Awaiting the start of a three-game series between the San Diego Padres and New York Mets at Petco Park on Friday night, plenty of people will compare the two franchises and their missing of high expectations since the start of the season. One MLB insider, however, sees the franchises going in opposite directions as the All-Star break creeps ever closer.
San Diego Padres rumors: Could this be the focus at the MLB trade deadline?
Joining The Darren Smith Show on Thursday afternoon, MLB insider Jim Bowden stated his belief that not only will the Padres be a buyer at the trade deadline, but that they will also make the postseason. It will take some work for that to happen, of course, with the Padres entering Friday's action with a 41-46 mark. However, Bowden is confident the Padres have the star power in the lineup to make it happen.
"You look at the last month, finally the big three superstars (Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Juan Soto) have lived up to expectations," Bowden said. "I kind of feel like this team is turning the corner. I think they've got a huge hot streak in front of them."
With that star power in the lineup, Bowden believes the Padres need to go after depth at the MLB trade deadline.
"My take is that they need to be buyers at the trade deadline without a doubt," Bowden said. "They don't have to go get any more stars. They have all the stars they need. But they need to make sure they at least have an average Major League player at every position. In my opinion, they need to make sure they address the bottom third of the order offensively, and I think they need to address a little more depth in both the bullpen and rotation."
If Bowden's theory holds true, expect the Padres to make a series of minor moves that won't be anywhere closer to the blockbuster deals made at last season's trade deadline. However, those moves will also likely not cost the Padres the amount of prospects they have given up in years past as well, helping strengthen the farm system rather than deplete it.
A.J. Preller did most of his work before the season began to build a talented roster. Now Bowden believes that work will begin to pay off and the upcoming deadline will be about making what is (at least on paper) a strong lineup even stronger.
By the way, Bowden believes the Mets will be sellers at the trade deadline. Could the Padres and Mets make some deals before August 1? The two teams will get a good look at each other this week.