Last offseason, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller went out and made a ton of big moves. None of them paid off. There is a move this winter that could pay off, though. That would be to make a mega deal with the Chicago Cubs.
At the trade deadline, the two teams almost made a deal, but couldn’t get one done. Starting pitcher Tyson Ross was rumored to be involved in the talks and some believe closer Craig Kimbrel was talked about as well.
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These two should be put back on the trading block this winter if the Cubs are still interested.
There’s no doubt the Cubs have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball and they will be dealing from a position of power this offseason. That means they will be willing to give up a few top prospects in order to get pitching.
Javier Baez might just be the everyday shortstop the Padres have been looking for. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
San Diego might have the most intriguing package since it can offer a borderline No. 2 starter and elite closer. The return for these two hurlers would be pretty considerable. Any deal would start with Cubs slugger Javier Baez.
The shortstop has battled strikeout issues in the past, but he seemed to get that under control this season. He could be the Padres’ everyday shortstop right away. San Diego might also be able to land left-handed outfielder Billy McKinney as well as Dan Vogelbach, if they believe he’s the first baseman of the future.
Sure, Ross isn’t at his highest value right now, but they need to make a deal with the Cubs before Chicago trades with someone else. Kimbrel and Ross are both under contract for the next two seasons, making them more valuable than the normal rental players teams trade for in the offseason and at the trade deadline every year.
For that reason, they will get more in return for them. If San Diego is really committed to contending starting in 2017, they will set themselves up in a good position now. Doing that would involve trading Ross and Kimbrel and getting several hitting prospects in return.