In the continuing rebuilding process, the Padres will undoubtedly need to make moves. To help identify San Diego’s needs, the editors from “Friars on Base” and “That Balls Outta Here” have put together a mock trade.
While the way several of the San Diego Padres‘ youngest players performed towards the end of the 2016 season was promising, there is still much work to be done before the team contends again. This winter, emphasis needs to be on pitching of all kinds, as well as restoring youth throughout the entire roster. In response to these glaring needs, two FanSided editors got together and proposed a mock trade.
Though there isn’t a whole lot at the major league level that the Padres would realistically give up which would be appealing, the organization does have talent in the minor leagues. One of these players would be Luis Urias, an infielder currently at AAA El Paso. Urias can play shortstop and third base, but plays second base most of the time. His career minor league batting average is .317, and plays exceptional defense. The reason he is a logical player to move for the Padres is his value, being an infielder who could be called up in 2017. The Padres already have some young impressive infielders, including Luis Sardinas, and while it would be nice to attain depth, it is not as necessary as acquiring pitching.
The Padres are in need of pitching, but must give some up if they are to truly improve. One player which will likely excel in a different organization is Adrian Morejon. Morejon, who was signed by the Padres in July, is one of the top prospects from Cuba. At just 18 years of age, this young southpaw has loads of potential, but is still most likely several years away from making an impact at the major league level. The Padres are in need of pitching prospects, but more specifically ones who could help out at the major league level in the near future. The Phillies, though, could greatly benefit from a pitcher with such potential.
Finally, there is one player on the current roster who the Padres would be willing to move in exchange for a young, dynamic player. Catcher Derek Norris hit just .186 for the team in 2016, and appeared slow, injury-prone, and just not all in for the rebuilding process. Many fans would embrace any opportunity to deal the struggling catcher, as he doesn’t appear to be in it for the long run. The Phillies would benefit from this acquisition, as they would fill a position in which they are in need. All in all, Norris seems to be a logical piece to incorporate into this mock trade.
the only problem is, the Padres lack depth at the catcher position, especially within their minor league system. This is exactly why the team would be sure to include Andrew Knapp in a deal like this, Philadelphia’s 8th ranked prospect. Knapp, who played 107 games in AAA Lehigh Valley this season hit .266 and drove in 46 runs. The advantage to this young prospect is that he can hit from both sides of the plate, a weapon that could serve the Padres well in the middle of their lineup. The 24-year-old has also dramatically improved his defensive skills, making the addition an upgrade all around if Knapp can continue his development at this rate.
The Padres would also get starting pitcher Adam Morgan from the Phillies in this trade, a 26-year-old who spent 2016 split between AAA and the majors. The upside of Morgan is significant, as the Tampa, Florida native enters with a great deal of AAA experience. While the starter went just 2-11 for the Phillies last season with an ERA of over six, he went 6-1 in AAA with a much lower ERA. San Diego pitchers have not fared any better a times, and the rotation is completely broken and filled with unknowns entering 2017. Due to this, throwing Morgan into this deal is something which can benefit both teams. The Phillies because they really have no desire to keep him, and the Padres because of the depth he adds to the rotation and the possibility that he matures into a consistent major league pitcher.
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The greatest addition for San Diego in this deal would most certainly be Jeanmar Gómez, Philadelphia’s best reliever. Serving as the closer last season, Gómez saved 37 games and struck out 47. The 28-year-old from Venezuela is still right in the midst of his prime, but has enough experience to bring much needed leadership to a young San Diego bullpen. One of the Padres’ greatest needs is relief pitching, and Gómez will provide a good start in rebuilding this category. Plus, not all acquisitions the Padres make should be prospects, since some players need to assist in the development of others. Gómez brings the best of both worlds because he has experience in the big moment, yet can still perform for a decade, meaning that he will ideally be pitching late in his career for a consistently contending organization.
Of course, this would only be a start. The Padres have a long path ahead of them this winter to put the pieces in place necessary to contend again. But this mock trade really identifies the needs the Padres have and the moves which could be made in order to address them. It should also result in some intriguing conversation.
Special thanks to the editors of “That Balls Outta Here” for joining us. You can visit their site and read their thoughts on the trade here.