Remember how Franmil Reyes was the Yangervis Solarte of the 2019 Padres? He always seemed to have a smile on his face while producing offensively at the big league level in San Diego. Just look at this video below of his home run celebration:
However, the fan favorite ended up being traded to the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) before the 2019 trade deadline in a three-team trade involving San Diego, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Reds star prospect at the time, Taylor Trammell, was the player AJ Preller received back in the deal with Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig also changing locations.
I liked the trade at the time for the Padres because while Reyes had power, he wasn’t great defensively and it wasn’t clear at the time that there was going to be a universal DH included in future new league rules. Additionally, the Padres looked like they were acquiring one of their future outfield center pieces in Trammell, who was still a top prospect in baseball, just coming off of back to back Futures Game appearances in 2018 (where he took home MVP honors) and 2019.
However, the trade wouldn’t look so good a couple years later because Trammell struggled in the Padres farm system and San Diego didn’t really give him the chance to develop in their system, as Trammell ended up playing just 32 minor league games in San Diego’s system. Instead, they dealt him at the 2020 deadline (when the minor leagues weren’t even holding games) to Seattle in the Austin Nola deal. Nola hasn’t lived up to the hype quite yet, as injuries haven’t helped his cause much.
Meanwhile, Reyes went to Cleveland and hit another ten home runs in 51 games before the conclusion of the 2019 season to add to his 27 home runs in 99 games that he hit with San Diego that year. After the shortened 2020 season, “La Mole” drove in 85 runs and hit 30 home runs, finishing with a 1.6 WAR, which was higher than Tommy Pham’s (1.4) and Wil Myers’ (0.8) WAR last year.
A big need for the Padres when the lockout is over will be acquiring a big power bat. They wouldn’t have had this problem if they never made this Reyes trade back in 2019. Again, I liked the trade when it happened because I thought Trammell was going to be one of San Diego’s starting outfielders for years to come and he figured to be a better all around player than Reyes. But if there’s a DH implemented in the National League in the new CBA, Preller will be searching for one more power bat than he would’ve had to if he kept Reyes. He’ll be looking for a guy that can play a corner outfield position and one that’s probably going to be the DH a majority of the time.
Whenever highlights are on with Reyes hitting tape measure home runs, I imagine what could’ve been if he stayed in San Diego.