The San Diego Padres made a solid trade with the Tampa Bay Rays a year ago.
A year ago tomorrow, on December 6, 2019, the San Diego Padres completed a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in which they acquired Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth in exchange for Hunter Renfroe, Xavier Edwards, and a player to be named later (who ended up being Estaban Quiroz). How has that trade worked out so far?
Well, the Rays have received much praise over the years for their ability to pull off great trades, but – so far – the Padres have been the winners on this one.
Some thought that Renfroe and Edwards were a high price to pay for a decent outfielder in Pham and someone who was thought to be a fringe major leaguer in Cronenworth. While the jury is still out on the prospect Edwards – indeed, we don’t know the “final” winners on this trade yet – the Rays just released Renfroe after a season in which he batted just .156 with a .645 OPS.
It’s still hard to say what Pham will contribute to the Padres moving forward, but the team decided recently to tender him a contract after a rough year in which he posted a -0.2 WAR while batting just .211. Pham was known for his ability to get on base before last year, and in keeping him, the Padres are expressing hope that he can play left field for them in 2021 and turn things around.
So, Renfroe for Pham appears to be a wash to this point, which means the trade comes down to Cronenworth vs. Edwards. Again, we don’t know what the Rays will have in Edwards, but we do know that Cronenworth just finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting after a 2020 season in which he batted .285 while posting an .831 OPS. He certainly grabbed the second base job this past year and ran with it, and he figures to be a building block moving forward.
Let’s give AJ Preller credit for pulling off a great deal for Cronenworth, while we also hope that Pham can turn it around in 2020. A year after the trade, it appears that the Padres made a nice deal with the Rays, one that will help them in their quest to continue their ascent next year.