Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Padres Seem Like A Perfect Trade Partner For The Cubs


The Padres are ready to make big moves.

After signing Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado, bringing up a few of their top prospects in Chris Paddack and Fernando Tatís Jr., the Padres are poised to take the next step and they have a few holes to fill on their roster.

Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune broke down the Padres’ offseason plans, which include spending some more money in free agency. However, despite the team needing starting pitching, Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg aren’t on the Padres’ radar…as of now.

The same thing was said last offseason about Machado and then the Padres joined the Machado sweepstakes in mid-January, signing him a month later.

While the free-agent market has several options other than Cole and Strasburg, the Cubs could also offer the Padres a path to filling their pitching void.

The Cubs picked up Jose Quintana’s $10.5 million option for 2020 earlier in November. Although the lefty hasn’t lived up to expectations since the Cubs traded for him in 2017, Quintana can still provide the Padres a solid, veteran arm in their rotation. He’s only 30-years-old and has been durable his entire career, making at least 32 starts seven years in a row.

But that’s not the only area where the Cubs and Padres can find a match for a trade this offseason. It also seems like there’s more trade talk than ever before involving the Padres.

Via The San Diego Union-Tribune.

A four- or five-year commitment, at $16-20 million a year, for 29-year-old Zack Wheeler, is a more likely target for the Padres. And officials over the past few days have seemed more inclined to believe the Padres will achieve the bulk of their offseason to-do list through trades.
There is no doubt inside the organization that time has come. The feeling is Preller has sat on his highly touted stable of prospects long enough. The mandate now is to begin putting the final touches on a brown-and-gold contender at the major league level.
Over the past few days, up until Monday evening, sources said Preller could be on the verge of multiple potential trades that would in the Padres’ estimation upgrade the major league roster.
“Early, trade conversations seems to be increased and there has been more chatter, more talk.”

So, as Acee breaks down, the Padres’ needs are as follows.

  • 2 starting pitchers
  • left-handed bat to balance lineup
  • switch-hitter, preferably an outfielder
  • catcher who can hit
  • veteran second baseman

Other than veteran second baseman, the Cubs have players available for the Padres. We already went over the Quintana fit, but how about a switch-hitting outfielder? Did someone say Ian Happ? A left-handed hitter who is good against right-handed pitching? Jason Heyward?!?

Via Bleacher Nation.

Against righties this year, Heyward hit a solid .264/.365/.466 (115 wRC+). When he was batting anywhere but the leadoff spot, Heyward hit a very solid .286/.373/.471 (119 wRC+).
Now, the asterisk.
*And when Heyward was facing a righty, and was batting anywhere other than the leadoff spot (347 plate appearances), he hit a whopping .303/.401/.520 with a 137 wRC+. Just nine National League hitters posted a better wRC+ than that, so I’m saying: 
when he was put in the right position, Heyward performed like a star this year. Not a superstar. But a star.

Yes, Heyward is probably unlikely because he has four years left on his deal, but what if the Cubs pick up half of the $86 million remaining on his contract? About $10 million a year for a guy who plays gold glove defense in right and killed righties? Maybe it’s appealing to the Padres.

As far as catchers, the Cubs have both Victor Caratini and Willson Contreras who can improve the Padres’ catching dilemma.

Contreras would give the Cubs the biggest return in terms of prospects and we’re talking about the Padres, who as of August, had the number one ranked farm system in MLB with seven top-100 prospects.

By the way, on the Padres’ need of adding a veteran second baseman, Acee also noted that the team feels 22-year-old Luis Urías isn’t the answer for them at the position. As a Cubs fan, I’d gladly take him.

So, the Padres want to make trades and the Cubs keep saying there will be change.

We’ll see if they do indeed find a match in a trade or trades this offseason?

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