Here we look at a recent trade proposal between the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.
Recently, we looked at what it might take for the San Diego Padres to acquire pitcher Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays. With Mike Clevinger out for 2021, the Padres could use another starting pitcher, and another one who may be on the block is Sonny Gray of the Cincinnati Reds.
Our friends over at our sister website, Blog Red Machine, recently proposed a trade between the Padres and Reds involving Gray. We encourage readers to head over there and give it a read, but here is the trade that they are suggesting:
I know that the sight of Cronenworth in that deal will cause many fans to recoil, as he’s coming off a great 2020 season in which he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. Then there’s Weathers, a pitcher who was a top 100 prospect prior to 2019. It sounds like a high price to pay for a pitcher not named Blake Snell, but let’s examine it a little more.
In our recent Twitter poll involving which starting pitcher the Padres should pursue, 54% of fans said they most wanted Snell, while just 6% said they wanted Gray. However, Gray would make a solid addition as he has posted a 3.07 ERA over the last two seasons in Cincinnati, while he is under control at a reasonable price for three more seasons. (I am aware there is concern about how he would work with Larry Rothschild, as Gray regressed while the two were together in New York.)
For the Padres to give up a solid starting second baseman – albeit one who only has one 60-game season of experience – and one top ten organizational prospect for a pitcher of Gray’s caliber, plus another prospect, isn’t a horrible deal in and of itself.
However, what would the Padres then do at second base? They may have to go outside the organization to find a replacement; perhaps they bring back Jurickson Profar or sign a Kolten Wong or a Jonathan Schoop. It seems like they would be filling one need and creating another.
The reason for the inclusion of Cronenworth in this trade is that the Reds need a major league shortstop. The Padres can’t help much there; CJ Abrams would be a steep price to pay for Gray, while he’s not major league ready anyway.
As for the prospects in the proposed deal, the Padres would likely be downgrading. Weathers still has a lot of upside, while Hinds, the #9 prospect in the Reds’ organization according to MLB Pipeline, despite his power potential, comes with concern about his ability to recognize pitches according to the Blog Red Machine article. He’s also a lot further away from the big leagues than Weathers is, and he plays third base, where the Padres are set for a while with Manny Machado.
So, while we appreciate Blog Red Machine for reaching out to us about this proposed trade, this is one that I don’t think I would do. While I believe Gray would help the Padres, I don’t think there’s a great trade fit between the two teams, particularly if it’s at short where the Reds are looking for help.