They’re in the pennant race, either a player, or holding on for dear life.
The Padres have seemingly figured out their offense.
They have so many unknowns with health issues with their pitchers.
They don’t have anything close to being ready to help them at El Paso.
So what are they going to do as we march towards the trading deadline?
There are pitchers out there to go get, but with a 2nd wildcard playoff slot there for the grabbing, plenty of teams are still holding out hope they could play their way into a wildcard spot, so why tamper with your rotation?
GM AJ Preller has enough depth in the bullpen, so adding an arm there is not as big a demand as finding an ‘innings starter’ for the back of the rotation. Someone you can trust to send out there, someone who might be an insurance policy if things worsen with the likes of Dinelson Lamet or Drew Pomeranz.
There are a wide variety of veteran starters he might make calls on. He has to decide on what ‘currency’ he has left he can trade from lower minors, considering how many prospects he used in the wide variety of deals in the past.
Here’s a look at what might be there at an affordable price:
KENTA MAEDA…Minnesota is having an awful season, and he is just off the disabled list, but there’s no doubt as to the quality of starter he still is. The price-tag would be a true prospect, not just a player to be named later. Worth a call.
LUIS CASTILLO…A front end rotation guy with the Reds, who seem in sell mode, he would be solid mid-rotation starter, but then again, you have to give to get.
JON LESTER…This might be a deep dive but Washington’s season is over, and he is on a 1-year deal with the Nationals. A trusted veteran, a fierce competitor, with alot of miles on him, but with an affordable contract, this could be a steal of a deal.
DANNY DUFFY…A soon to be free agent, who has fought thru injuries, he could be a short term rental from Kansas City with the hope he could be what he used to be.
ADAM WAINWRIGHT…An awful season in St-Louis where the Cardinals seem to be ready to start a rebuild, but would they trade away a pitching icon who has spent his entire career there.
CARLOS MARTINEZ…Once viewed as an ace, he has just not been the same pitcher with all his shoulder issues. Would not come cheap, but might be part of a sweeping away of that Cardinals roster
JON GRAY…This is really a reach, but free agency is looming in Colorado, where they have traded away an awful lot of talent. Deal within the division? Maybe, if it gets you to the NLCS or World Series. What’s the area code in Denver?
DYLAN BUNDY…Once upon a time viewed as the ace of the Orioles staff, he hasn’t found any consistency with the Angels . Scouts watching him have to weigh in on any value he might have. Too many home run balls.
ALEX COBB…A solid young pitcher in Tampa, then sidetracked with injuries in Baltimore, and much the same in Anaheim. Still seems to be upside with him, but you wonder about health risks. Area code in Anaheim is 714.
JULIO TEHERAN…Once a front of rotation guy in Atlanta, then got hurt, failed in Anaheim, now hanging on in a different role in Detroit. Anything possible with a new lease on life.
TREVOR CAHILL…Big old innings eater, now with Pirates. Was here for one year and is solid fit for back of rotation, would come cheap and as a 5th starter would bring some stability.
IAN KENNEDY…Has become journeyman starter-turned-reliever with Royals and Texas. Could you flip back into the back end of the rotation and get any value from him?
MICHAEL FULMER…Once a promising prospect in Detroit, health and losses have taken a toll on him, but Detroit might give up.
VINCENT VELASQUEZ…The same story in Philadelphia where injuries robbed him of potential stardom but a change of address might help him.
You always wonder what if? What if the Padres had not traded Joey Lucchesi-Eric Lauer-Zach Davies-Cal Qunatrill-Logan Allen-Rob Erlin amongst others? No interest in some journeyman on the waiver wire recently like Wade LeBlanc-Jhoulys Chacin-Felix Hernandez? What if? Would they be in this corner right now?
The Padres are on the clock, with the big question being: A year ago we thought they had such amazing pitching depth. Now thru all these surgeries and the past player deals, that depth is gone. The clock is ticking.
Can the Padres stay hot and stay a player, or do they have to do something to become that hot team again, the second half of the summer, or do they need to be a player in the trade market to remain a player in the pennant race?.