Infield Solutions – Padres Could Trade with Cubs
By Keegan Tatum
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Position – SS
Bats R, Throws R
2015 Opening Day Age – 21
Size – 6’0” 195lbs.
Addison Russell will be 21 and major-league ready by Opening Day. The Cubs added him to their stockpile of infielders through the Jeff Samardzjia trade with Oakland. He has the arm, range, and hands combination necessary to man the shortstop position. Russell’s range factor per game was 4.34 (NL average was 4.30 for shortstops). For a guy with average to slightly above average speed, that range factor is promising in regards to his reactions and instincts.
Offensively, while he isn’t Kris Bryant, he is still a monster. In 2014, he hit .295/.350/.508/.858. Russell is projected to have above-average power on top of a good ability to get on base, as per Jonathan Mayo. I see Russell as the prospect the Padres should go after if they elect to get an infielder via trade with Chicago. The Cubs have the highest number of shortstops. Chicago already has a proven player in Starlin Castro at the position. They will have a few positions taken over by young and inexperienced players. It’s unlikely GM Jed Hoyer would allow for another risk in the infield by trading Castro. Hoyer, obviously, was formerly with the San Diego front office and will be more comfortable trading with Preller. The Cubs need pitching, an outfielder, and a catcher more than they need a third shortstop. The Padres have a surplus in pitching and a hole so big at short that light can’t escape the gravity from that hole. Seems like a match.