Hello all, and welcome to your new and (hopefully) improved San Diego Padres! In case you were like me and disconnected from the digital world for a couple days, GM AJ Preller decided to go HAM on the trade market and made three major trades.
Here’s a quick recap:
(*all prospect rankings per MLB Pipeline’s Padres Top 30, prior to the trades*)
#21 OF prospect Edward Olivares, to Kansas City
#17 IF prospect Hudson Potts, to Boston
#20 OF prospect Jeisson Rosario, to Boston
#5 OF prospect Taylor Trammell, to Seattle
IF Ty France, to Seattle
RHP Andres Muñoz, to Seattle
C Luis Torrens, to Seattle
RHP Gerardo Reyes, to Angels
A player to be named (expected to be a low-level pitching prospect, according to a source), to Kansas City.
That’s ... A LOT of guys moving (personally, I’ll pour one out for our homie, Ty France; gonna miss you, guy! Also one for Andres Muñoz, our once future closer). Here’s who the Padres got back in exchange.
RHP Trevor Rosenthal, from Kansas City
DH/1B Mitch Moreland, from Boston
C Austin Nola, from Seattle
RHP Dan Altavilla, from Seattle
RHP Austin Adams, from Seattle
C Jason Castro, from Angels
Take a look at what FanGraphs.com had to say about all the deals, if you want. To me, though, Rosenthal, Moreland, and Nola all represent upgrades for the current Padres roster, while Adams, despite still recovering from October knee surgery, should return shortly, and will help reinforce the bullpen. These moves create a major logjam at catcher since Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia remain on the team, so expectations remain high that Preller isn’t done yet and will include one of these players in another major deal (Castro, at 33 years old, is likely only a short-term addition, as he’s a free agent this off-season). Still, you have to admire the moves Preller has made so far.
While it’s reasonable to think that at least one of those 9 young players sent away will blossom into a quality MLB player, the trades still didn’t put a major dent into the overall quality or depth of their Padres farm system. Only Taylor Trammel was ranked in the team’s Top 15 prospects, prior to all the deals, so in all likelihood, the team still has enough depth to land another major piece, if they find a willing partner, while not sacrificing the guys the team has plans for in the short-term. Add in the return to form of RHP Chris Paddack over the weekend, and the Padres, who are virtually tied for the 2nd best record in the NL, look poised to make a splash this post-season.
Hold on to your butts, folks; we ain’t done yet!
With that, let’s get into the other news and notes from the weekend.
- With their bevy of trades over the weekend, the Padres vaulted themselves into MLB.com’s Top 5 in their latest Power Rankings, moving up from No. 10 in the previous rankings. According to MLB.com, the team fortified their lineup while also upgrading their bullpen and catcher spots, while still having time to add either a major starter, or even an OF piece. With the trade deadline set to close today at 1600 Eastern, there’s still time for more wheeling and dealing.
- Paddack’s return to form took on even more significance than one would normally think. Prior to the game, Paddack called the series “one of the biggest we’ve had in a long time,” and he responded in a big way: he didn’t allow an earned run for the first time since opening day. Given that the Padres haven’t been serious contenders since 2010, the Padres definitely need Paddack on top of his game, as the win moved them three games ahead of the Rockies for the second automatic playoff spot in the NL West. “Today was huge for me personally, to prove to myself that I still have it, and that I’m going to step on their throats in Game 3,” Paddack said. It certainly helps when the Padres offense generates 13 runs in support as well.
- Speaking of that run support, the Padres got on the board early and often Sunday. Eric Hosmer launched a 3-run homer in the first, and the team never looked back. Trent Grisham finished a double shy of the cycle, while Jake Cronenworth, Jurickson Profar and Josh Naylor also homered. That doesn’t account for the Padres’ two NL MVP candidates, both of whom also had big days. Manny Machado had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, during which he’s batting .510. Fernando Tatis Jr. went 3-for-4 and doubled twice.
- As good as Sunday was, Saturday was... not. RHP Craig Stammen took the loss when the Rockies scored a run off him in the ninth inning. This comes after he allowed four runs without getting an out in the final inning of a game Thursday, and swells his ERA for the season to 8.36. It also marked the fourth time Stammen was on the mound when runs were scored that either blew a lead or broke a tie. Much of Stammen’s struggles are due to the team utilizing him in high leverage situations (which he’s not intended for), and because of the state of the bullpen left the team with few other options. Of course, the team might not have been in that situation in the first place, had the umpire not utilized a, let’s call it, expansive strike zone that game...
- Utility man Jorge Mateo may just be able to play a bit. Mateo, who came up through the minors as an infielder and played some center field, is learning to play Left Field on the fly. He is regularly among the busiest players in pregame work, tracking fly balls during batting practice, taking ground balls in the infield and consulting with coaches. Blessed with incredible straight line speed, the Padres hope Mateo will contribute enough at the plate to allow them to keep playing him in the outfield. So far, so good; since recording his first hit, Mateo’s slashed .300/.364.500 in 12 plate appearances. Now, about that outfield defense...
- HOLY SNAPS!!!! THE PADRES LANDED CLEVINGER!!! Per sources:
Padres will get: RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, Player to be named
OK, I think that’s enough excitement for now. RHP Garrett Richards (1-2, 5.17 ERA) will come back on short rest to start for the Padres in Monday’s 6:40 p.m. start at Coors Field. He recorded just two outs and threw 33 pitches in his last start (6 ER) on Thursday and threw just 64 pitches in two innings in the start before that.German Marquez (2-4, 4.50 ERA) starts for the Rockies. He is 5-2 with a 4.88 ERA, 69 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 55 1/3 career innings against the Padres.