Is Chris Denorfia Trade Bait?


The thought of leaving San Diego makes Chris Denorfia very sad. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

With every loss, we get closer to that point in the season where we definitely say, “Wait ’til next year.” Some fans might be there already, but I’m not quite ready to declare 2014 a lost season. With that realization, the Padres have several players who they have to make decisions on for next year. Chase Headley of course. Deciding if we want another half season out of Carlos Quentin in 2015. Nick Hundley already got dealt to Baltimore, and he may not be the last veteran Padre to get sent packing.

Recently, Jon Paul Morosi of reported that Chris Denorfia has also joined this list of players rumored to be headed out of town via trade this summer. A fan’s first reaction might be, “How could you? Denorfia is my favorite player.” Indeed, Deno’s gritty play and all-out hustle on every play has made him many fans in San Diego. Especially compared to Cameron “how many outs are there” Maybin or the aforementioned Quentin. Plus, he has a career .822 OPS against left-handed pitching over his career, and can play multiple outfield positions. He is making a little over $2 Million this year, so he is affordable, and would be a great addition to many playoff-bound teams. Boston anyone?

My biggest problem with trading Denorfia would be with what we could actually get for him. He isn’t the caliber of player that nets a major league ready impact player, so what would happen? Another Hundley loot of spare minor league arms? Triple-A second baseman? Probably not, that’s why we drafted Johnny Manziel right? Riiight. My guess is, GM Josh Byrnes would sell too low on Denorfia and we would never see a return on the trade in the major leagues.

I’m all for change: Trade Headley, trade Quentin, I’m fine with that. Dump off or just cut Will Venable for that matter. But Denorfia? Why would we trade one of the few guys we can count on day in, day out to play the game right? He hustles, he hits, and shows up to play with no fear of putting his body in harm’s way. I don’t think the impact player we could get for Denorfia would be worth having him leave the team this season. Let him mentor Tommy Medica in the outfield or whomever else we might call up later this year.

On the other hand, he is 33-years-old, and we can’t exactly build around him for years to come. He will probably want more money than the Padres will pay him next year, so we will likely lose him and get nothing. Except in my mind, we’ve already gotten the better end of the deal we gave him back in 2012. I know, a Padres’ contract that might actually have been a deal for the Padres. If the season does end up being a lost season, I want to at least be able to watch Chris Denorfia as long as possible in a Padres uniform. He’s like the outfield (and a foot taller) version of David Eckstein. We shall see what happens within the next two months as the Padres limp toward the July 31st trade deadline, just get ready to see your favorite Padres get traded for the next round of minor leaguers in the Padres farm system.