San Diego Padres rumors: The biggest issue with the Padres being trade deadline buyers

San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With the San Diego Padres entering Monday's play a game under .500 after winning seven of their last 10 games, there is a growing sense that the Padres are becoming the team most thought they would be before the season began.

However, there is still plenty of work left to do if the Padres not only want to challenge for a postseason spot, but also make it back to the World Series for the first time since 1998.

Part of that work will come at the upcoming MLB trade deadline, where general manager A.J. Preller has pulled off some stunning moves in the past, including last season's overhaul that included Josh Hader and Juan Soto. But will the Padres be able to pull off something as shocking in 2023 ... or do they even need to?

San Diego Padres rumors: Does franchise have enough capital to make big trades?

There will certainly be plenty of big names on the market today that could make an impact for the Padres if they were acquired, but some are already out of San Diego's price range or are likely just pipe dreams anyway. However, it's worth asking this question: If the Padres are in the running for a player, do they have enough assets to land that player in a trade? Or, if a bidding war breaks out, will the Padres have the necessary trade chips to outmaneuver other teams?

San Diego's farm system has been ravaged by recent trades and was ranked 23rd out of MLB's 30 teams in the preseason. Those prospects that helped boost the Padres up to that number are likely untouchable (Ethan Salas and Jackson Merrill) or still working their way back from injury (Dylan Lesko). Outside of that, there isn't much that might serve as a cornerstone for a roster-changing trade.

And would the Padres consider trading away some of the players currenty on their MLB roster to make a deal happen? Perhaps it's too early to answer that question as the team just seems to be coming together from a chemistry standpoint. Would Preller and company shake that up and bring in a new face?

Still roughly six weeks ahead of the MLB trade deadline, there are plenty of chapters left to write in the first-half story of the San Diego Padres. However, when looking ahead at what potentially can be done, the answer may well be determined by what the Padres have spent in the past.