Padres Rumors: Constant White Sox connection has potential blockbuster trade growing

The buzz is growing.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago White Sox / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

As long as the San Diego Padres have any semblance of a chance of making the playoffs, fans know with absolute certainty that general manager AJ Preller is going to be busy trying to cook up moves to bolster the team somehow. Even with the Padres new payroll constraints that cost them Juan Soto and kept them from bringing back guys like Josh Hader and Blake Snell, Preller still found a way to swing a trade for Dylan Cease on the eve of the 2024 season and surprised everyone with his early-season acquisition of Luis Arraez. The man just can't not cook.

With the trade deadline about a month away, it sounds like the Padres could attempt to be busy once again. The Padres are 44-41 and occupy the last NL wild card spot while remaining 8.5 games back in the NL West, which means the front office is very likely to be in a buying mood over the next month unless the team completely tanks. One persistent trade rumor with the Padres ahead of the deadline has been their interest in White Sox starter Garrett Crochet.

Given Crochet's high profile, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Padres have checked in with Chicago about him (and the two teams' trade history helps, too). However, it appears as though their interest has persisted even with the White Sox's rumored sky high asking price, as a report from The Athletic has the Padres continuing to target Crochet along with some of the other top contenders around the league.

Padres continuing to target a Garrett Crochet trade, but questions remain

Crochet is a lefty with big-time stuff and multiple years of team control, so the allure for the Padres is pretty obvious here. He has among the best performing fastballs in baseball and misses a ton of bats while throwing a lot of strikes. It would be odd if Preller and Co. weren't interested in trading for him because the vast majority of teams would love to add that kind of arm talent.

However, Crochet comes with some issues. He missed the 2022 season after Tommy John surgery and only threw 12 2/3 innings last year. Given that lack of usage, teams that need starting pitching help for the stretch run this year are understandably wary of pushing all their chips in on a guy that may need his innings managed the rest of the season including, but not limited to, getting shifted to the bullpen.

The other issue is the competition from other teams. The Padres are thought to be being aggressive and many think they could be persuaded to part with top prospects Ethan Salas and/or Leo De Vries for the right deal, but there are going to be a lot of motivated buyers with strong farm systems with the Dodgers, Orioles, Brewers, and Yankees along being varying degrees of possible landing spots. At some point, the asking price for Crochet is going to become cost-prohibitive, especially with the risk attached.

All of that said, expect the Padres to stay involved for Crochet until he is actually dealt. San Diego clearly likes him enough to be very persistent in trying to acquire him and, as we already know, Preller isn't going to stop until the bitter end.

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