Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Inbox: Will Padres deal corner outfielder?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers questions from San Diego fans
October 8, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- Lots to discuss as the Padres head toward the offseason. From the outfield logjam to the wide-open rotation race to the looming 40-man decisions, general manager A.J. Preller has quite a bit to sort out before Spring Training.Let's dive right into your questions on those subjects.:: Submit

SAN DIEGO -- Lots to discuss as the Padres head toward the offseason. From the outfield logjam to the wide-open rotation race to the looming 40-man decisions, general manager A.J. Preller has quite a bit to sort out before Spring Training.
Let's dive right into your questions on those subjects.
:: Submit a question to the Padres Inbox ::
If the Padres determine William Myers isn't a third baseman, what are the odds a corner outfielder is traded, and who is likeliest to be traded?
-- Steven, San Diego

The first part of the question is the important part. The Padres might not be ready to give up on Myers at third base. They feel as though he could greatly benefit from an offseason's worth of work. Myers, after all, only had a couple weeks of pregame drills at the position before he started playing there full time.
That said, his time there wasn't particularly pretty. And if Myers can't play third, there's a pretty good chance the Padres would deal one of their three corner guys -- Myers, Franmil Reyes or Hunter Renfroe. I'd put the odds somewhere between 50-75 percent. Sure, depth is important, but the Padres seem to have plenty of that, with the lefty-hitting Franchy Cordero returning from elbow surgery. With Cordero back, there's probably not much reason to carry three righty-slugging corner outfielders.
So who's likeliest to be traded? I'd put the odds on Renfroe and Myers as relatively even. After Renfroe's breakout season, his value's probably pretty high, and he could easily be part of a package to acquire a top-tier pitcher. It's close, but Reyes is probably the best bet to stay. The Padres are very high on him, and there might be a gulf between their valuation of him and the rest of the league's.
What will the 40-man roster look like on Dec. 4?
-- Rick, La Mesa, Calif.

This probably isn't the space to go man-for-man on the Padres' 40-man roster. But, suffice to say, there will be changes. The club needs to add a handful of prospects to the 40-man by Nov. 30, so they can be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. To do so, there will almost certainly be a few players non-tendered by the Nov. 20 deadline. Here's my best guess at the additions and subtractions:
Who the Padres might add:ProspectsChris Paddack (No. 5), Anderson Espinoza (No. 11) and Austin Allen (No. 25) will be added to the roster, without question. Edward Olivares (No. 28), Pedro Avila (No. 29) might be added, too. I'd guess Michael Gettys, Hansel Rodriguez and Ty France will remain unprotected. There might be a free agent or two signed by then as well.
Who the Padres might subtract: There are a number of candidates to be removed from the roster. Alex Dickerson, who is coming off back surgery, is one. Luis Torrens and Allen Cordoba, former Rule 5 Draft picks, are as well. It's a good bet that one or more of the Padres' utility infielders -- Jose Pirela, Carlos Asuaje or Cory Spangenberg -- will be removed from the 40-man in some way. After that, there are at least three fringe pitchers who could be subtracted.
What surprise pitcher will make the rotation next year?
-- Kevin, Escondido, Calif.

I wouldn't count on any Opening Day rotation surprises next year -- barring a major trade. But we could easily see something similar to 2018, when Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi arrived well ahead of schedule. No. 8 prospect Logan Allen fits a similar mold, and don't be surprised if he's pitching in San Diego early next season.
Discounting Allen's arrival, it's doubtful we see a surprise. Matt Strahm, who will look to transition to a starting role after an excellent season in the 'pen, doesn't qualify. I'd guess Lauer, Lucchesi and Strahm are the early favorites.
After that, it's probably a competition for two places from among Jacob Nix, Brett Kennedy, Robbie Erlin, Clayton Richard, Bryan Mitchell and any other starters the Padres might sign in free agency.
Which catcher is out?
-- @SonnyPhono

A.J. Ellis.
Look, I know this question was referring to Austin Hedges vs. Francisco Mejia. But at this point, I'd guess they will both be with San Diego come Spring Training. Good young catchers are very hard to find. The Padres feel as though they have two of them. They're not going to trade one unless they're blown away by an offer.
There's a way to find time for both -- especially if an outfielder is dealt and Mejia transitions to a corner-outfield spot, part-time. In that case, Hedges could play 110 games or so behind the plate, and Mejia could play the rest, while also getting time in left field as well.
So, yeah, as things stand, A.J. Ellis -- a pending free agent -- is probably the only catcher out.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.