It’s no coincidence that the Padres have gone from being one of the worst teams in the majors to being a serious contender in such a short period of time. For the last few years, they’ve been extra aggressive on the free-agent market, landing players like Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado. But now it’s time for the Padres to get aggressive at the 2021 MLB trade deadline. There are plenty of Padres trade rumors swirling out there, and for good reason.
San Diego is in a three-way race in the NL West with the Dodgers and Giants. The Padres know that if they don’t win the division, they’ll have to play a one-game Wild Card that could eliminate them from the postseason. Thus, several Padres trade targets are being lined up with the club perhaps considering a big move before the 2021 MLB trade deadline.
Padres trade rumors
San Diego’s top priority heading into the deadline will likely be the starting rotation.
The issue isn’t at the top but rather the depth of the rotation. Blake Snell hasn’t looked like a former Cy Young winner while Chris Paddack has also underperformed this season. On top of that, both Dinelson Lamet and Ryan Weathers are currently on the IL, and so the Padres’ trade targets are likely to be pitchers who can round out their rotation.
Eric Hosmer hit .172 with a .456 OPS in 94 PAs last month.
He is batting .425 with a 1.055 OPS in 43 plate appearances in July.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) July 17, 2021
At the same time, there are Padres trade rumors related to the team bringing in another middle-of-the-order hitter. The Padres have been a little disappointed this season with the performance of Hosmer and fellow veteran Wil Myers. Neither is having a terrible season, but at the same time, neither has lived up to expectations. Also, the Padres have received little offensive production from the catcher position with Austin Nola being limited to 18 games due to injury.
Padres trade targets
On the pitching front, there are two directions the Padres could go. If they want to shop at the top of the market, Kyle Gibson of the Rangers or Jose Berrios of the Twins could be their top targets. Both are considered frontline starters who would complement Yu Darvish at the top of the rotation and help make up for the fact that Snell is having a subpar season. Both pitchers are under contract for next season as well, which gives the Padres even more reason to trade for either pitcher, knowing that they will be set up to contend again in 2022.
On the other hand, San Diego could prefer a back-end starter who can just help them fill out their rotation.
This would make sense for the Padres if they are expecting Lamet and Weathers to return before the end of the season. In this scenario, it would be easier to make a trade for a pitcher like Andrew Heaney of the Angels or Tyler Anderson of the Pirates.
Joey Gallo's arm is ridiculous 😳
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) July 20, 2021
When it comes to position players, Joey Gallo is the name that keeps coming up in Padres trade rumors. Gallo, as most people know, has massive amounts of power, making him a great fit for the middle of the order between the likes of Machado and Fernando Tatis.
Gallo can also play multiple positions, including all three outfield spots and both corner infield positions. He could give the Padres the flexibility to move some pieces around based on injuries and what players are slumping. The only catch is that the price for Gallo will be steep, especially since San Diego won’t be the only team that’s interested in him.