Remaining Padres trade assets that could net them key acquisitions at deadline

The Padres have a group of top prospects that could move this summer.
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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Padres GM AJ Preller has a lot to think about over the next six weeks. The Friars have been hovering around .500 all year, unable to break through and go on an extended run of success.

One of the biggest problems has been the failure of the team's highest-profile names to produce on-field results in line with their paychecks.

Xander Bogaerts is on the shelf with a broken shoulder but was a black hole in the lineup before hitting the IL. Manny Machado hasn't been pulling his weight either, hitting just .256/.317/.382.

On top of that, Joe Musgrove is on the IL with elbow inflammation and Yu Darvish hasn't looked like himself when healthy, leaving Dylan Cease essentially alone atop the rotation.

This group of Padres prospects could return key mid-season acquisitions

The Padres have a handful of top-tier trade assets left in the system that could return the types of players necessary for an extended postseason run. Preller may not want to part with the likes of Ethan Salas or Leo de Vries, but if the right move is out there, it could be the boost this team needs to get over the hump.

Salas is a huge name, ranked No. 5 overall by MLB Pipeline. He's still at least a year away from the majors though, and has not hit well above Low-A. Salas has elite defensive tools that give him a high floor and scouts have raved about his potential at the plate, meaning he should have significant value in the trade market still if the Padres aren't totally sold.

De Vries is a toolsy 17-year-old signed out of the Dominican Republic for $4.2 million earlier this year. He's still young and extremely raw but has already reached No. 79 overall on MLB Pipeline's top 100. It would be a risk for Preller to move De Vries so quickly after signing him, but the young infielder is at least three years away from the majors, if not more.

Preller also has two top pitchers to work with in lefty Robby Snelling and righty Dylan Lesko. The pair was ranked at Nos. 25 and 69 on MLB Pipeline's top 100 list, respectively.

Snelling has had success in the lower levels of the minors, utilizing a sharp curveball and a solid changeup to keep hitters off balance. Lesko has control issues but is still young and has major strikeout upside. His fastball runs into the upper 90s and he boasts a strong curveball and changeup combination that generates a ton of whiffs.

The Pads have already been connected to lefty Garrett Crochet of the White Sox. Crochet is an interesting pitcher, but his lack of track record might mean he isn't the guy Preller wants to give up a top prospect for.

But even outside of Crochet, plenty of pitchers will be available. Jesus Luzardo will probably get traded, as will Jack Flaherty and Luis Severino. As far as hitters go, Preller could decide to move a package of top prospects for Pete Alonso or Luis Robert Jr. to bolster the lineup.

The Padres are good enough to compete in 2024, but need to shore up some of their weaknesses if they want to make a serious run down the stretch. This group of top prospects could help them do so if they can zone in on the right talent to help the team become a contender this year and beyond.

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