Adrian Morejon is another starting pitcher without a spot in the rotation and could be traded before the end of Spring Training. The former international free agent signing in July 2016 was projected to have a prominent role at the big league level last year, but he made just two starts and three appearances in relief.
Over a much larger sample size, Morejon posted a 4.25 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A Amarillo while striking out 44 batters in 36.0 innings. He battled shoulder impingements a couple of times last year, ultimately being shut down in early September, which explains the low number of innings.
He’s projected to be a front-line starter in a future rotation, and the Red Sox don’t exactly have a fifth starter set in stone for 2020. That guy figures to be Bryan Mata at some point, but he’s expected to begin the year in the minors. The 20-year-old struggled in 11 starts for Double-A Portland last year, so I imagine he’ll start at Triple-A and take it from there.
In return, I have the Padres acquiring a center fielder in Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox reportedly are not going to bring him back after this season and could clear another $11 million by trading him. The Padres’ center field situation is unclear at the moment, with both Trent Grisham and Franchy Cordero battling for the starting gig. However, if acquired, JBJ could start in center, and one of the other two could slide over to right field.
Given the upside in Morejon, I also have the Padres acquiring Thad Ward from the Red Sox. The team’s fifth-round pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, posted a combined 2.14 ERA in 25 starts last season between Single-A and High-A. He’s projected to be ready at some point in 2021, and scouts are raving about his slider.
Baseball Trade Value favors this trade heavily in the direction of the Red Sox but would fill the Padres’ immediate need in center and long-term stability in the rotation.