While there may not be huge trade value associated with many of these San Diego Padres players, something is better than nothing, right?
There have been no reported rumors of any these transactions, but let’s brainstorm a few ideas. Let’s shoot for five spots to protect five of the Rule-5 draft eligible prospects. Lockett, Asuaje, and Rea are three names who are removed from the 40-man, to begin with. To finish clearing space, the following three trades are made.
RHP Luis Perdomo
The Padres tried and tried again to give Luis Perdomo every opportunity to become a fixture in the starting rotation, unfortunately, it has yet to pan out. After being demoted to AAA El Paso to work on his game, Perdomo dominated the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but failed to produce when he returned to the majors before falling to an injury. He finished the year with a 7.05 ERA and 1.88 WHIP across 12 games (10 starts).
The most San Diego could expect to get is a fringe prospect with longshot odds to ever contribute or cash considerations, however, something is better than nothing. Who are some potential trade partners for Perdomo?
Baltimore is a team that often tries to insert pitchers like Perdomo into their rotation and might end up trading one or more of their current starters this offseason (whenever they decide to hire a general and field manager). Texas, Oakland, and the LA Angels also standout as potential landing spots, should San Diego move Perdomo. Oakland makes the most sense, especially if they continue using their starters for brief starts and relying on their dominant bullpen.
Outfielder Travis Jankowski
Losing Travis Jankowski would be a bummer, but his optimal role is that of a fourth-outfielder, late-game defensive-substitute/pinch-runner. The addition of Greg Garcia provides a high OBP guy off the bench that Andy Green can send to the plate and speedy, defensive-minded reserve outfielders can be found fairly easily.
Most of the offseason discussions surrounding the Padres has revolved around the idea of trading away outfield pieces, well this one will not only bring back somewhat of a return, it also gives a player like Franchy Cordero a bigger role. So, where does Jankowski end up?
Cleveland is the first team that comes to mind. They need an outfielder, specifically a centerfielder and they have a number of intriguing names the Padres could grab in return. Seattle came calling for Jankowski earlier this year, but has filled that role with their recent acquisition of Mallex Smith, so much for them calling again. Cincinnati is trying to move Billy Hamilton and could be in the market for a centerfielder. Minnesota and Detroit could also be two teams interested in Jankowski’s services.
Catcher Austin Allen
If San Diego were to trade a catcher, Austin Hedges makes the most sense, seeing as he would garner the highest return (between Hedges and Allen), however, the asking price for Hedges might cause many potential suitors to back away. The Padres don’t seem eager to trade either Hedges or Mejia and instead currently plan on utilizing both in 2019.
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Where does that leave Austin Allen? Unfortunately for Allen, both Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia block his path behind the plate, Eric Hosmer blocks the way at first base, and a mile-long list of athletic outfielders block another potential path. Why not use his value to acquire needed help at another position?
If Miami ends up trading JT Realmuto, they will need to look for a backstop and may not have the major league talent or desire to trade what few top prospects they do have for the likes of Hedges. Allen would be a more logical fit here. Texas is another franchise that makes sense, seeing as Allen would instantly become the best catcher in the organization.
Of the three trade scenarios mentioned, moving Austin Allen seems the least likely, especially after Andy Green and AJ Preller’s comments about wanting to see what these minor leaguers have, but you also get the sense that this offseason could be a real “expect the unexpected” couple of months.
After a three-day weekend to sit on discussions at the general manager’s meetings and early offseason discussions, will we see a few roster moves made by the San Diego Padres early this week? It seems likely. Stay tuned!