Five roster weaknesses the Padres must address at the 2022 trade deadline


Alfaro Rogers
Jul 23, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitcher Taylor Rodgers (17) celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With the San Diego Padres dedicated to winning a championship, the Padres’ trade deadline is shaping up to be a busy one.

The Padres trade rumors in 2022 are already starting to heat up, especially since San Diego dropped off a little in late June and early July. In other words, they’re going to need some help and make some moves at the trade deadline to remain serious contenders.

Padres trade deadline 2022

With that in mind, what will the Padres’ trade deadline look like? Who will be the Padres’ trade targets and will they be able to land one of the top trade candidates available on the trade market?

Based on some of the Padres trade rumors in 2022, let’s take a closer look at San Diego’s top needs and the most likely Padres trade targets at the MLB trade deadline.

Outfield

Overall, the Padres have to be a little disappointed with the production from their outfield this year. Wil Myers was having a dreadful season before going on the IL. Meanwhile, Trent Grisham continues to struggle offensively despite being an elite defensive center fielder.

Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara have provided a little bit of a lift, but the Padres have to think that they can do better.

With Juan Soto coming onto the trade market, the Padres’ trade deadline just got a lot more interesting, as they are considered one of the early favorites to land him. But even if the Soto news amounts to nothing, there are other options available.

Arizona’s David Peralta would provide a little more pop and a veteran hitter in the lineup. Oakland’s Ramon Laureano would give the Padres more balance between offense and defense in center field. San Diego should also consider Joey Gallo and Miguel Andujar, both of whom the Yankees would be willing to trade and would add immediate power to San Diego’s lineup.


Designated Hitter

With Fernando Tatis Jr. still working his way back from injury, the Padres have had to rely too much on Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth. That could push them to make an upgrade at the DH spot. Luke Voit has gotten most of his at-bats as a DH this year but hasn’t produced at the level a contending team expects from a full-time DH.

That opens the door for San Diego to make a trade while still getting Voit at-bats at first base.

Veteran slugger Nelson Cruz is the most obvious option on the trade market for a team looking for a DH. Washington’s Josh Bell would also fit that profile, although he can play a little bit of first base as well. Likewise, Andujar and Gallo also fit the profile of hitters who would work well if most of their at-bats came in a DH role, so the Padres have some options if they want to upgrade at that position.

Bullpen

Like any other contending team, the Padres need to be on the lookout at the trade deadline for bullpen upgrades. San Diego should feel somewhat secure with the likes of Taylor Rogers, Luis Garcia, and Nabil Crismatt at the back end of the bullpen. But the Padres could use a little more depth, especially with some of their veteran relievers on the shelf.

If it’s experienced pitchers the Padres want in their bullpen, there’s nobody better than David Robertson of the Cubs. He would be a good addition to any contending team at the deadline.

Of course, the Padres could benefit from another lefty in the bullpen, in which case Andrew Chafin and Gregory Soto of the Tigers would both be ideal options, as would Arizona’s Joe Mantiply.

Finally, Pittsburgh’s David Bednar has become a popular name if the Padres were willing to spend a little more on bullpen help while Steve Cishek, Alex Colome, and Daniel Bard would all be rental options.

Utility Infielder

With the status of Tatis still up in the air, it wouldn’t hurt the Padres to add some infield depth. They’ve gotten by with Ha-Seong Kim and C.J. Abrams as their shortstops, but it wouldn’t hurt to add another option. There’s no guarantee how Tatis will respond when he gets back, which is why the Padres might want to hedge their bets and bring in a veteran middle infielder who can serve as insurance.

As a utility infielder, Brandon Drury is the best option available, although he’s not the best defensive option at shortstop.

His Cincinnati teammate Donovan Solano is more capable of playing shortstop and has also had a strong offensive season with the Reds. However, the market for bonafide shortstops is a little light this summer, so the Padres might have to get creative to find the right infielder.

Rotation

At the moment, few would consider the San Diego rotation an area of need. The Padres have used a six-man rotation for much of the season with seven different pitchers getting most of the starts. However, if the Padres fancy themselves as a championship contender, they may want to upgrade the top of their rotation to give them a third frontline starter to complement Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish.

If the Padres aren’t sure that Sean Manaea, Blake Snell, or Mike Clevinger can perform at that level in September and October, they may consider an upgrade.

Of course, Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo is the best place to find a rotation upgrade this summer. Naturally, Castillo is going to be in demand and will command a high price.

Frankie Montas and Tyler Mahle are the next best options among starting pitchers. However, it’s debatable whether any starter but Castillo would be a true upgrade over the starters currently occupying the back-end of San Diego’s rotation, which is why there’s no guarantee the Padres will trade for a starter before the deadline.





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Jul 23, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitcher Taylor Rodgers (17) celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports With the San Diego Padres dedicated to winning a championship, the Padres’ trade deadline is shaping up to be…