SAN DIEGO -- For the first time in at least half a decade, the Padres have some legitimate Major League rotation depth. Three rookie starting pitchers are presently making an impact in San Diego, with more young arms on the way.
"It's the most upside, from a talent perspective, that we've had in the rotation," said manager Andy Green, currently in his fourth season at the helm.
That rotation depth will shape the Trade Deadline thought process of Padres general manager A.J. Preller. By all accounts, Preller is open to adding a controllable starting pitcher. But he certainly isn't committed to it.
Yes, San Diego is actively looking to improve its rotation, sources said. But there is no sense of urgency to do so, given the long-term potential of the in-house options. If the Padres don't line up on a deal for a starting pitcher, they happily would proceed with what they’ve got.
Still, that's precisely the type of player the Padres are searching for -- a controllable piece who could impact the club both this season and well into the future. (That mindset just as readily applies on the position-player market.)
The Padres are sitting pretty right now, because they have options. With one of the sport's deepest farm systems, they have enough prospect capital to acquire a starter. But the rotation seems stable in the long run, even without an addition.
"You have to have that depth in the long run," Green said. "Guys aren't going to be able to take the ball 30-plus times a year. It just doesn't happen where everybody can do that. There are always injuries. You have to have seven or eight guys."
That doesn't mean Preller will stand pat this month. The Padres are lingering on the fringes of the National League Wild Card race, and their performance over the next couple weeks might shape their Deadline mindset.
With the league’s youngest rotation, the Padres have still managed a 4.41 starters ERA this season, which ranks 14th in the Majors. Would they benefit from adding a front-line starter? Absolutely. Do they need one? Their answer is no.
In his search for rotation help, Preller, it seems, is holding all the cards.