A.J. Preller is on the board. The San Diego Padres are acquiring Rich Hill and Ji Man Choi from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Jackson Wolf, Estuar Suero and Alfonso Rivas. ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news.
The San Diego Padres are finalizing a trade to acquire left-handed starter Rich Hill and first baseman Ji-Man Choi from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2023
This is a type of move Padres fans should’ve expected because the team needed an extra starter and a bat. Choi can play first base and DH, which is something the Padres didn’t have great options for on their roster.
Jake Cronenworth will likely continue to play every day but Matt Carpenter was the only veteran option on the bench and he is hitting .166 this season. The 37-year-old probably shouldn’t even be on the roster right now.
Rivas could play first but he has limited major league experience and wasn’t playing consistently either.
Choi isn’t having that great of a year but he has only played in 23 games due to an Achilles strain so perhaps the Padres saw something deeper in the numbers that made him appealing to them.
Hill will be on his 13th team and has a 4.76 ERA this season. Usually the 43-year-old will go 5-6 innings and figures to slot in as the fifth starter at least until Michael Wacha returns (shoulder fatigue). Moving Seth Lugo to the bullpen could also be an option once Wacha is back in the rotation.
As for the players the Padres gave up, it shouldn’t hurt the franchise too bad in the future. Wolf isn’t a high velocity pitcher and probably would’ve gone up and down between the majors and minors if he stayed in the organization.
As I mentioned earlier, Rivas wasn’t getting playing time and was lucky to even be on the major league roster thanks to the lack of depth in Triple-A. Suero isn’t even 18 yet and hadn’t even debuted with Single-A Lake Elsinore so he’s a while away.