The San Diego Padres are in rare position that they might both buy and sell at the trade deadline, which is roughly two weeks away.
A.J. Preller is a savvy general manager who prefers to maximize players value when it’s inflated. If there are players on the team that he feels can be moved for a better investment, then he will not hesitate to pull the trigger. Nor should he. The Padres need not be picky at this point.
When you factor in that the team needs 40-man roster space. Trades are surely going to happen at some point. There are several young players that need to be protected this winter from the Rule-5 draft, so the Padres could be motivated to sell off veteran players.
Expect the team to package players together similar to when they dealt Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill to the Royals for Travis Wood, Esteury Ruiz and Matt Strahm. Strahm and Ruiz did not require 40-man spots, so the team gained two openings.
Jose Pirela might not be the most appealing of players to Padre fans, but to a playoff team he could be viewed as serviceable. He can play five different positions on the diamond. If you package him with a reliever who has plenty of value, a deal could be made. The Padres do have several relief pitchers who will be of interest to contending teams.
Despite the recent struggles of Brad Hand, he will still be of interest to other teams. The Padres sole representative in this year’s MLB All-Star game has a tremendous slider and is under team control for two or three years. The Padres do not need to necessarily deal the lefty, but they will surely listen to all offers.
Then there is the outfield. Nobody knows what the team will do in that regard, but Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes will all be looking for playing time the rest of the season. The Padres could choose to move an outfielder to help thin out the 40-man log jam.
The Padres have a very deep system right now. One of the deepest in all of major league baseball. Do not be surprised if they also potentially deal some of them in a deal for a young major league type player who is under team control for a few seasons. A starting pitcher could be of interest here as the Padres look to deepen their staff for the 2019 season and beyond.
A.J. Preller and his staff are busy this time of year. There is a lot to do. The Padres will be rumored in a few moves here and there in the coming weeks. They might even pull off a few trades. One thing is for certain. The trade winds are surely blowing into San Diego.