The San Diego Padres made a huge move by trading for Blake Snell, but it appears as though they’re not done.
Padres and Cubs In Deep Trade Talks
According to two reporters from The Athletic, the Padres are in deep talks with the Chicago Cubs for Yu Darvish.
Darvish has been a target for the Padres since early in the offeason. There's well-documented history here. A.J. Preller was key in scouting and recruiting Darvish for the Rangers.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 28, 2020
Darvish, 34, has three years left on his contract and is owed $59 million through the 2023 season.
Contreras or Caratini Could Also Be In Darvish Trade
According to Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman, the Padres have also been seeking a catcher and it’s possible that Willson Contreras or Victor Caratini could also be in this Darvish trade.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 28, 2020
As Cubs fans know, Caratini has been Darvish’s personal catcher for a while now. He’s also a switch-hitting batter that can also play some first base and DH. Caratini, 27, has three more years left of team control, as 2021 is his first arbitration eligible season.
Although Contreras is the better player of the two, trading him would also require a much higher return. Will the Padres be willing to give up their top pitching prospect in a deal for Contreras and Darvish? If this blockbuster trade does go through, Caratini might be the catcher added.
Top Padres Prospects Available
So, here’s the thing, if this trade does happen but only involves Darvish, then it’s tough to see the Padres giving up left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, their top prospect and third overall according to MLB Pipeline. However, if this trade also includes Contreras, then the Cubs better be getting Gore.
After him the Padres still have a handful of top prospects in shortstop CJ Abrams, catcher Luis Campusano and outfielder Robert Hassell.
Padres MLB Roster
If you look at the Padres MLB roster there are other potential fits in a trade. You have outfielders Tommy Pham and Wil Myers, and infielder Jake Cronenworth.
Pham has one more year left before he hits free agency, as he’s projected to make about $8 million in 2021. Meanwhile, Myers has more than $40 million left on his contract through 2022. If Myers is involved, then you’d think the Cubs would be getting top-tier talent in return.
You can go back as recent as yesterday and rule out Cronenworth as a potential trade piece, but then more news came out Monday that the Padres might be signing KBO star Ha-Seong Kim. If San Diego sign Kim, v Cronenworth does become the odd man out for the Padres, making him available for trades.
Getting to the pitching side of San Diego’s MLB roster, there’s a chance 21-year-old Adrian Morejón could be had and maybe Chris Paddack? It’s possible that the Padres might be more willing to trade Paddack now that they’ve also acquired Snell.
We’ll see what happens, but as of now it seems like Yu Darvish won’t be with the Cubs for much longer.
According to the latest from 670 The Score, the Cubs may be asking for two MLB players and two prospects in return for Darvish. The story also adds that Caratini could be included in the deal to San Diego.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) December 28, 2020
The deal could be expanded to include Cubs catcher Victor Caratini as well, one source said. The Cubs are looking to get two MLB players and two prospects back in the trade, sources said. The Padres have the second-ranked farm system in baseball, per MLB.com.
According to Bob Nightengale, Padres top catching prospect Luis Campusano is one of the players being discussed in trade talks with the Cubs.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 28, 2020
The 22-year-old is #46 in MLB Pipeline’s top-100 prospects list.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the framework of the trade for Yu Darvish has been agreed upon between the Cubs and Padres.
Framework is all but done between Padres and Cubs.
Yu Darvish could be part of Padres' rotation by end of the day. https://t.co/c7NLk9IvuY
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) December 28, 2020
According to two sources familiar with the talks, the Padres and Cubs are close to agreeing on the multiple pieces in a trade that will bring right-hander Yu Darvish to San Diego.
Those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, would not elaborate on the details of the deal but said the Padres have accepted the haul they will have to send to the Cubs.