Padres trade Manuel Margot and a prospect for Emilio Pagan

The San Diego Padres continued to boost their bullpen this offseason by trading for reliever Emilio Pagan from the Tampa Bay Rays.

This might not have been the trade San Diego Padres fans were hoping for Saturday night, but they did just make a great bullpen even better by acquiring Emilio Pagan.

I had just written the other day about whether or not it was time to give up on Manuel Margot. Well, it seems that question has been answered as the Padres sent him and prospect Logan Driscoll to the Rays for Pagan.

Pagan is a 28-year-old right-handed reliever (will turn 29 in May) who posted the 14th best WAR among relievers last year at 1.5 WAR, according to FanGraphs.

In 66 games last year he posted a 2.31 ERA in 70 innings with 96 strikeouts, 20 saves, and a WHIP of 0.83.

He is still pre-arbitration eligible and is under team control for four more seasons.

Pagan was a 10th round draft pick in 2013 but didn’t make his Major League debut until 2017 with the Mariners where he posted a 3.22 ERA in 50.1 innings with 56 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.93.

He wasn’t quite as good the following season with the Oakland Athletics posting a 4.35 ERA in 62 innings with 63 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.20, which are still pretty decent numbers.

The righty is your typical fastball and slider reliever with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s.

He’ll be a great addition to an already stacked bullpen and is another option to be a closer if needed.

Which raises the question, could Kirby Yates be on the move? Or is this just insurance in case they can’t extend him or re-sign him after the season.

That’s something we’ll get into in another post.

As for Margot, he really was the only true center fielder on this team — at least in my opinion.

I’m not sure what that says about the plans for this team in 2020. My assumption is that Trent Grisham and Franchy Cordero will battle for the center field job.

Or, perhaps Preller is still working on another trade.

Honestly, it’s all speculation, but it’s hard not to wonder what Preller could have up his sleeve.

Logan Driscoll is a catcher and outfielder who was taken by the Padres in the second round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

He hit .268/.340/.458 in 39 games in Low-A this year with 3 home runs in 142 at-bats. San Diego sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he played in just 6 games and hit .316 with 2 home runs.

To be honest, when I first saw the trade I was a bit surprised. But Pagan is an elite reliever and Margot’s future in San Diego was as a fourth outfielder.

I still don’t know what the Padres are going to do about center field, but Margot likely wasn’t going to start their anyway.

Driscoll is a promising prospect, but it’s not like he’s a lock to become a superstar player.

Next: Padres could benefit from Betts fallout

The Padres got the best known asset in this trade as Pagan is an elite reliever. And perhaps there is more coming.

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