surely be sellers in the trade market once again. Here is a look at some of the most likely players to be shopped. Take note that anything can happen with Preller and his regime. They pride themselves on doing the unexpected and taking an edge over their opponent. Anything can truly happen.
He has been a very consistent player for the team in his one-year of service time with the team. He has put up a .267/.324/.423 batting line with 10 homers and 51 RBI in his 132 games in a Padres’ uniform. Those numbers are not spectacular, but they are serviceable. He is not a free agent until 2023 so there is no rush to move him. However, there is a sense that the 27-year-old is playing over his head, and now is the time to deal him while he has some value. Pirela has cooled down recently and still has yet to hit a homer in 2018, but you have to think he might have some value to someone. Jose Pirela can play first, second, or the corner outfield. Padres’ fans should be rooting for Pirela to get back on track so that he can be moved for a prospect come July.
He was signed for $1.75 million this past winter and has easily justified his payday. Ross had a near no-hitter and seems free and easy with his arm currently. His slider is returning to form and the right-handed pitcher has been striking out batters with it. Ross is 31 and should still have some tread left on the tires. The Padres could explore re-signing him to an extension, but they would have to feel out what Ross and his representation want. If they are looking for too much on a new deal, then the team could very well kick the tires on Ross’ value to contending teams.
The team is really pleased with what they have gotten from this shortstop since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for Enyel De Los Santos. Dealing a top pitching prospect was certainly risky, and still remains a risk, but Galvis has stabilized a position that had been a mess for the team for a long time. He is in the last year of his contract and could be re-signed by the team as there is no heir apparent at short ready in the minors just yet. Luis Urias is close, but he is questionable to remain at short long-term. The Padres could package Galvis to a team looking for middle infield help (Dodgers?).
The value is still there for this left-handed talent. He has one of the most devastating sliders in the game and throws in the mid 90s as well. When the playoff picture starts to get clear in the next few months, teams will surely be on the lookout for bullpen help. Hand fits the needs of many teams and has two-plus years of service time left on his contract. The Padres will not shop Hand, but if they get a tempting offer, then A.J. Preller will not hesitate to pull the trigger.
I know there are many supporters of this man in the fan base, and rightfully so. He has so much ability. The Padres do seem a bit frustrated with the fact he cannot take a walk though. Franchy Cordero has established himself, and Wil Myers will play everyday in the outfield. If comes down to Manuel Margot or Renfroe, you would have to think the speedy Dominican center fielder wins. Then there is the Franmil Reyes factor, as the 22-year-old has slugged 12 homers in Triple-A and is knocking on the door. Renfroe could probably use a change of scenery as there just isn’t enough at-bats to go around for him. Expect the Padres to gauge his value and do it soon.
There are more tasty players on the Padres’ roster such as Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen. Both relievers would be excellent additions to a playoff-bound team. Travis Jankowski and Cory Spangenberg could also be shopped as neither seems to be a long-term fit in San Diego. No matter what, the Padres will be active in talking trade. Whether or not they pull off a deal is another story. These next few months could be interesting for Padres fans.