I’m sure you have come across articles that tell you which teams were winners and losers at the trade deadline but the truth is we all don’t actually know who won or lost. All we can say is who we think won on paper and the Padres had a great deadline on paper.
President of Baseball Operations A.J. Preller has made some big moves in the past—take last year for example—but he didn’t make any big moves this time around. And that’s okay because it wasn’t needed.
The star talent needed to win is already in that clubhouse. Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Josh Hader, Robert Suarez and Fernando Tatis Jr. should be enough to give San Diego a strong shot at making the postseason. Some of those guys though have underwhelmed at times this season, which is part of the reason why the Padres are five games out of a playoff spot.
Unlike the star talent, the depth talent that was needed was not in the clubhouse on July 31. The Padres needed to get a couple of bats that were better options than Matt Carpenter (.166 AVG) and Matthew Batten (25 MLB G) and Preller did that with the acquisitions of Ji Man Choi and Garrett Cooper.
They needed to acquire some pitching depth and Preller also did that via the additions of Scott Barlow and Rich Hill. These guys weren’t ever going to be the lead story on “MLB Tonight” but winning the deadline isn’t what guarantees you a postseason spot.
The acquisitions didn’t cost Preller any of his top tier prospects, which protects the future of the franchise, and these depth guys could end up helping San Diego win a few more games than they would’ve if San Diego instead stood pat. Those extra wins could end up making all the difference in the world in what is a really tight NL Wild Card race.