Perfect Padres buy-low trade target might reside in Chicago
The San Diego Padres may need to replace two starting pitchers in Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea this offseason, meaning they should be all in on the top available names. Getting in touch with Kodai Senga is a nice start, but more is needed in case the Japanese ace doesn’t sign.
A.J. Preller has enough big prospects not named Jackson Merrill to trade away, and the trade market features some robust names like Pablo Lopez. If the Padres want to get the player with the highest ceiling possible, they’d need to head to the Windy City and try to steal a former ace.
The Chicago White Sox will likely try to remake their roster following a monumentally disappointing season, and that could mean trading away starting pitcher Lucas Giolito. Even though he’s coming off a down year, the trade market for him will still be very robust.
Jon Heyman confirmed that “teams are asking” about Giolito, further backing up a report from The Athletic that hinted Chicago was willing to trade away some of their more expensive players to slash payroll. Giolito in that Padres rotation could be a smashing success if he gets back to his old form.
Can the San Diego Padres acquire Lucas Giolito?
After a horrible start to life in Chicago, Giolito was an All-Star in 2019 who had three consecutive seasons in which he finished in the Top 11 in AL Cy Young voting. Giolito has a 3.47 ERA, 129 ERA+, and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings in that span thanks to a solid fastball-slider combo.
Giolito regressed hard this season, as his ERA was just south of 5.00 in Tony La Russa’s last season with the club. His velocity and breaking pitchers still had bite, but his hits per nine innings mark of 9.5 were by far the highest in any full season he’s had.
Giolito is a free agent after this season, so the Padres will be able to rid themselves of the former top prospect if he doesn’t get back to his old self. Even with this depleted farm system, Preller has enough noteworthy names to acquire Giolito without knee-capping himself.
The Padres will have to part with some prospects and at least one proven pro piece in order to acquire Giolito, but he could end up giving them a solid No. 2 starter if he can get back to his old form. Going to a big park like San Diego might be more beneficial for a pitcher with his stuff.