The Padres were sitting in a pretty comfortable seat while the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline came and went. There weren’t major expectations for this 2019 season, especially after posting a 5-12 record since the All-Star Break.
Going in to the break, San Diego had taken three of four in LA to get back to .500, giving the team a shot at Wild Card contention. Even with the terrible start to the second half, the Padres were sitting pretty at the deadline because they had all the options a team could want.
They could ask for the world in return for their All-Star closer, Kirby Yates. They had a farm system loaded with all kinds of trade chips. They were being talked about around the league as a team with a chance at trading a big prize away, or acquiring one. Seemingly whatever A.J. Preller wanted to do, he could do.
The move the Padres actually did make was one that probably shocked even the most open-minded Padres fan. As part of a three-team trade involving the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, the Padres traded away their larger-than-life 24-year-old slugger Franmil Reyes who was beloved by San Diego fans. Dealt to the Indians with Reyes was 22-year-old lefty Logan Allen who had barely made an impact on the Major League team. In return, the Padres received Cincinnati CF prospect Taylor Trammell, the Reds top prospect.
The job of filling a Major League Baseball roster is a hard one, especially when the team you’re trying to win with is so close to contention. But what Preller did by trading Reyes (and Allen), was show guts on a move that the team almost certainly needed. Reyes was a fun personality and had some exciting moments at the dish in 2019, but he’s a prototypical Designated Hitter and was being put at a corner outfield position with the Padres that he was a liability at. Home Runs can only hide weaknesses for so long, and Reyes was believed to be expendable.
With Hunter Renfroe playing the same character at the opposite corner, and a farm system and current rotation full of young, promising pitchers, getting top prospect at a position of dire need was too good to be true for Preller. Said the GM about the new young outfielder:
“We were looking for somebody that balances out the lineup, looking for somebody that gets on base and can preferably hit from the left side, a guy that’s a two-way player on offense and defense.”
Trammell, who was untouchable when the Padres gauged the Red’s position on him during the off-season, has underperformed at AA which more than likely allowed him to be fall on the trading-block. The Padres believe in his likelihood to bounce back with a new team. Their feeling is that they got a kid with a huge ceiling at a position that has been a question mark all season.
Even after trading away a fan-favorite, this management team deserves the benefit of the doubt. They have a plan in place that might not seem evident to the fans, but they’ve earned our patience and trust with previously successful moves.
So as fans, let’s try to follow the Philadelphia 76ers’ motto and “trust the process.”
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