With several promising prospects at the shortstop position, the San Diego Padres should consider dealing some away in an effort to meet other organizational needs.
The San Diego Padres have a lot of needs to address this offseason. Both starting and relief pitching is an area where general A.J. Preller would like to improve in either through free agency or trades. Acquiring a veteran presence is another priority for San Diego, as they are currently pondering possible extensions for Jon Jay and Edwin Jackson.
In reality, there are so many areas the Padres could improve in. Finding the means to do so is the challenge. Thankfully, if the team were to look towards their minor league system, they would find pieces they could afford to move.
The shortstop position is a plenteous one for the San Diego organization. Luis Sardinas and Alexi Amarista are the current shortstops on the 40-man roster, but Sardinas appears to be the starter entering 2017. Hitting .287 last season and playing spectacular defense gives San Diego fans a lot to be excited about for the 23-year-old.
But what could be even more exciting is the depth at the position in the lower levels of the organization. Javier Guerra, the Padres’ seventh ranked prospect, has all of the tools to become an elite shortstop. Keeping both Sardinas and Guerra in the organization is a good idea, as Sardinas has yet to play a full season in San Diego. Since the Padres realize Guerra’s potential to be special, keeping him would be understandable.
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What Preller can afford to give up though are some of the other promising shortstops in the minors. Six of the teams top 25 prospects are natural at the position, providing an incredible amount of depth.
Luis Urias, Jose Rondon, Luis Almanzar, Gabriel Arias, and Ruddy Giron could all attract other prospects or even major leaguers. For a team with so much minor league depth at the shprtstop position, it would make sense to reach out to organizations searching for a productive middle infielder for the future to explore their options. These clubs may include the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
These days, shortstops are rare commodities. In return for some pitching, several major league teams would easily go for a deal involving some of San Diego’s top infield prospects. This would benefit the Padres as well, as they would get the opportunity to meet several of their many needs, despite sacrificing depth.