Taking a look at some potential trade victims as the San Diego Padres continue to restructure their roster.
With approximately three months until the start of the 2020 season, the San Diego Padres are still poised to make a few trades.
A.J. Preller and his staff already added Tommy Pham, Trent Grisham, Drew Pomeranz, Jurickson Profar, and Zach Davies to the roster as they attempt to find more balance with the 2020 team. There are whispers of moves on the way as the Padres have a few holes. The team also has an excess in value at certain positions, and that needs to be addressed.
The players listed below are only in this piece, as the team has so much depth.
The Padres have done well to stock their system with relevant prospects. The team is at a point where decisions need to be made, though. The organization succeeded in getting these men to this point in their careers. Now is an opportunity to hand-pick cultivated prospects you deem worthy of a long term investment in playing time. Not that the rest do not have value. More often than not, for various reasons, their potential is not unlocked by the team that drafted them, and it takes a change of scenery to uncork their abilities.
Here is a look at some players who are coveted by other franchises and might be attainable.
The athletic (yes, I wrote athletic) first baseman is turning out to be serviceable in the outfield. He has the foot speed and arm strength for the position but lacks the experience in tracking fly balls. That is understandable as he never really played the position regularly until the last two seasons. His bat is exceptional, as he barrels up baseballs to all fields. If he can be more patient at the plate and continue to develop, he could be an All-Star. Unfortunately for him, Eric Hosmer is entrenched at first base for San Diego. Naylor can play left field, but the reality is that his future lies in the infield or as a DH.
The Padres have taken offers on Hedges, as opposing teams value what he brings with the glove. He is arguably the best receiver in the game and has tremendous value in that regard. The problem is that his bat is a significant issue. He has put up a .201/.257/.360 batting line in 1,163 at-bats in the Major Leagues. That is not acceptable. Not in a Padres’ lineup that is struggling for any semblance of offense. Francisco Mejia has issues in his own right, but there seems to be a preference for the Padres to go in his direction when it comes to playing time. Thus, making Hedges expendable for the right price.
This left-handed pitcher is still considered a prospect though he earned some major league service time last year for the Padres at the age of 20. He has a power arm with excellent secondary stuff, but struggles in his health have limited Morejon so far. There is plenty of upside with this pitcher, and he likely will be shopped by the Padres this winter as the team simply has no room for his services. MacKenzie Gore is only days younger, and the left-handed pitcher is very close to reaching the majors. Morejon is arguably the best prospect that the Padres are actively shopping. He has value and would be a great pickup for a team looking at his lofty ceiling.
The Padres like what they have gotten from this tall right-handed pitcher from Cuba. He traditionally pitched at the beginning of games but had no problem transitioning to the bullpen in 2019. He made it to the Major Leagues this past season, showing a plus arm with decent secondary pitches. A potential trading team might want to utilize Baez in the rotation. The Padres have no opportunities for him at the moment in that regard as the rotation is full. There is a lot to like about the right arm of this pitcher who could have a long Major League career when it is all said and done.
At times last year, this Canadian pitcher looked flat-out dominant for the Padres. There is still a lot of potential in the right-hander, but he needs to be more consistent with his stuff. He may have unlocked something last season, but only time will tell. The Padres have a lot of faith in Quantrill, who could very well open the 2020 season in the rotation for the club if all breaks well for him. A few teams have shown interest in the pitcher. However, the Padres will likely hold on to the former first-round pick for now. He has outstanding value as he is ready, willing, and able to eat up Major League innings. He just needs a shot.
Injuries are a significant issue for this talented outfielder. He played in the D.R. this winter and looked well contributing to the Leones de Escogido. The left-handed hitter is a Statcast darling as he punishes the baseball when he makes contact. The fleet-footed outfield has a strong arm and can play center, but is not a natural at the position. Cordero was drafted as a shortstop and showed his inexperience in the outfield from time to time. The Padres currently have him penciled in as a platoon partner for Manuel Margot in centerfield. He could be dealt if the Padres upgrade in centerfield or another team becomes enamored with his potential.
There is no rush to deal this pitcher, but he could be moved if the team upgrades significantly in the rotation this winter. Lucchesi is presently pitching very well with a two-pitch mix, but some worry that the league will catch up with him eventually. The Padres are pleased with what he provides as he is a nice counter to the hard throwers on the staff like Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet. There is a low likelihood of a trade, but if the Padres are swept off their feet, a deal of Luchessi could happen.
The SDSU product has accomplished all he can at the Triple-A level, hitting almost .400 last year for El Paso. The infielder has shown great hand-eye coordination and an excellent eye at the plate. The problem is that he is a corner infielder, and the team has Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer at those positions. France learned to play second base last year and played some games for the Padres at the position. He has a great right-handed bat and deserves a chance at an everyday job. The Padres cannot provide that for him, so he could be a very attractive player for a team. France will not overwhelm you with his tools, but he does everything well, and that has good value.
This soon-to-be 28-year-old is not a young prospect. He played in Mexico for many years before being signed by the Red Sox a few years ago. The small in stature left-handed hitter has shown a tremendous bat everywhere he goes. Currently playing in Mexico, Quiroz is batting in the cleanup position for the Caneros do los Mochis. He is arguably ready to make his Major League debut, but the team has Jurickson Profar and Greg Garcia at the second base position. Ivan Castillo and Owen Miller are younger prospects who are playing well directly behind Quiroz in the system. He may be dealt as there is simply no room for the Mexican infielder
The Padres already traded Austin Allen to the Oakland A’s for Profar in an attempt to clear things up with the crowded catching situation in the system. Mejia and Hedges are currently at the Major League level, and that leaves Torrens set for the everyday job in El Paso to begin the 2020 season. It is hard to imagine that the well-rounded catcher will suffer in the PCL, so his value should continue to rise. If a team is looking for a catcher with one year of Major League service time and a decent upside- Torrens is the man.
In the past, fans of the Padres would be excited for the arrival of this Cuban pitcher. He has a 99 mph fastball and also spins up a slow curve in the low 70s in terms of velocity. Sadly, for Bolanos, this Padres’ system is stacked with arms, and he flies under the radar. The 23-year-old could be very enticing for a team looking for an undervalued arm. There is a lot to like about his potential, but there is some risk too, as the right-handed pitcher can struggle to throw strikes.