The San Diego Padres need a power bat added to their lineup and the universal designated hitter might be implemented in 2022. Based on the timing of the addition of the DH, it could make Baltimore Orioles slugger Trey Mancini a solid option for A.J. Preller once the lockout concludes.
Preller is big on versatility so you might say that he doesn’t want a permanent DH in 2022 because then he couldn’t use that spot in the lineup as a rest day for starters, but it still has to be a possibility that he goes that route if Nelson Cruz is tweeting eye emojis about joining the team and we know he’d be a full time DH.
It’s not like Mancini can’t play the field either. The 29-year-old played first base, left field, and right field in 2019 with Baltimore and played first base again for essentially half of last season. Obviously playing some first base would help if Eric Hosmer somehow gets dumped to another team (I know, that feels like a miracle). This would allow Jake Cronenworth to stay at second base and keep manager Bob Melvin from having to write Ha-seong Kim or Jurickson Profar’s name at the bottom of the lineup.
A positive of this deal for the Padres is that Mancini has just one season left before free agency. He’s making only $8 million, which would be less than what Cruz is going to command in free agency. In case you were curious, Cruz signed a one year, $13 million deal with the Minnesota Twins going into last season.
Because Mancini only has one year left on his current contract, Preller isn’t going to have to give up a boat load of prospects. I punched in a hypothetical trade into baseballtradevalues.com and it said that value-wise the following deal would work for both sides:
Orioles receive: Reiss Knehr (Trade Value: $1.4 million)
Padres receive: Trey Mancini (Trade Value: $1.4 million)
I know Orioles fans are probably reading this and saying that they’d never do this trade because of how much of a fan favorite Mancini is in Baltimore (and they’ve probably never head of Knehr either) but if we’re looking at it just from the pure logistics and numbers standpoint, it does make some sense for both sides. The Orioles get a prospect already with big league experience who was going to be blocked in San Diego that could turn into something and help them in the future for a player who isn’t going to be in his prime anyway when the Orioles have any chance of winning a World Series.
Let’s face it. The Orioles won 52 games last year. They’re a long ways away from contending with the Red Sox (92 regular season wins in 2021), Yankees (92 wins), Blue Jays (91 wins), and Rays (100 wins), which are all teams that contented for or made the postseason in 2021. Thus, there’s no point in keeping Mancini or letting him walk for nothing in free agency if he decides he wants to try to go win a title.
For the Padres side of things, they add a power bat to the lineup who costs less than $10 million (and has hit 104 home runs over his last four seasons including 35 bombs in 2019). Who knows, he could end up being the 2022 version of the Atlanta Braves’ trade to acquire Joc Pederson last year for the Padres.
This seems like a low risk high reward type trade of the Padres. Their sights look like they’re set on a bigger name who’s going to cost more money but if they need a fallback option, Mancini might be it.
Feel free to send any hypothetical trades my way for me to write or talk about!