Padres Rumors: Buying Or Selling Early Winter Meetings Rumblings

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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros reacts after lining out in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros reacts after lining out in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres Rumors: As the Winter Meetings move into their first full day, there has been some noise surrounding the Padres.

Good Monday morning, San Diego. Welcome to the first full day of the 2018 Winter Meetings! The next few days should provide an abundance of news and rumors, along with the laying of groundwork on a few potential blockbuster trades. As far as the San Diego Padres are concerned, The Athletic’s Dennis Lin touched on a few Padres rumors floating around last night, including one very intriguing name.

First, the idea of trading for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Normally, this type of move would be a no-brainer for an organization. Realmuto is one of the more athletic catchers in baseball, exceptional behind the plate with one of the quickest pop times and exchange rates, and was the second highest producer at the plate among catchers in terms of wRC+ (Wilson Ramos finished five points higher at 131).

While the Padres have more than enough assets to meet Miami’s extraordinary demand and acquire Realmuto and the interest in the 27-year-old has been high for a long time, this type of move seems to go against everything that has been coming from the Padres front office since this offseason began.

Moving the assets it would require to trade for Realmuto, a two-year rental, just doesn’t make sense with Francisco Mejia, the top catching prospect in baseball, and Austin Hedges already on the roster. Dennis Lin touches on the idea of a trade-and-flip scenario with Realmuto, however, if the Padres want to use catching assets to bring in more talent, Mejia and/or Austin Allen (packaged with more pieces) could bring additional help without losing the massive talent needed to trade for Realmuto in the first place.

So, Padres fans, are you buying or selling this trade idea? I’m selling this idea. If the organization is going to move big prospects, use them to acquire Noah Syndergaard or Corey Kluber, not Realmuto.

Buying or selling: Marwin Gonzalez to the Padres rumors.

I’m buying this rumor. Reports last night from Lin suggested that the Padres are interested in acquiring the services of former Houston Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez played in 145 games last season, playing every single position on the field except for catcher and pitcher. With holes at shortstop and third base, Gonzalez plugs one of those holes and brings with him a decent stick at the plate.

The Padres have been connected to trading for Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco since the trade deadline and if the team is still pursuing this option to fill their hole at third base, signing Gonzalez might be a better option, if only slightly.

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Neither plays defense well enough to garner Gold Glove attention and both bring similar numbers at the plate. In 2018, Gonzalez hit .247 with a .324 OBP and added 44 extra-base hits (16 home runs). He finished with a wRC+ of 104 and a fWAR of 1.6.

Compare that to Franco who hit .270 with a .314 OBP, 40 extra-base hits (22 home runs), a 105 wRC+ and a 1.2 fWAR. While Franco rarely strikes out, Gonazlez also does a solid job of limiting strikeouts and has produced a walk-rate of nearly 10% in each of his last two seasons.

The versatility of Gonzalez is intriguing and is likely a better option than any other utility man the organization could target after expressing a desire to add one to the roster before spring training, but as numerous reports have suggested over the past few weeks, nearly every team in baseball is looking at potentially signing Gonzalez.

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Buckle up, baseball fans. The winter meetings are now in full swing and it’s time for the hot stove to kick into gear. What do you want to see the Padres do this week? Are you all in on trading for Realmuto? Do you want Preller to pass on Gonzalez and look elsewhere? Is there someone no one is talking about that you wish San Diego would go after? Let us know!

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