The three aforementioned pitchers are probably out of the question. Let’s face it. They are out of the question.
The Padres want to exercise patience with the growth of their prospects. They have indicated they would rather not move top-tiered talent at this point and that is a wise thing. The three (Archer, Cole, and Stroman) would give the Padres an ace, but the price tag of acquiring them would be a tough pill to swallow. Especially since each pitcher is only one toss away from having their career put into jeopardy.
The following throwers are talented, but they are at an obvious lesser-tier than others in the MLB pitching hierarchy.
These five pitchers give you an idea of who the Padres might be looking at via trade this winter.
There is some upside with these guys and they should not cost you too much in terms of higher-tiered prospects.
The Rays have an excess of starters. They have a group of young pitchers just about ready to hit the majors, so they have a few starters who could be packaged for upgrades. Tampa Bay is in a tight spot at the moment. The Yankees and Red Sox are both fully loaded. Toronto and Baltimore are also built to win now.
The Rays have some young players, but unfortunately they would need a semi-miracle to make the postseason anytime soon. Odorizzi is under control through the 2019 season and has decent numbers. His name will not sell tickets, but he is more than capable of getting better as a major league pitcher. What would Tampa need for him? That is the question.
I added his name here simply because the Mets are shopping him. The team reportedly wants relief help. Immediately I think of Brad Hand, but Harvey is just a name right now. His value is way down and he is also in the last year of his contract. The Mets are unhappy with his attitude and you have to think Brad Hand’s value is way higher than a pitcher who is probably over-valued because of the New York hype. He is still intriguing though, as his value is at an all-time low. Being that it is a contract year, he could be extremely motivated this 2018 season. If the Padres could acquire him for a decent package, he could be an option to flip come July. Preller thinks outside the box and this is one way to improve the team in the long run. The asking price would have to be within reason. The Mets do need a second baseman.
Salazar has dominating stuff, but has struggled with health his whole major league career. He has yet to throw over 185 innings in a season or start more than 30 games. He is under contract through the 2020 season, so he still has tremendous value. The right-handed pitcher could be moved by the Indians as they look for outfield help. The Tribe needs immediate help, so prospects would not work for them. The could be interested in Franchy Cordero, Travis Jankowski, or Jose Pirela. Are they enough to acquire Salazar? That remains to be seen.
The left-handed pitcher has had a 4.72 ERA since being signed by the Marlins for 5 years and $80 million before the 2016 season. He has turned into a horrible contract. He is a burden to the Marlins as they look to rebuild and cut salary. Chen is owed $52 million for the next three years. That is just pricey. But why would the Padres want that? The answer is simple. Christian Yelich. I have written multiple things about him and how he is a great fit for the Padres moving forward. Yelich is only due $57.25 for the next five seasons. If you add Chen’s contract to what Yelich is owed, $109.2 million for a player like Christian Yelich is a heck of a deal at half a decade. Sign me up. Much like the Yankees’ deal for Stanton, the Padres shouldn’t be obligated to deal top-tier prospects if they assume most, if not all the salary of Chen. A.J. Preller really needs to get on this. Chen isn’t that bad, is he? And who cares if he is? Yelich hitting in between Margot and Myers would be a thing of beauty for years to come.
The A’s are certainly not looking to deal starting pitching, but this left-hander could be a decent pickup for the Friars if they can get a trade done. He is 25, and not due for free agency until after the 2021 season, so his price tag would not be cheap. The Padres have middle infield depth and outfield depth that could be of interest to Oakland. Much like when the Padres acquired Drew Pomeranz from the A’s, Manaea could be one to blossom on the Padres. Would a Carlos Asuaje and Travis Jankowski deal make sense for the teams? Manaea has excellent value, so the Padres would have to pay that type of price tag.