Padres looking at worst-case scenario if early Dodgers trade rumors materialize

If the Dodgers actually do pull this move off, there may be no hope of the Padres dealing with them in 2024.
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

It has taken a bit of good fortune and some strong play from guys like Dylan Cease, Jurickson Profar, and Jake Cronenworth among others, but the San Diego Padres have been hanging around in 2024. Despite losing multiple All-Stars to free agency and a particularly notable trade, the Padres are in second place in the NL West and currently occupy the last spot in the NL Wild Card race.

Obviously the Dodgers were the better team on paper than the Padres coming into the season given the spending bonanza they went on and how much talent they were bringing back from their 2023 squad. However, it has been heartening that San Diego is only 6.5 games back and their offense has only been marginally worse in terms of runs scored than the Dodgers' super team thus far.

However, things could take another turn for the worse if the early trade rumors surrounding the Dodgers turn out to be accurate.

Padres Rumors: Dodgers could be in mix for Nolan Arenado, Justin Verlander

To be clear, we are two months away from the trade deadline, so we are all guessing at this point as to who could be available and which teams may actually be selling. However, the Cardinals are in last place in the NL Central once again and Arenado is owed quite a bit through the 2027 season. Arenado does hold no-trade rights, but one wonders if he wants to stick around and watch the Cardinals implode in on themselves.

MLB insider Jon Heyman's speculation here is based less on fit and more on finding a contending team that has been aggressive recently and one that Arenado would prefer to go to, and the Dodgers certainly qualify. They already have Max Muncy and others around to play third, but Arenado is one of those special talents that could entice them to commit to a move like that.

Heyman also loosely mentioned that Justin Verlander, currently playing for the last-place Astros, might be inclined to accept a trade to LA. So there's that, too. Unbelievable.

Obviously, such moves would put even more pressure on AJ Preller and San Diego to try and keep pace despite their payroll limitations. However, the Padres already swung a deal for Luis Arraez and look primed to be active at the trade deadline this. year, so Preller and Co. might have their own surprises in store.

He's out-foxed the Dodgers before. Hopefully he can do it again.

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