The Padres came close to several big names before the July 30 trade deadline, but did not close a huge deal. Padres general manager AJ Preller did make several moves during the winter to add players like Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove.
“Sometimes some of the best moves are the ones you don’t make,” Preller said after the deadline passed, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We made the three moves. It’s never about volume and the number of trades you complete. It’s how they play out on the field.”
But let’s look at the players the Padres did acquire at the deadline.
The trade: Padres got the second baseman from the Pirates for infielder Tucupita Marcano and minor leaguers Michell Miliano and Jack Suwinski.
Frazier was leading MLB with 125 hits at the time of the trade, having a career year, slashing .324/.388/.448, with a 128 OPS+ and first All-Star appearance.
Since the trade, Frazier’s batting average fell to .221 and his OPS with the Padres is .536. He has only 23 in 30 games with San Diego, and no home runs in 114 plate appearances, to go with his 53 OPS+.
Marcano is a 21-year-old infielder who was hitting .182/.280/.205 (40 OPS+) in 50 big-league plate appearances this season. In Triple-A, meanwhile, he was batting .272/.367/.444 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (25). In 30 games with Triple-A Indianapolis since joining the Pirates, Marcano is hitting .202/.311/.263.
Suwinski was hitting .269/.398/.551 in Double-A with the Padres, and with the Pirates in Double-A is batting .236/.339/.377.
Then there’s Miliano, a 21-year-old right-hander with 25 walks in 30 innings across Low-A and High-A with the Padres, but with a 43-percent strikeout rate and a 3.60 ERA. In 10 games with High-A Greensboro in Pittsburgh’s system, Miliano has a 3.55 ERA with more walks (16) than strikeouts (14) in 12⅔ innings.
The trade: Padres got the Nationals reliever for pitcher Mason Thompson and minor league infielder Jordy Barley.
The Padres had the majors’ best bullpen by ERA (2.97) entering July 30, and they brought one of the best relief options left on the market in Hudson. In 32⅔ innings with Washington, the right-hander had a 2.20 ERA and 2.45 FIP, with 48 strikeouts and a 0.918 WHIP in 31 games.
Since the trade, Hudson has a 7.04 ERA and 4.46 FIP in 11 games, with nine strikeouts and 1.696 WHIP in 7⅔ innings.
In 13 games with the Nationals, the 23-year-old Thompson has a 3.97 ERA and 4.39 FIP in 11⅓ innings.
The trade: Padres got the outfielder from the Cubs for minor league pitcher Anderson Espinoza.
Marisnick hit .227/.294/.438 with a 95 wRC+ in 144 plate appearances with Chicago. Since the start of 2019, the right-handed hitter has a 101 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, and is known for his center field defense.
With the Padres, Marisnick has three hits — none for extra bases — in 24 at-bats, hitting .125/.192/.125, with a -4 wRC+. That includes 2-for-18 against lefties.
Marisnick was supposed to be a better piece than Jorge Mateo, who was designated for assignment then claimed by the Orioles on August 5. Mateo is batting .325 with a .846 OPS in 22 games with Baltimore.
The Padres activated Matt Strahm and DFA’d Jorge Mateo. Strahm is expected provide a welcome boost to a bullpen that will be leaned on heavily down the stretch. In Mateo’s 79 appearances with the Padres, he logged a .545 OPS and only six stolen bases.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) August 3, 2021
Espinoza, 23, was considered one of the 20 or so best prospects in baseball prior to the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He was traded from the Red Sox to the Padres in July 2016 for Drew Pomeranz, going down for Tommy John surgery a year later and then again in April 2019. After four years not pitching in a professional game, Espinoza this year High-A Fort Wayne had a 5.02 ERA and 4.14 FIP, with a 29.4-percent strikeout rate and 10.3-percent walk rate in a dozen starts. In five starts in High-A in the Cubs’ system, Espinoza has a 5.02 ERA and 3.48 FIP to go with his 39.7-percent K rate and 16.2-percent walk rate.
Let’s hope our trade acquisitions heat up or.... just wake me up when September ends.