With the Kansas City Royals coming to town for a three-game series against the San Diego Padres beginning on Monday night, is it logical for Padres fans to dream of a trade scenario where All-Star catcher Salvador Perez could end up with San Diego in 2023?
San Diego Padres rumors: How likely might a Salvador Perez trade actually be?
With San Diego catchers combining for minus-0.4 bWAR so far this season (ranking them 23rd out of MLB's 30 teams), it makes sense to view catcher as a position where the Padres could upgrade as the MLB trade deadline draws near.
Perez has been a player that Padres fans have talked about for years, and the 33-year-old catcher is still showing just how valuable of an asset he can be, slashing .301/.346/.552 with nine homers and 23 RBI in 156 plate appearances so far this season. He is in the midst of a four-year, $82 million deal that runs through the 2025 season with a team option for 2026, so moving that contract over to the San Diego payroll would not be an issue.
The issue, however, with any kind of Perez trade involves two key components for the Padres.
First, as a 12-year MLB veteran, as our friends at the Royals site point out here, Perez could veto a move to any other team, giving him control over where he would spend the back half of his career. Would he welcome a change to San Diego, a team that has postseason aspirations in the hope of chasing another ring to go with his 2015 World Series title?
Second, do the Padres have enough draft capital to make a deal with the Royals? Perez will come with a high asking price, and San Diego has spent plenty of prospects in past deals for Josh Hader and Juan Soto, among others. The Padres farm system ranks in the bottom third among all MLB teams after draining it for those trades. With two top 100 prospects remaining (Jackson Merrill and Dylan Lesko), would the Padres entertain the thought of moving one or both of them and, if so, would it be enough for Royals?
Those two key points could make the difference between the dream of Perez joining the Padres and the reality of it actually happening this season.