San Diego Padres Trade a Day: Team grabs legit DH threat in J.D. Martinez
By Ryan Sikes
We’ll be looking at several trades to boost the Padres, and we’ll start with an obvious need right now. A designated hitter.
When MLB implemented the universal DH for the 2020 shortened season, I think most were delighted not to have to watch the pitcher strike out anymore with runners-in-scoring-position. And the possibilities seemed endless for the Padres, who were trying to figure out how to balance both Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia‘s playing time.
Combined with a surplus of outfielders, it seemed to make sense to use the position as a rotational spot for the roster to receive playing time. However, through one-third of the season, the Padres have struggled to get consistent production from the DH spot. Tommy Pham has seen the most time there, and I am still not sure if he has fully recovered from the elbow injury a year ago.
He’s played seven games as the team’s DH but has a .125 average in that role entering Thursday’s finale with the Dodgers. Overall, he’s been kind of a letdown thus far in terms of his batting average, which has, in turn, impacted his on-base percentage. Greg Garcia has seen the second-most number of starts at DH (4) with Josh Naylor and Abraham Almonte following up with three of their own.
Naylor and Almonte have been optioned to the team’s alternate training site, and it’s painfully obvious that the Padres need to take action to acquire a legitimate bat. They could potentially sign Yasiel Puig, who remains a free agent, but he could also be the world’s biggest distraction to a young, upstart Padres team.
I have the Padres getting the Boston Red Sox on the phone for J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox look lousy this year and are already reportedly fielding phone calls for trade opportunities that could shed even more payroll than their offseason activities. The 32-year-old Martinez put up 36 bombs with 105 RBI last season and 43 HR with 130 RBI the year before.
He’s off a slow start this season with two home runs and eight RBI while posting a .725 OPS. It might be time for a change of scenery, and the Padres would take on his remaining salary. He has two player options beyond this season at a $19.4M AAV each year but can opt-out after both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
With all the injuries the Red Sox have sustained this year, I have Cal Quantrill being sent over in the deal to bolster their rotation and give Quantrill regular starts. The Padres have an abundance of pitching that Quantrill seems to be halfway out the door anyway. Baseball Trade Values gives this trade a 7.9 to 8.5 value in favor of the Red Sox.
It may seem like a light return for the Red Sox. But with Martinez’ player options that the Padres could be on the hook for, along with Quantrill being under team control through the 2025 season, there’s a lot of underlying details that even this trade out.
Would you do this deal?