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Padres still shaping Trade Deadline strategy

@AJCassavell
July 10, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- A week ago, the Padres' season was on the brink. They'd been swept at home by the last-place Giants, and they were facing the daunting prospect of four games at Dodger Stadium to finish the first half. But San Diego rallied to win three of four in

SAN DIEGO -- A week ago, the Padres' season was on the brink. They'd been swept at home by the last-place Giants, and they were facing the daunting prospect of four games at Dodger Stadium to finish the first half.

But San Diego rallied to win three of four in Los Angeles, climbing back to .500. It’s the first time the Friars have reached the All-Star Game at that mark or better since 2010.

"We fight," said Padres third baseman Manny Machado. "We're always going to be fighters.”

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Padres will open the second half with legitimate postseason aspirations. They're two games back of a National League Wild Card spot, facing an uphill climb, but it's a stark contrast to where they've spent the past eight years.

Current status: Maybe buyers, maybe sellers
It's hard to peg the Padres as either buyers or sellers. Regardless, there might not be a single general manager with more options than A.J. Preller, who has chips to use in both scenarios.

The Padres boast MLB Pipeline's top-ranked farm system, and they might deal from that depth to acquire a controllable starting-pitching option. But they also have big league trade pieces who will be highly sought after by rival GMs.

What they are seeking
Good players. It's really that simple. More than likely, Preller will entertain offers on the buying and selling side of things. And he's liable to make a move in either direction if he thinks he's getting the right pieces in return.

That said, the Padres could use some help at the front of their rotation. And if they look to sell, they'd be best served acquiring a big league-ready center-field prospect. Offensively, it's the biggest long-term area of need.

What they have to offer
Kirby Yates and Hunter Renfroe have drawn plenty of speculation. But the Padres value both of them pretty highly, and it's probably likelier than not that both are still with San Diego on Aug. 1.

In the Minors, the Padres can deal from the deepest system in the sport. But top pitching prospects like Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino are off-limits.

Possible scenario
The Padres may listen to offers for Renfroe and Yates and then hold firm on both. And instead, they may opt to clear up their crowded outfield by packaging Wil Myers (and his burdensome contract) with a mid-level prospect or two, acquiring some relief help in return. Chances are, they'd have to take on salary.

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