This AL Central team could swoop in and steal Tommy Pham from Padres at last minute

Will the Padres reunite with Tommy Pham this season?

San Diego Padres left fielder Tommy Pham (28) looks on
San Diego Padres left fielder Tommy Pham (28) looks on / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors surrounding a reunion between the San Diego Padres and Tommy Pham are gaining steam. While the Friar faithful should not expect to see the veteran outfielder wearing the brown and gold in South Korea when the Padres begin the 2024 season this Wednesday morning, Pham could be in San Diego when the team returns for their home opener on March 28th.

Pham has been on the Padres' radar throughout the offseason. After playing in the World Series for the Padres' NL West Division rival, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pham has been languishing on the free agent market this offseason. San Diego is in need of outfield depth, despite the addition of Jackson Merrill as the Padres Opening Day centerfielder.

But the Padres are not the only team with an interest in Pham. The Pittsburgh Pirates were rumored to be after the slugger just last week. However, after inking Michael A. Taylor, it's a good bet that the Bucs are now longer looking to sign Pham.

That said, the Chicago White Sox are lurking if talks between Pham and the Friars fall apart.

The White Sox could swoop in and steal Tommy Pham from Padres at last minute

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Padres are moving closer to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million. However, Nightengale is reporting that if the deal hits a snag, the White Sox are ready to swoop in and steal Pham away from the Padres.

The Padres are an obvious fit for Pham. Despite Merrill's ascension to the Opening Day roster, the former first-round pick is not an outfielder by trade. Relying on a rookie who's only played a handful of games above A-Ball is a bold strategy for a team with playoff aspirations. Though Merrill may be the real deal, the 20-year-old barely has 200 plate appearances at the Double-A level.

At the moment, the Padres outfield consists of Merrill, Jose Azocar, Jurickson Profar, and Fernando Tatis Jr. Adding Pham would certainly bolster the Friars lineup. Pham hit .256/.328/.446 last season, though his OPS did drop 100 points after being traded from the New York Mets to the D-Backs.

If the numbers line up, it would seem that a reunion with Pham seems quite likely. However, Chicago's most confounding team is ready to pounce if the deal falls through at the last minute.

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