Yesterday I wrote about the perceived trade value of three pitchers the Padres have already traded. Let’s just say it didn’t lock up the Padres Public servers. So, today, I thought I’d take a more conventional approach and discuss the relative trade value of the players still on the Padres roster.
I put everybody into made-up tiers.
Tier 1 is for primo guys. Andrew Miller‘s a tier 1 guy. Brad Hand isn’t, at least not unless he grows out the beard, steals some of Miller’s mojo, and hires Jeff Sullivan as his agent. In fact, the Padres don’t have any tier 1 players. (By the way, I didn’t consider young, unlikely-to-be-traded players like Manuel Margot in this exercise.)
Tier 2 is for good, solid trade chips. These are players that a bunch of teams are genuinely interested in, even if they lack some tier 1 mojo.
Tier 3 is for guys who aren’t good enough for tier 2. There’s some trade value here, but not a whole lot of it.
Tier 4 is for players who have little (or no) trade value.
Here we go.
Give Hand credit, though. Since that lousy four-run outing back on June 10th against the Royals, he hasn’t allowed a single run. Over his last 17 1/3 innings, he’s struck out 21 and walked two, lowering his ERA a full run in the process. With all the pressure of an inevitable trade looming, Hand has been brilliant. And as much as teams are really smart, yada yada, I still have this feeling that they’re heavily swayed by small sample performance leading up to the deadline. It’s just human nature. If the last look you get on a guy is him striking out the side, you really start to believe he’s Andrew Miller. If he gets hit hard, suddenly he’s Brad Hand again, that guy you had hardly heard of a year ago.
Wil Myers—I considered leaving Myers off this entirely, but I think there’s a small, outside chance the Padres deal him.
What Myers has going for him is team control, solid performance, and prospect pedigree. What’s going against him is the backend of his contract, which gets pricey in a hurry, (just) solid performance, and prospect pedigree that’s disappearing in the rearview mirror by the day. Further, Myers has lost all defensive value after moving to the far right side of the defensive spectrum and proving, so far, to be just a so-so defensive first baseman.
Look, Myers is still a fine ball player, and he’s been ultra consistent outside of the month-by-month inconsistency. He’s had basically the same offensive value over each of the last three seasons, and he’s still got three years left in his twenties. Some team would be glad to take a flyer on Myers, I’m just not sure now is the time to deal him. Position players just don’t seem to garner as much interest in-season as pitchers, for one because most good teams have spots like first base covered (and, ahem, you can never have enough pitcher). Sure, the Red Sox could use a first baseman, but apparently Dave Dombrowski and Co. and still fuming over last year’s trade that netted them a solid mid-rotation starter for a currently injured pitching prospect.
If Myers is dealt, it’ll probably be in the offseason, but there’s still a good chance the Padres try to stick with him through the rebuild.
Yangervis Solarte—There are tiers within the tiers, you know. Hand, for instance, he’s a rock-solid tier 2 guy; he may even be a high tier 2 guy if his next couple of appearances go swell. Solarte hovers somewhere between tier 2 and tier 3, but we’re rounding up here.
On the plus side, he’s been a fine hitter with some positional flexibility, and he’s under control through 2020 on a very reasonable contract. On the down side, his trade value is dinged some by a poorly-timed oblique injury, from which he hasn’t yet returned, and he doesn’t really possess the fringe skills a contender may be looking for, like outstanding defense or base running.
Solarte’s a good story, and it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing to see him stick around for a while. Like Myers, if he’s dealt it’s probably in the offseason, although those pesky Red Sox just traded for a similar player on Tuesday in Eduardo Nunez, perhaps spurring another team to take an interest in Solarte.
Jhoulys Chacin—Chacin has eight quality starts in his last 10 outings, and in the two in which he didn’t register a QS he pitched 10 2/3 innings and allowed just two runs. That’s how you pitch yourself on to a contender. Chacin is no sure thing, but you can envision him hanging around the back of some team’s rotation for a playoff chase. Last year, due to injuries, the Indians ran out Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin in three different playoff series, and Chacin is as good or better than either of those guys. I don’t think he’ll return a whole lot, but there will likely be at least one team willing to give up a halfway decent prospect (or two) for him.
Kirby Yates—Yates got the full article treatment earlier this week, so like Hand, I won’t ramble on too long here. The main thing that prevents Yates from sniffing tier 2 is the lack of good performance. It’s really just been this year, for 33 1/3 innings, with some sporadic signs of life back with Tampa Bay and New York. Still, the peripherals are excellent this season, and there’s always going to be some level of interest in a guy whiffing nearly 14 per nine.
My guess is that the Padres hold on to Yates until possibly next July, hope he continues to dominate, like Hand, and cash in then. Worst case, Yates collapses and the Padres miss out on the low-level prospect they could have gotten this month.
Cory Spangenberg—I almost put Spangenberg in the “young, unlikely-to-be-traded” bucket, but the man is 26 years old. I don’t think he’ll be traded because he’s kind of at a weird point in his career, and I’m not sure anyone knows exactly what he is. If a team really wanted him, however, and the Padres could get the prospects they wanted with him involved, hey, it could happen.
Ryan Schimpf—I’m a noted Schimpf defender, but sheesh, this guy’s not bad. He has a .297 TAv is nearly a full season’s worth of big-league work, and he hasn’t cratered at Triple-A after a disappointing demotion. The Padres pretty clearly favor others over him, but he could fit in on the bench of any team in need of infield pop or a TTO heartthrob.
Matt Szczur/Jose Pirela—Szczur is probably stretched as a starter on a good team, but he’s a solid fourth outfielder. He’s played really well this season, in limited playing time, with 22 walks to 23 whiffs plus a .300 TAv. Nice season and a decent profile, but remember the Padres got him for Justin Hancock back in May. It’s hard to believe a team would give up that much more after 127 plate appearances.
Same thing with Pirela. He offers a hot bat, some positional flexibility, and not a whole lot more. He’d work well on a contender in a bench role. Either of these guys could crash tier 3 with a bonkers weekend.
Jabari Blash—The Blashwagon rides again. It’s fun to watch Blash’s (small sample) offensive resurgence. He still strikes out a bunch, but his K rate is down 10 percentage points compared to last year, and it’s to the point where it could work, especially considering the walks and power. The minor-league numbers offer hope for more, too, providing something to believe in beyond 26 big-league games. Tier 3 awaits.
Hector Sanchez—Well, we know why Sanchez struggled with the bat all those years with the Giants. Because—wait for it—he never got to face the Giants. Sanchez already has seven home runs, which is more than double his previous career-high. There’s a reek of oncoming regression in his stat line, but hey, he’s played well. Actually, his offensive profile might be good enough for a team to take a chance on in a backup role. Tier 3 has a long waiting list, though, and there’s only five days until the deadline. (Plus, the subpar defense limits the value here.)
Clayton Richard—Why is there a whole tier between Chacin and Richard? (Why are you always asking me weird questions?)
Since the start of 2016, Chacin has a 102 cFIP and a 4.44 DRA (that cFIP is slightly below average, the DRA slightly above). Richard’s at 104 with cFIP, which is fine, but he’s rolling with a 5.84 DRA. This year, Richard’s DRA is 6.22, his worst mark since 2013, and over his career it sits at an ugly 5.44. The ground balls are nice, but there’s just too much hard contact with Richard, and he’d probably only work on a contender as a reliever, like he did last year (briefly) with the Cubs. Even then, you’re
kind of pushing the envelope with Richard, at this point, so I’d guess most contenders will pass if the asking price is more than a pair of lightly used fungoes.
Craig Stammen—Speaking of DRA, Stammen’s is at 3.98 this year, which is pretty good. He’s actually been a solid performer since converting to a full-time reliever back in 2011. Then again, he only pitched four total innings between 2015 and 2016, and he’s allowed 11 home runs in 52 1/3 innings this season. There might be something here, but not every reliever working on a decent season can net a notable return.