What are A.J. Preller’s Current Trade Chips?

Credit: MLB.com

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(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi))

The San Diego Padres should still be active in the trade market this offseason.

Contrary to what most believe, you can still move prospects while maintaining the goals of a rebuilding franchise. You deal players when their perceived value is higher than their actual value. As an organization, you have the advantage of knowing your players better than any other team. If you feel a player is playing over their head and due for regression, then you trade them now before their value drops. That’s just the business side of the game.

Presently, the Padres are far from a competitive team. They clearly have some positives to the roster, but then there are the glaring issues. In certain areas of both the major league and minor league system, the team has an excess of talent. Yangervis Solarte was dealt a few weeks back by the Padres to help clear up the infield situation. The deal opened a roster spot that was quickly filled, but the Padres still have too many second/third baseman. Another trade could very well be in the books.

Then there is the story of Brad Hand. He has value and can help a playoff team now. Teams will come knocking on the Padres’ door eventually. Then there is the matter of the Padres’ outfield, which is a bit overcrowded presently. The Friars could make a deal soon to lighten the outfield mix. If Eric Hosmer is signed and Wil Myers ends up in left, then the team will have even more reason to make a move sooner rather than later.

As far as dealing minor league players, the team will still explore the option. The Padres are building towards the future and you have to be hesitant to deal young players at this point. But as I already indicated, the franchise is well aware of who among their players is over-valued. If they feel than can get better value now for a player who is surrounded by talent, then they will do it. You cannot fit a round peg into a square hole. You have to make best of what you have.

Dealing some young players can be risky and it is certainly natural for Padre fans to be hesitant. This franchise has constantly abused its fan base throughout its history and the fear that Padre fans have about moving young talent is certainly justified. There are still options for the team in this regard though as the Padres have stockpiled so much talent.

At this point, almost everyone could be made attainable by the team. I would not expect the team to part with any of their top prospects unless they were given a deal they could not refuse. Even then, it would be counterproductive to make a move in this manner. The Fernando Tatis, Mackenzie Gore, Luis Urias, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Cal Quantrill‘s of the world can rest assured that they should make their major league debuts in a Padres’ uniform.

Here is a look at some major league players and some minor leaguers that are arguably Preller’s best trade chips currently.

The following players could very well be moved soon, but most importantly, they could be dealt without damaging the process which Padres fans hold so dear to their hearts.


7 thoughts on “What are A.J. Preller’s Current Trade Chips?

  1. I think we have to think of Headley as the signing cost of Bryan Mitchell. Just as we paid $22 million for Morejon, we paid $13 millioin for Mitchell. Any amount of that we can recoup but jetting off Headley would be icing.

  2. Brad Hand has an incredibly cheap team option of 10M for 2021, so he has 4 years of control. I might be in the minority but of current 3B options Headley is the strongest they have. Getting rid of him to save 4 to 6M makes no sense. Every team is getting 50M this year from Disney, Until Christian forces the situation with a huge ST performance, AJ and Andy should be content with playing out Headleys deal.

  3. I would’ve thought Brett Kennedy would also be on this list. Maybe also Chris Huffman, Eric Yardley, Jerry Keel, Austin Allen (though wouldn’t like trading Allen), or Ruddy Giron.

  4. Teams can only buy out option years, and only at a prenegotiated price that is part of the player’s contract. There is no way to get out of paying the full $13 million owed to Headley under any circumstances. MLB contracts are 100% guaranteed.

  5. Can MLB teams “buy out” contracts like they do in the NBA? It might be a win, win if they were able to buy out Headley. He has zero value at best for the Padres, and likely negative value for them. And he doesn’t want to be there.

  6. Trading someone playing over their head and due for regression sounds like a good idea. Signing Hosmer after a career year does not.

  7. I would just trade Headley to any team that’s willing to eat some of the money on his contract. He’s not part of the future, and gets in the way of a legitimate 3B prospect like Villanueva.

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