Last winter, San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller went an interesting route to fill the DH role, taking a flyer on a pair of veterans in Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter. It's safe to say that it hasn't worked out.
First and foremost, let's not blame Cruz or Carpenter for the Friars' struggles and failure to meet expectations this season. It's not. Both can be easy targets because of their performances. Preller moved on from Cruz earlier this month when he was DFA'd. Last week, Rougned Odor was also DFA'd as he was splitting some left-handed at-bats with Carpenter in the DH role, as well as filling in defensively.
Carpenter's struggles have continued and right now the Padres are stuck with a player making $6.5 million after signing a two-year, $12 million contract. To make matters worse, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed J.D. Martinez to fill their DH role, and the former Boston Red Sox slugger signed for $10 million and is slashing .263/.313/.568 with 24 home runs and 73 RBI and was named to the National League All-Star team. Imagine him in the San Diego order this season.
It's easy to be a backseat quarterback, but one thing is clear as the trade deadline approaches for the Friars, then need to add at least one bat for more lineup depth, something Cruz, Odor and Carpenter have not and could not fill.
San Diego Padres: 4 hitters that should be targeted at the MLB trade deadline
There are some bats that are available over the next week that the Padres can look to acquire. It's still up in the air as to whether or not they are going to be buyers, sellers or just standing pat. Regardless, a bat is needed and here are four options for Preller to target.