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3 San Diego Padres trades to boost World Series odds

The San Diego Padres entered the season with high expectations and as the MLB trade deadline approaches a few moves need to be made for this team to compete for the World Series.

Injuries have been a familiar theme in MLB this season. For the Padres, starters Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Dinelson Lamet are on the injured list. A team that had one of MLB’s best rotations now finds itself facing significant questions. There are also ways to improve the Padres’ lineup, especially at first base.

With that in mind, let’s examine three potential trades for the Padres before July 30.

Joey Gallo traded to San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres, Joey Gallo
Jul 12, 2021; Denver, CO, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Joey Gallo reacts during the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the San Diego Padres want Joey Gallo. Both the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported the club’s desire to acquire the All-Star slugger. However, at least for right now, the Texas Rangers are setting a price that is difficult to meet. It should dip as the trade deadline draws closer.

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  • San Diego Padres trade: INF Tucupita Marcano (SD’s No. 5 prospect), RHP Reggie Lawson (SD’s No. 7 prospect), RHP Brayan Medina (SD’s No. 14 prospect)
  • Texas Rangers trade: Joey Gallo

In terms of where Gallo plays for the Padres, there are two options. If San Diego is still determined to try and make it work with Eric Hosmer, Gallo slides into right field and provides both a fielding and offensive upgrade over Wil Myers. The best option, Hosmer gets pushed to the bench.

Gallo is the prototypical three-outcome player, but we’ve seen a change since MLB banned pitchers from using foreign substances. From June 8 – July 7, Gallo owns a stellar .313/.482/.821 slash line with a 239 wRC+, 14 home runs and a 29/27 K/BB ratio. Under team control until 2023, Gallo is the final piece San Diego’s lineup needs.

Andrew Haney adds to rotation

San Diego Padres, Padres trades
Jun 15, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (28) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, Andrew Heaney might seem like a trade candidate to avoid. A half-season rental with a 5.38 ERA this season and a worrisome 1.35 WHIP, there are a few better options on the market. But general manager A.J. Preller will see talent that can be unlocked.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Padres, check out #Padres rumors, rankings, and news here.

The 6-foot-2 southpaw ranks in the 76th percentile for strikeout rate (28.55), 92nd percentile for chase rate and 88th percentile for fastball spin. Paired with a 12.9% swinging-strike rate and 4.14 FIP, it’s evident that Heaney is a lot more than his standard stats show.

  • San Diego Padres acquire: Andrew Heaney
  • Los Angeles Angels acquire: RHP Anderson Espinoza (SD’s No. 11 prospect), INF Jorge Mateo

Heaney can step in as San Diego’s No. 5 starter, working through five innings and keeping games closer. There’s upside for even more, as demonstrated in his underlying data. There’s a chance he could even operate as the fourth starter in a postseason rotation.

San Diego Padres acquire José Berríos

San Diego Padres
Jun 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) reacts after missing the tag at first base on Kansas City Royals center fielder Michael A. Taylor (2) (not pictured) in the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Preller certainly isn’t afraid of making an aggressive move and acquiring Gallo would fit that criteria. But with Snell struggling even when healthy and Darvish dealing with a hip injury, it’s fair to wonder how many starters the Padres can trust in the playoffs.

  • San Diego Padres trade: RHP Chris Paddack, RHP Carlos Guarate (SD’s No. 30 prospect)
  • Minnesota Twins trade: José Berrios, Hansel Robles

Berrios, under contract control through 2022, would be an outstanding addition for San Diego. The 27-year-old brings postseason experience and continues demonstrating why he can be a starter near the front of a rotation. Plus, unlike many arms in the Padres’ rotation, you can count on him to stay healthy.

Trading Chris Paddack is a risk, especially since he’s under contract through 2025.. But Berríos helps this team significantly more in 2021 and would create a rotation featuring Darvish, Snell, Berrios, Joe Musgrove and Mike Clevinger next season.