San Diego Padres rumors: Position players

MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 16: Yangervis Solarte
MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 16: Yangervis Solarte /

Friars on Base staff thoughts on the latest San Diego Padres rumors involving position players just ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.

With the trade deadline just several days away, rumors are heating up even more than before and more moves are imminent across baseball. The Padres have already given up three major pieces of their pitching staff, but have really only acquired one prospect, an 18-year-old Esteury Ruiz.

General manager A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres can’t possibly be satisfied with one deal, can they? But at the same time, do they really have enough pitching depth to manage moving another rotation piece or member of their bullpen?

That’s where position players come in. While not many rumors surrounding Friar position players have been swirling, contenders certainly have their eyes on a few. Our final staff article prior to the deadline focuses on these possibilities.

Diane Calkins

Injuries, a lack of tradable assets, and trades made by other teams will limit the Padres in their opportunities to deal position players before the deadline. The team also has several young players that deserve more time.

In my view, Austin Hedges must be off limits.  At 24, his pitching framing, caught stealing rate and game calling already rank as elite.  Although his bat will probably never catch up with his defensive abilities, he has shown power potential with 13 home runs.

The team should also hang on to center fielder Manuel Margot. John Sickels of SBNation has ranked him second on the Padres’ prospect list, calling him “a superior defensive player with gold glove potential.”  His BB% of 5.9% and K% of 20.8% cry out for improvement however.

Since defense up the middle should be considered vital to winning baseball games, hanging on to Hedges and Margot makes sense.

Related Story: Padres trade rumors: Starting pitching

Although he is still rehabbing his fractured foot, Travis Jankowski should be considered a keeper for his defensive abilities and flexibility as well as his speed.  He’s valuable as fourth outfielder at the very least.

Rookie Hunter Renfroe deserves another year to prove himself a major league player, but his prodigious power and cannon arm do not make up for his defensive liabilities and otherwise poor offensive numbers.  At the plate so far in 2017 he has a 6.0% walk rate and whopping 27.9% strikeout rate.

Potential trades are further limited by the fact that the Padres have carried two Rule-5 position players and by an ill-timed injury to probably the most tradable asset, Yangervis Solarate.  He’s on his way back from the disabled list, but teams like the Red Sox have already made moves acquiring Eduardo Nunez from the Giants.

Jonathan Goehring

Have the Padres done enough prior to this year’s deadline by acquiring a pair of hurlers and an 18-year-old prospect in exchange for Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, and Trevor Cahill? Opinions vary across the fan base, but what is undeniable is that giving away more pitching would be difficult.

While there’s not as many desirable position players in the eyes of contenders, San Diego should be looking to deal one of these instead if they are indeed going to pull the trigger on another move in the final hours.

Yangervis Solarte hasn’t played to his potential this season, but he’s a versatile and reliable infielder a contending team may jump all over. The downside to Solarte from the point of view of San Diego’s potential trade partners would be his large contract, but this is manageable for a team who is serious about adding a piece like this.

There are few veteran position players on the roster who are healthy, making any other potential trades unlikely. Wil Myers shouldn’t be going anywhere, and the young talent the Padres have is anything but tradeable due to the fact that the Padres won’t want to let go of this potential as well as the fact that youth isn’t what most contenders are looking for.

All of this taken into consideration, Solarte is the man to move. A trade is still relatively unlikely to happen however, and the Padres would demand a legitimate prospect in exchange for a player who is key to the heart and soul of the team. While a headline grabbing trade involving the Padres most likely won’t happen in the 24 hours before the deadline, the good news for the Friars is that their young talent remains intact and will only grow even more during the final two months of the season.

Cheri Bell

As the Monday trade deadline nears, the San Diego Padres have some tough decisions to make. Not the least of which is gauging the value of 2B/3B Yangervis Solarte to the organization. Arguably the spark plug that ignites the on field enthusiasm, Solarte is also a quality man with a strong fan base behind him. It would not be a popular move to part with the infielder and the organization needs to get quality in return if they trade him.

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If the roster were healthy there would be excess outfielders that A.J. Preller could dangle for contenders to consider but that is not currently the case. Considering the lack of depth to begin the season, the outfielders have performed admirably with their inconsistent playing time due to injury.

With Cory Spangenberg performing well at third and Carlos Asuaje playing better than expected at second, Solarte is a man without a position and could find himself odd man out when he rejoins the team.

It would be hard to imagine Preller parting ways with any other regulars on the team. I put nothing past him but the core group of young talent should be untouchable in the rebuilding effort and the rest of the squad is needed to provide depth because of all the injuries and youth of the team.

Next: Tanking is harder than it looks

But, again, Preller could surprise us all before Monday. Brad Hand is not the only Padre on tenterhooks awaiting the 1 pm deadline on July 31.