The Indians need bullpen and outfield help, both of which the San Diego Padres have.
The San Diego Padres need to target Triston McKenzie. One of my favorite resources for prospect information is 2080baseball.com and Adam McInturff was in Richmond recently (along with many scouts from many different teams) to get eyes on the 20-year-old top pitching prospect.
I’ve seen him numerous times, each performance more dominant than the previous, however, I don’t travel the country scouting players, so I’ll use the words of McInturff.
- Fluid and athletic, repeats extremely well.
- 88-93 mph FB, should hold velocity as he matures (6’5″ 165 pounds and seemingly hasn’t gained a pound in two years)
- Above average 11-5 curveball that is major league ready.
- Potential with his changeup that clocks at 84 mph.
What are the San Diego Padres giving up in this deal?
The focus of the deal would be the bullpen pieces of either Kirby Yates or Craig Stammen. Stammen is three years older and will make over $2.2 million for the next two seasons. Yates is earning just over $1 million this year and is having the best season of his career.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a track record of success.
Whichever option Cleveland chooses, it’s an immediate and substantial bullpen upgrade.
Cleveland is also in need of some help in the outfield, again, a position the San Diego Padres are flooded with. Lonnie Chisenhall could be out for the rest of the regular season with a severe calf strain. He’s not expected back for 8-10 weeks, plus rehab time.
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Brantley is having a fantastic season, so there’s no concern with left field. Naquin is hitting .266 with a .299 OBP and a 36/5 K/BB ratio (-0.1 WAR). Rajai Davis is still stealing a massive amount of bases at 37 years of age but isn’t an everyday option for the Indians. Guyer is hitting .168 and Allen is at .208 with a .248 OBP and 35 strikeouts in 125 at-bats.
Travis Jankowski can be a versatile piece for Cleveland and provide more speed on the basepaths. He may have cooled off since his hot stretch earlier this year, however, Jankowski still getting on base at a .353 clip, aided by an 11% walk rate.
San Diego also has nine-Top 30 prospects that will be Rule-5 draft eligible, unless they are placed on the 40-man roster this offseason. Luis Urias, Anderson Espinoza, Chris Paddack, and Jacob Nix all need to be protected. The Padres could throw in one or more of the remaining prospects who could be lost for nothing, including Edward Olivares (from the Yangervis Solarte trade), Trey Wingenter, or Michael Gettys.
Many also argue that Adam Cimber’s trade value may never get any higher than it is right now. The 27-year-old rookie is having a dominant season out of the pen but there’s disagreement about whether or not his stuff can truly play or it’s all funk and deception. I’m more inclined to keep Cimber but if he can help bring in a player like McKenzie, throw him into the mix.
Is that enough to acquire McKenzie? Only those in the front office know exactly what it will take (and the Theo Epstein’s of Twitter) but at the end of the day, the Padres need to move a number of pieces or risk losing them with no return. McKenzie isn’t a prospect who is three years away from joining a major league roster, he’s already putting up really good numbers in Double-A for the Akron Rubberducks in the hitter-heavy Eastern League. He could very well be in the majors by the 2019 All-Star break.