The San Diego Padres haven’t made any big-ticket moves this offseason, but the rumors are pouring in nonstop now that the Winter Meetings have arrived.
After missing out on Jose Abreu, you get the feeling general manager A.J. Preller is scheming up a big move. That would explain why the Padres are linked with star shortstops Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts.
While Bogaerts would be a statement signing, Turner feels the more likely acquisition. If you remember, the Padres traded Turner to Washington in 2015, and tried acquiring Turner (and Max Scherzer) from the Nationals in 2021.
With a depleted farm system following countless blockbuster trades, San Diego probably shouldn’t go big-name hunting on the trade market. Top prospect Jackson Merrill has the makings of a special player. Beyond him, though, the Padres’ prospect pool would be hard-pressed to attract any rival GMs.
With Preller at the helm, though, anything is possible, and one of his former targets has reportedly requested out of Pittsburgh.
Remember the rumors linking Bryan Reynolds to San Diego?
Should the Padres trade for Pirates star Bryan Reynolds?
While the Padres are expected to inquire about Reynolds, FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray understands it’s a trade is a long shot.
"“For years, I have heard that the Padres love Bryan Reynolds. They have checked in on Reynolds in the past and they are expected to once again — if they haven’t already. But after acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Hader before last season’s trade deadline, rival executives are skeptical that the Padres have a deep enough farm system to acquire Reynolds.”“Sure, they have Jackson Merrill, who scouts have raved about following a strong showing at the Arizona Fall League. But a potential Reynolds deal could cost a team as much as three top prospects and more.”"
Murray brings up some really strong points. Rather than further deplete your farm system and trade away another top prospect, why not simply sign a Bogaerts or Turner and move Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield?
Then again, either move would push the Padres close to the luxury tax … and trading for Reynolds has far more pros than cons.
For starters, Reynolds has hit 281/.361/481 in his career (would be higher if not for a dreadful COVID season) who’s averaged 24 home runs and 4.5 WAR in full seasons. He’s compiled 152 RBI the last two years — his opportunities would skyrocket in San Diego’s stacked lineup — to go with 12 triples and 56 doubles.
Finally, Reynolds is a switch-hitter who plays excellent defense, and is under team control for the next three (!) years. He’s only owed $6.75 million in 2023 and will be arbitration-eligible the next two years in 2024 and 2025.
Simply put, Reynolds will be in high-demand and the Pirates aren’t going to let their franchise cornerstone leave for pennies on the dollar. Should Preller risk losing Merrill and jeopardize long-term success by nabbing Reynolds? Or should he hold firm and focus on improving the team via free agency?
We’d side with the latter, but Preller is clearly fiending for a World Series, and has expressed interest in Reynolds in the past.
Anything is possible here.