The Padres are quickly playing themselves out of the National League West race, and with that downward spiral they head towards speculation on who they will trade come this years trade deadline on August 1st.
The Padres surprised everyone last year by not making any moves – and though they do have a gluttony of first round draft picks – it doesn’t do much to help the Major League level. The time could be right to trade some pieces while their value is high and get higher level prospect cogs in return.
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In many ways, the future of the Padres might be a little closer than you think. The outfield prospect trio of Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are all producing in AAA, and recently Jabari Blash was added to that mix as well. The future catcher should be decided between Christian Bethancourt and Austin Hedges if one or both aren’t traded this season, with Cory Spangenberg seemingly locked in at second base. Javier Guerra should settle into SS, and a few other middle infielders are there for backup. Yet the Padres want more.
One option might be moving James Shields, as written up by Jim Bowden for the Detroit Tigers. Sure, Shields has a high price tag, but the Padres might be willing to eat some of that money to get some prospects from the Tigers and certainly still at leas lighten that payroll liability. Bowden had this to say: “His $21 million annual salary through 2018 will scare most teams off. However, for the right prospect package, the Padres would eat enough to make a trade possible. … Best fit: Detroit Tigers, because no owner is more willing to spend more money to win than Mike Ilitch.”
This would put Shields into another large ballpark which seems to be a necessity given his recent propensity to allow the long ball. He would be another big personality in a rotation with Justin Verlander and those two would certainly help bridge the gap to the always volatile Detroit bullpen. This year Francisco Rodriguez is actually doing a pretty good job though and avoiding the Detroit closer curse.
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Would the Padres give up on Shields who has provided a lot of innings for an injury ravaged starting rotation since they acquired him and the mental leader of the rotation, even if his performance hasn’t lived up the “ace” billing. Should the Padres trade Shields and if so, what are some other possibilities that make sense?