Padres Can Benefit From Tomas Signing


I’m guessing many Padres’ fans reaction to the news of Yasmany Tomas signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks was similar to mine. I just felt deflated thinking to myself, “Same old Padres”. Missing out on Tomas hurts, but all hope may not be lost. With the addition of Tomas, the Diamondbacks now have Tomas alongside Ender Inciarte, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross and Mark Trumbo all in the mix for 3 outfield spots. Tomas is an obvious lock so it leaves 5 guys for spots. Here is where the Padres can capitalize. A trade for one of these outfielders could be a small piece to the puzzle that helps repair the Padre offense.

Let’s start off with Ross. Of the group he’s the only one whose north of the age of 28, and his decline in production is showing it. Despite moving to hitter friendly Chase Field in 2013, Ross’ offense has dropped off. In his first two seasons as a Diamondback he’s hit a combined 10 home runs, fewer than any single season total of his career. I could go deeper, but all that really needs to be said is Ross is an aging injured vet whose only going to get worse and the Padres shouldn’t even consider trading for him.

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Now let’s move on to guys who can actually add some value. Despite playing in the fewest games of all the guys I mentioned before, A.J. Pollock led them all in WAR. He was almost worth half a win more than the next closet Ender Inciarte. It’s not hard to see why when you look at his numbers. In 75 games last year he hit .302/.353/.498 with 7 home runs. Not bad for a 26 year old in his second season in the majors.

Unfortunately for the Padres, his success likely means he’ll be unattainable. The Diamondbacks don’t absolutely need to move someone and Pollock figures to be a big part of their future plans. If they were to make a move for him the conversation would likely start with Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner, and I’m not sure the Padres want either of them still in the division if they move either one.

Next up is Inciarte. Inciarte kind of came out nowhere when the Phillies selected him in the Rule V draft before the 2013 season before Inciarte had even reached AA. He made the team out of Spring Training, but he was returned to the Diamondbacks before he ever got into a game. Then in 2014 he broke out in the majors for the Dbacks hitting .278/.318/.359 in 118 games. What you get from him is a singles hitter who will play you stellar defense. While acquiring him won’t turn any heads he’s an upgrade over almost all internal options aside from Seth Smith.

Peralta is another rookie who surprised some people last season. In 88 games he hit .286/.320/.450 with 8 home runs. While not spectacular numbers for 27 year old rookie it isn’t bad. He’ll provide much more offensive value than a guy like Inciarte, but his defense isn’t anything special. I think Peralta may be the most reasonable acquisition of the group. He’s a modest upgrade offensively, and he isn’t a key piece to Arizona’s future.

Last, but not least, is Trumbo. He’s the biggest name of the group by far. The former All Star struggled through any injury marred 2014 campaign in his first year in Arizona. Now with Tomas in the fold he’s the most likely to get moved due to lack of defensive ability in the outfield. He’s a first baseman by trade, and luckily for the Padres, their not tied to anyone there like the Diamondbacks currently are.

What’s most alluring about Trumbo is his power. He has 30 home run power in a league where power, especially from the right hand side is vanishing. The downside is he’s not very good at getting on base. Among the 286 qualified hitters from Trumbo’s first season in 2011 and last year Trumbo has the 30th lowest OBP. Getting on base isn’t everything, but before the Padres commit to a guy like Trumbo they’ll need guys who get on base around him.

While intra-division trades are uncommon, they still happen. At the 2013 trade deadline the Padres and Diamondbacks made a deal that brought Ian Kennedy to San Diego. None of these guys will likely have the impact Kennedy has had since he got here, but they all, with the exception of Ross, are upgrades to what the Padres already have. One player won’t transform the team’s abysmal offense, so small moves like these could be key to getting the team over the hump.