The 2019 MLB trade deadline is approaching in a few weeks. There are a lot of teams this year who are on the bubble of either selling to rebuild, or buying to go for a playoff push. The Padres are one of those teams, and they have plenty of reasons for both buying and selling. Here are some reasons why the Padres should be buyers at the trade deadline:
They Already have a Young Team
Besides Ian Kinsler, all of their starting position players are under age 30. All of their active starting pitchers are aged 26 or less. The bullpen has some veterans, but that can be a plus as they can help the younger pitchers develop.
On this young roster includes 20-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr. He already seems like a veteran in the bigs, as he has the talent, confidence, excitement that can remind someone of a player like Javy Baez. They also have veterans in their twenties in Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Hunter Renfroe, who are playing well this season. The starting rotation includes rookie Chris Paddack, a 23-year-old with a lot of potential.
This young Padres squad has the potential to gain team chemistry and provide productive major league careers together. Buying another veteran or two can not only help this team learn more about being a big leaguer, but they can even make a push for October this season.
The NL Wild Card is up for Grabs
The National League Wild Card race is as tight as it’s been in years. As of July 15, all NL teams but the Marlins were within six games of the second Wild Card spot. Even though the Padres likely won’t catch the Dodgers in the division, the Wild Card is still very realistic for them. As more teams start selling, the Padres could gain some ground and give themselves a good chance at a playoff berth, especially if they are buyers.
They have many Sell-able Prospects
According to Bleacher Report, the Padres have the best farm system in baseball in 2019. This means that they have a lot of prospects with good potential. If the Padres sell some of these guys for the right price, they can come away with some major league value while still having a solid farm system.
A big target for San Diego should be pitching, whether it be a starter or reliever. As of July 16, the bullpen has a 4.85 ERA, good for the 23 worst in the league. If it wasn’t for Kirby Yates, this number would be much higher. The 32-year-old is having a great year with his ERA being just a little over 1.00.
Their starters have been decent, but some improvement may be needed should they push for the playoffs.
Players to Target
If the Padres do decide to go all-in at the trade deadline, here are some players they may want to consider trading for:
Matt Boyd (SP, Detroit Tigers)
Matt Boyd is having quite possibly the best year of his career. He’s currently leading the American League in strikeout-to-walk ratio, meaning he strikes out a lot more batters than he walks. The 28-year-old has a lot of upside for the deadline, one being that he has three years of team control left. San Diego would have to give a lot for him, but it could be worth it, especially if San Diego heats up in the coming weeks leading to the trade deadline.
Whit Merrifield (2B/OF, Kansas City Royals)
This may seem odd, but a second baseman could be helpful for the Padres as Ian Kinsler hasn’t been too reliable this season. The all-star second basemen have been playing extremely well on a lackluster Royals team. Merrifield also has a very friendly contract of $16.25 Million over four years. For the talent he has shown at the major league level, the price isn’t too much to worry about. Lastly, Merrifield has outfield eligibility which is just another reason to want him as a buyer.
Felipe Vazquez (RP, Pittsburgh Pirates)
The Padres are lacking in their bullpen, especially at the southpaw side. Vazquez could be their guy. He chucks triple digits, strikes out a bunch of batters, and only has one blown save on the year. He also might have four seasons of team control depending on some circumstances, so the Padres might be one of the few teams with enough prospects to make a deal for him. Vasquez isn’t too old either, he is currently 28-years-old.
Feature Image Courtesy of ESPN.