If the Padres find themselves in a favorable spot after the first month, they’ll be an exceptional place to make a splash at the trade deadline.
I have this sneaky suspicion that if the Padres are in the thick of the National League playoff race, wild card or division, general manager AJ Preller could pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal. He shocked the Friar Faithful back in June 2016, acquiring Fernando Tatis Jr. (and Erik Johnson) for James Shields. We are going to reap the benefits of that deal for at least the next decade.
And with the Padres’ farm system still ranked within the top three of Major League Baseball, according to MLB.com, should they be within striking distance of the division, all bets are off. Now, the trade deadline should be approached with some caution.
Obviously, you’ll have to give up something to get something, but that doesn’t mean Preller should mortgage the future over the final 30 games. Bleacher Report had this to offer on the Padres potentially making a move:
"The Friars also have one of the best farm systems in baseball and could deal from positions of organizational strength with shortstop CJ Abrams and catcher Luis Campusano, difference-making talents who are blocked on the big league roster."
Yes and no on those two. CJ Abrams could just as easily slide over the second base, which doesn’t appear to have a long-term solution right now. Also, Austin Hedges is likely gone after this season, unless he magically learned to hit during the shutdown.
Francisco Mejia is still an unproven commodity at the big-league level, but his arrow is definitely trending upward. And with the universal DH likely in play as part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, Campusano or Mejia could split time catching.
The Padres reportedly discussed landing Kris Bryant for Dinelson Lamet and Campusano from the Cubs, who are deep at the catching position but have little to offer in terms of a wealth of elite starting pitching prospects.
Bryant is likely to remain in Chicago for this year, but he will be entering his final year under contract next season. Should the Cubs regress beyond the peak in 2016, and the Padres do the opposite, don’t be surprised if they re-visit Bryant trade talks.
But for the upcoming 60-game slate, the Padres will have to evaluate their team after just 30 games and see where upgrades can be potentially acquired.