While serious talks have yet to occur, the Padres are evaluating Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd as a trade possibility, sources said this week.
The Padres are working to acquire a controllable starting pitcher, either before the July 31 Trade Deadline, or in the coming offseason. They’ve also inquired to the Mets about right-hander Noah Syndergaard, sources say.
Boyd, 28, is in the midst of a career year, with a 3.87 ERA over 107 innings. His 7.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the best in the American League, and he’s tied for sixth in the Majors with 142 strikeouts.
The Tigers are under little pressure to move Boyd this month, since he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. Yet, that duration of team control makes Boyd appealing to many suitors -- including those, like the Padres, who aren’t closely contending for a division title this year. Accordingly, a trade of Boyd represents the Tigers’ best opportunity to obtain multiple high-end players this month.
The Padres are known for their quantity and quality of young starting pitchers. The same is gradually becoming true of the Tigers, who prefer to acquire at least one potential All-Star position player if they move Boyd. In that sense, a trade fit between the clubs isn’t obvious at first glance.
However, the sides could find common ground on a proposal that sends a Major League position player from San Diego to Detroit as part of the deal. Hunter Renfroe or Franmil Reyes, both of whom are under control for longer than Boyd, would address the lack of power among the Tigers’ projected outfielders for 2020 and beyond.
If the Padres balk at parting with Renfroe or Reyes, for fear of weakening their 2019 lineup during a possible National League Wild Card race, the Tigers could include right fielder Nicholas Castellanos as part of a larger deal involving additional prospects from the Padres' farm system.
Castellanos, who will be a free agent after this season, has an .810 OPS along with an AL-leading 29 doubles.