Tommy Pham should have been the headliner in the San Diego Padres trade with the Tampa Bay Rays but he wasn’t. It was Jake Cronenworth. And while that is great news for Padres fans because Cronenworth is under team control for four more years while Pham is going to be a free agent, fans wouldn’t have been happy if you were to tell them that Pham would look like the throw-in to the trade.
In Pham’s two years in San Diego, he only was able to play 186 games and hit just 18 home runs and drove in 61 runs. In comparison, Cronenworth played in 206 games over the last two seasons, hitting 25 homers while driving in 91 runs.
As for the 2021 season, it couldn’t have started off worse for Pham. He hit .179 in the month of April, failing to hit a single home run and driving in just five runs. Things would get better in June where he was one of the main reasons why the Padres went 15-12. In June, Pham hit leadoff in the majority of the games, hitting six home runs and finishing with a .341/.449/.625 batting line.
Unfortunately, June would be a fluke of sorts because he finished off the season hitting .154 and .197 in August and September, respectively. Pham hit just four homers in his last 52 games of the season.
Pham knows he didn’t play well enough this season and knows what his free agent market will look like. “I didn’t have a season I was expecting so I’m fully prepared to take a one-year deal and re-establish my market,” Pham told Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego-Union Tribune.
I’m one of the fans that loves how serious Pham is during games and appreciates how hard he is on himself. However, Pham, as he admitted, just didn’t produce at the level the Padres were expecting him to produce at over the last two years in a Padres uniform. The front office should be open to bringing Pham back on a one-year deal worth about $10-$12 million because the free agent class isn’t very strong this winter and there isn’t really anyone who the Padres would be willing to spend $100 million on.