3 San Diego Padres trade targets that will hurt rather than help

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For the San Diego Padres, the time for patience is over.

Baseball’s trade market should become more active as the deadline approaches (August 1). Each team’s front office staff will evaluate and identify the weaknesses on their roster. 

The San Diego Padres have been disappointing, but the National League postseason picture is wide open. And the right player move can change their fortunes immediately. However, one poor decision could hurt their chances of playing October baseball.

Here are 3 trade targets that will hurt rather than help the San Diego Padres

Aroldis Chapman, LH Reliever

Aroldis Chapman did not attract much interest as a free agent this past offseason. Teams shied away because of his struggles in limited work with the New York Yankees in 2022. The seven-time All-Star battled through injuries (Achilles tendon and infected wound from a tattoo) and could never gain any momentum on the mound. 

Chapman lost his closer role as he allowed 52 baserunners in 36.1 innings pitched. The Yankees were wary of the dwindling strikeout numbers (44 Ks in 43 appearances) that translated to a modest 26.9% strikeout ratio. His struggles throwing strikes resulted in an increased (17.5%) walk percentage for 2022. All the above numbers were his worst since the 2018 season.

Eventually, Chapman signed a $3.7 million deal with the Kansas City Royals that included no bonus escalators for meeting certain performance criteria in the season. Calling 2023 a “rebounding” season is putting it mildly for him. Chapman has struck out 41 batters in 23.1 IP. His strikeout ratio (41.8%) is the highest it has been since 2020. But he has allowed 30 baserunners in 26 appearances.

The Friars bullpen is very much in need of reinforcements, as the starting rotation has failed to go deep in games. But there are doubts about whether Chapman can continue pitching at this level for the next three months. The Padres do not need another reliever with control issues. Chapman must improve his ability to attack the strike zone to become a possible trade deadline candidate. The Friars must feel comfortable with his effectiveness as a setup reliever before giving assets away in a trade.