San Diego Padres: Five bold predictions for the 2020 season

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 27: Manny Machado #13 congratulates Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 after his two-run home run by Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 during the fifth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 27, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 27: Manny Machado #13 congratulates Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 after his two-run home run by Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 during the fifth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 27, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Taylor Trammell
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Predicting the first trade and the team’s MVP candidates

2. The first trade to happen is for a second baseman

I remained unconvinced that the starting second baseman is already on the roster. As we discussed yesterday, Jurickson Profar‘s struggles defensively are a significant concern, and the Padres may end up cutting him before the regular season anyway.

Who’s behind him? Brian Dozier, who was signed a couple of days before the start of the exhibition games, and Greg Garcia, a platoon-guy for right-handed pitchers. Garcia, while limited in his career, is awful against lefties – a career .549 OPS – but is roughly leave-average against righties.

Aside from catcher, it’s the most glaring position on the diamond, and General Manager AJ Preller needs to have a short leash before addressing it. Might he make a trade for Francisco Lindor?

3. The Padres will have MVP candidates in Fernando Tatis Jr. AND Manny Machado

You heard it here first. The Padres will have MVP candidates in both Tatis and Machado this year. The team’s rookie sensation was limited to 84 games a year ago but posted a .317/.379/.590 line with 22 home runs and 53 RBI. Over a full season, that projects to roughly 42 home runs and 102 RBI. Sounds like MVP numbers to me.

Machado had a bit of a down year in the first year of his massive deal with the team, but he still posted a .256/.334/.462 line with 32 home runs and 85 RBI in 156 games. Fangraphs pegs him for 33 bombs and an even 100 RBI. Again, those sound like MVP numbers to me.

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