No Trevor Bauer? No problem
The biggest issue with this trade depends on how you perceive the 2019 season. Are the Padres looking to claw their way back into playoff contention? Or have they accepted their fate and are focusing solely on the future?
Obviously, San Diego didn’t get Trevor Bauer, who was linked to the team over the past couple weeks. Bauer would’ve been an instant upgrade to a sub-par rotation, becoming the team’s ace right away.
He could’ve possibly marched the team to a wild card spot, helping the inexperienced rotation along the way. Not getting Bauer in a trade with the Indians seems miscalculated for the Padres.
San Diego also lost a strong offensive bat in Reyes, who had 27 home runs this season and a .536 slugging percentage. He was particularly dominant in the first half of the season but has tailed off since.
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That said, the Padres don’t need two right-handed power hitters in the outfielder. As previously mentioned, Renfroe is the better option and it was smart to keep him over Reyes. Franmil will serve as a legitimate designated hitter in the AL where he can showcase his bat without needing to play defense.
Finally, San Diego received a prospect who’s only played as high as Double-A ball. His 2019 batting average is .236, which feels very low in exchange for Reyes and a top 100 pitching prospect.
However, he has a solid OBP of .349, and if the lefty can get on base and provide good defense, then this could end up well for the Padres.
Hot take: this is what the Padres were aiming for all along.
To be blunt, the 2019 playoffs are probably out of reach for San Diego, and Preller knows that. What good does a pitcher on a one-year contract do for a team that’s out of contention? What good does a 40-home-run-hitter do for a team that with a -41 run differential and .310 OBP?
Instead, we should ask the question: what good does a young, top 30 prospect in a clear position of need do for a team that plans to contend next season? Answer: a lot.
This trade has given us better insight into what the team’s goals and priorities are. It could work out for the Padres in the long run, which is — and has always been — far more important than 2019.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres 2019 season, be sure to visit Friars on Base all season long.