MLB's All-Star break has arrived, and with it comes the need for the San Diego Padres to begin formulating and ultimately implementing their trade deadline strategy.
It's unclear if the club will buy, sell or execute a combination of both ahead of the coveted August 1 target date, but we at least have some insight regarding fan opinion on the matter. This comes courtesy of a recent poll conducted by MLB Trade Rumors, which asked fans to vote on which direction San Diego should take this summer.
San Diego Padres rumors: Simple majority of fans believe the team should do a mix of buying and selling to maximize 2024 odds
Just over 50% of poll respondents believed the Padres should engage in a mix of buying and selling in order to increase the team's odds of winning in 2024. And we tend to agree with this sentiment.
To be clear, the book isn't yet closed on the 2023 campaign for San Diego, even as they sit under .500 entering the second half of the season. Entering the final game of the first half, the Padres' playoff odds sat at 27.4%, per FanGraphs. The team also closes out the first half with a positive run differential, which is a good sign despite underachieving. Therefore, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect better second half baseball from the Padres.
All scenarios must be considered, however, including the distinct possibility that this team misses the playoffs in 2023. That's precisely why splashing around in the rental market should be off the table for the Padres this summer.
On the flip side, San Diego is far too talented to be completely dismissed, so acquiring controllable players might be one approach to salvaging any remaining hopes of contention this year, while also setting the stage to come back stronger in 2024. This strategy appears to be what Padres fans believe is best for the team as well.
As the season's second half kicks off Friday with a 2022 NLCS rematch against the Phillies in Philadelphia, let the Padres trade rumors and intrigue commence in earnest.