“The Padres–They Are A Player”
You roll the dice this time of the year, if you think you are close to being a true playoff team.
You spend a little extra, pay a bit of a price, if you think you can go deep in postseason play.
The Padres are now, what they have not been for a decade or so, a player in postseason.
The Monday trading deadline is upon us, and the Friars have made two deals for short term help, that could drive them deep into October.
They gave up young talent to do the deal, but if you believe, and I know they believe, they have enough young talent still in the farm system, then you make these short term upgrades, and don’t worry about what is being traded away.
In the final hours before the deadline, will they overspend, strip the system to go get another pitching ace.
Still to come…seeing what happens with the Padres in the middle of a bidding war with Atlanta, the White Sox and Dodgers, all chasing Indians top pitcher Mike Clevinger.
What they have already done will have impact immediately, and there’s only 24-games left in this pennant race.
The Padres have traded for Kansas City Royals closer Trevor Rosenthal, the former bullpen ace of the Cardinals. He has a (3.29-ERA), has been clocked at 100mph this season coming off elbow surgery, and seems to be the same pitcher he was when he rang up 45-and-48 saves in two banner years in St Louis, though that was in 2014-15.
The price was highly regarded minor leaguer Edward Olivares, who was hitting just (.179) with San Diego, though that is a small sample size in this shortened season, coming off good minor league seasons.
Rosenthal comes in to give the Friars added help to Drew Pomeranz and Matt Strahm. The loss of Kirby Yates and the erosion of Craig Stammen has hurt what was supposed to be the Friars strength. As of Sunday, the bullpen had a (5.24-ERA).
San Diego still have Taylor Trammell and Jorge Ona as hot prospects in the minor leagues for future delivery.
Then they went out to rent veteran 1B-DH-Mitch Moreland, having a strong (.311-11HR) season with the lowly Red Sox. He is an 11-year veteran and a clubhouse leader, who will likely be a better DH than Ty France or anyone else.
The price tag was highly regarded Hudson Potts, a former high draft pick, who was a 3rd baseman and could play second. But the Friars have Manny Machado and have discovered Jake Cronenworth’s second base talents. They also have a plethora of multi position infielders waiting in the mid to low minors.
You have to ‘give to get’ , and that’s why these deals make sense.
Chasing the Angels catcher Juan Castro, good glove, with some pop would make sense if the lingering thumb injury to Francisco Mejia keeps him out. Mejia has had a poor season, with flaws still in his game. It’s evident the team is giving up on Luis Torrens. But understand, Luis Campusano is a phone call away and maybe the catcher of the future.
The price was young reliever Gerardo Reyes, but then again look at the list of arms who can come out of the bullpen today and a year from today.
What all this means is San Diego, not only wants to be in the playoffs in October, they think they can put together the firepower that can stand in there and slug with the Dodgers and Cubs, both of whom have deep batting orders and veteran pitching.
The Padres may be ready to admit not all the young pitchers are ready to win in a 1st place pennant race, but if this team continues to hit home-runs, this team might be able to go a couple of rounds deep into postseason.
This lineup gives you a chance, to do just that.
Historically, AJ Preller spent truckloads of money to sign all these draft pick and Latin free agent players. Not many of the prospects have panned out at the major league level yet. But being so close because of some of his past trades, the arrival of Fernando Tatis, and the suddenly strong short seasons from Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, means this team is dangerous.
Adding another bat, picking up a proven healthy reliever, gives Jayce Tingler more bullets in the gun to go fight the postseason fight beginning in a couple of weeks.
They’re hot (21-15). They believe. They have a definite chance to be a scary team to matchup with. The Dodgers and Cubs will soon find that out.
The Padres….they are a player now.