Tuesday provided for quite the afternoon as the San Diego Padres made three trades, designated four for assignment, and could be on the verge of a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners.
Everyone knew the San Diego Padres were going to be active on Tuesday, but A.J. Preller and company seemed to shock everyone yesterday after making a series of intriguing moves and having the base details of a potential Wil Myers trade released, which has apparently been in the works for some time.
Let’s first recap what happened on the trade front yesterday. Kudos to A.J. Preller. At the 2018 trade deadline, it was wildly speculated that pitchers such as Tyson Ross, Jordan Lyles, and others could be on the move. Nothing came to fruition and both Ross and Lyles were placed on waivers and claimed by the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively. The Padres received nothing in return for two pitchers who could have commanded at least a minor leaguer.
With Preller needing to clear space on the 40-man, he turned three pitchers from within his boatload of bullpen arms into players who, at first glance, seem to have slightly more upside. They weren’t blockbusters or moves that make the Padres closer to contention, however, they were smart moves that allow the Padres to clear the way for a number of elite prospects.
Per multiple scouting reports released on Baseball America, Fangraphs, and the newly formed but highly informative Prospects Live, Quiroz is a guy who can get on base with outstanding plate awareness, Feliz struck out 54 and walked just 14 in rookie ball this season and brings a low-90s fastball and big curveball to the table, while Vosler brings back-to-back 20 home run seasons in the minors from the left side of the plate. Both Vosler and Feliz appeared on their team’s Top 30 prospects lists.
Did the San Diego Padres sell Christian Villanueva to Japan?
The transactions didn’t stop at the trades. Third baseman Christian Villanueva, infielder Cory Spangenberg, shortstop Allen Cordoba, and RHP Colin Rea were all designated for assignment to clear four more spots on the 40-man. The following players were then added to the roster:
- RHP Chris Paddack (5th ranked prospect)
- RHP Anderson Espinoza (12th ranked prospect)
- C Austin Allen (25th ranked prospect)
- OF Edward Olivares (28th ranked prospect)
- RHP Pedro Avila (29th ranked prospect)
- RHP Gerardo Reyes
- 3B Ty France
In what became the most surprising move of the day, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell released more details on the Villanueva move, confirming that the Padres and the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan are hammering out the final details of a sale. Per Cassavel, the Giants approached the Padres about Villanueva and the third baseman is negotiating his new contract with Yomiuri.
Villanueva hit .236 with a .299 OBP and 20 home runs in his long-awaited rookie season. His emergence pushed Chase Headley out of San Diego, earning him the starting third base job before defensive struggles, the emergence of Franmil Reyes/Hunter Renfroe, and the return of Wil Myers from injury all led to Myers taking over 3B and Villanueva moving into a utility role. Ultimately, his season ended early with a fractured finger.
The highlight of his rookie season was his eight home run, 1.160 OPS month of April that earned him MLB Rookie of the Month honors. Unfortunately, he managed batting averages of just .170, .206, and .182 over the next three months.
Are the San Diego Padres trading Wil Myers to Seattle?
In what became the biggest story of the day, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal dropped a bombshell on us Tuesday afternoon.
As Rosenthal mentions here and reiterates, a deal is not close at the moment. Both players have no-trade clauses and Segura has yet to be contacted, while Leake has. The potential move, along with the removing of Villanueva and Spangenberg from the 40-man, indicates that the Padres aren’t done dealing, unless they plan on having Ty France as their Opening Day third baseman. While the Eugeno Suarez trade rumors have been shut down by Cincinnati, a trade involving Philadelphia Phillies 3B Maikel Franco seems very likely, with the Phillies eager to move him.
As for Rosenthal’s rumor, Mike Leake is under team control for two more years, while Segura has four years of team control. Segura, a 28-year-old shortstop, has three-straight seasons of putting up double-digit home runs, .300+ batting averages, .341+ on-base percentages, and sub-15% strikeout rates. He was an All-Star in 2018 and led the league in hits back in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A nine-year MLB veteran, Leake is coming off a 10-10, 4.36 ERA season with the Mariners. His strikeout rate may hover around 6/9 IP, however, Leake hasn’t surrendered more than two walks per game since 2005 and logged 185 innings in 2018, the fifth time he has pitched at least 180 innings in his career. The veteran innings eater would be a welcomed addition to the Padres rotation.
There could be more added to this deal and/or money added, but as of right now the deal is contingent upon Segura and Leake waiving their no-trade clauses. As is, it addresses a number of San Diego needs. It brings a top shortstop to Petco Park that can also play second base, depending on how San Diego wants to play Segura, Luis Urias, Fernando Tatis Jr. All three can play multiple positions. This move also prevents Myers from being moved to the Padres outfield and forcing out either Franmil Reyes or Hunter Renfroe.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy offseason, San Diego Padres fans. Keep your seatbelts on because this ride isn’t over yet.