The San Diego Padres have a number of assets that are sure to be very valuable to certain franchises.
As the 2018 season quickly moves along, the San Diego Padres find themselves within striking distance of the National League West crown. A recent 7-3 homestand and four-straight series wins have rejuvenated a portion of the fanbase into believing this team is one or two pieces away from making a playoff run.
Before we start printing out the championship t-shirts, let’s look at a few numbers. The Padres have shown slight improvements (emphasis on slight) as a team but each passing week brings about a new set of serious questions. Only three teams (Marlins, Mets, Reds) have a worse winning percentage in the NL (.456). They are five games under .500 against divisional foes and just six teams have a worse run differential than the Padres.
When playing against teams with a record above .500, San Diego is 15-24.
With that being said, the Padres have assets that will be in high demand for certain teams. Looking down the road, it’s hard to see how some of these players fit into the future of the Padres. Why not clear up some roster space and acquire pieces necessary for a playoff run in the very near future?
Three moves the San Diego Padres should make.
Bullpen pieces to the Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are starting to run away in a depleted American League Central division. Navigating their way against the White Sox and Tigers won’t be a problem, however, if they want to compete come playoff time, they will need to improve on their MLB-worst 5.72 bullpen ERA.
Cody Allen has a 6.59 ERA over his last 15 appearances. While his K/BB ratio over that time frame is an outstanding 17/4, he has given up 11 hits in those 13 innings. Dan Otero has been even worse, giving up 12 runs and 18 hits over his last 11 innings.
The Indians traded away Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, and others for the services of Andrew Miller back in 2016. Brad Hand‘s contract is much more team-friendly, so Cleveland will need to pay up, once again, should they make a move for the Padres’ closer.
Allen has five-plus seasons of dominance under his belt, so Cleveland may not be so quick to relieve him of his duties. Craig Stammen is putting up unbelievable numbers in San Diego this year and will come at a lower price, compared to Hand. Stammen would be a nice bridge to Allen for the Indians, but won’t bring in the big haul like Hand would. Hand has proven he is equally effective in the eighth inning as he is the ninth, giving Cleveland some flexibility should they make the move.
Either way, if San Diego and Cleveland become trade partners, Triston McKenzie needs to be the target. McKenzie, 20, made his AA debut with the Akron Rubberducks last week, tossing five shutout innings, giving up one hit, and striking out four. San Diego has an extreme amount of depth down on the farm that they could throw in to acquire the 21st ranked prospect. Maybe sending Josh Naylor over to join his little brother?