Padres Trade Targets: Chris Davis
Yasmany Tomas, Jay Bruce, Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes. All names that have been connected to the San Diego Padres due to the interest of new general manager A.J. Preller. What that says to me is not only are the Padres looking for upgrades offensively, they are consciously targeting players that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. It makes total sense when your team finished 28th out of 30 teams in home runs in 2014.
The Padres have missed out on this year’s free agent with the most power potential, Yasmani Tomas, but fear not Padres fans, I know a player that the Padres should be targeting — who wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize in the power department.
Who you ask? How about Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, I’m speaking of the same Chris Davis who batted .286, with 53 home runs and 138 RBI’s in 2013 — only to hit .196, with 26 home runs, 72 RBI’s with a suspension for a banned substance in 2014.
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Even though there was a huge drop in batting average for Davis in 2014, many of the Padres regulars didn’t hit much better average wise. And while 26 home runs is a far cry from 53, those 26 Davis home runs were almost double the amount the Padres leader in homers had last season.
Given his previous two seasons of the great production before the drop off in 2014, it’s clear the bigger concern for most Padres fans would be the banned substance use. But it shouldn’t be.
Hear me out.
While I’m far from a supporter of the use of performance enhancers, the fact of the matter is the Padres had at least two players who have previously used performance enhancers in their starting lineup last season, neither of which have had near the impact that Chris Davis has had on a baseball field. The Orioles gave Nelson Cruz a second chance after a suspension for the same infraction, and that worked out rather well for them.
Davis has the ability to play first and third base, both of which are positions of needed upgrading for the Padres. At 28 years old, the Padres wouldn’t be getting a player past his prime with a little pop still left in his bat, they’d be getting a player with some quality years left and some proven ability.
Another angle to the Davis situation is his familiarity with A.J. Preller. Davis was drafted in 2006 by the Texas Rangers when Preller was apart of the Rangers front office, a front office who even after Davis struggled during his initial stints with the big club, was reportedly reluctant to trade Davis to Baltimore in 2011 — because they believed he was going to be a “late-bloomer”.
Sep 1, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) runs to first base on his fly out during the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Minnesota Twins defeated Baltimore Orioles 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sportsbelieved he would become a late bloomer.
Interestingly enough, Baltimore wanted Rangers pitcher, now ironically Padres pitcher, Joe Wieland, included in the Davis deal — but the Rangers refused to move him.
See where I’m going with this?
There have been whispers of the Orioles willingness to move Davis, and usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Given the Orioles lack of notable starting pitching, the Padres and Orioles seem to be a match made in heaven trade wise. While the Orioles may still have a liking for Joe Wieland, given his injury history and lack of performance, it’ll obviously take more to land Davis. Ian Kennedy should fit the description of that more.
Both Kennedy and Davis are under their respective team’s control through 2015, and because both players would fill a glaring need for the other team, a deal surrounding the two players makes obvious sense to me.
Acquiring a player like Kemp would definitely mean the loss of a Tyson Ross or an Andrew Cashner. Players like Bruce and Cespedes are more Kennedy involved like trade targets. While I wouldn’t frown at acquiring either one of those players, I feel that Davis has a higher ceiling and fills more of a positional need.
A franchise like the Padres is going to have to get a bit creative to improve offensively, and to use some fitting fantasy sports terms you may be familiar with, the Padres might have to buy-low on some post-hype sleepers to get where they want to be. Coming off the disappointing season Davis had, both off the field and on, Davis fits those descriptions to a tee.
There has been no mention of any Padres interest in Davis, but I’m going on record today saying that there should be.