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3 San Diego Padres trade scenarios to strengthen World Series odds

Vincent Frank

The San Diego Padres continue to stuggle late in innings with closer Taylor Rogers proving to be entirely inconsistent.

This has San Diego at 55-45 on the season and 11 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. With that said, Bob Melvin’s squad is firmly holding on to Wild Card positioning with exactly 62 games remaining in the regular season.

The expectation here is that San Diego will be active ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline. Led by general manager A.J. Preller, this team is typically not afraid to make in-season moves. That could include acquiring one of the biggest stars in the game. Below, we look at three ideal San Diego Padres trade scenarios to up their World Series odds.

Related: Updated MLB trade rumors

San Diego Padres acquire Ramon Laureano, Zach Jackson

san diego padres trade for ramon laureano
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to struggles late in games, the Padres have had issues in both center and left field thus far this season. Left fielder Jurickson Profar is hitting .239 on the campaign. Manning center, Trent Grisham has posted a .188 average with a .623 OPS.

Laureano would be a major upgrade over the these two players, both from a hitting and fielding standpoint.

  • Ramon Laureano stats (2021): .227 average, 10 HR, 22 RBI, 9 SB, .712 OPS

Laureano, 28, has one of the top arms in the game and covers a whole lot of field. He can play all three outfield positions, too. As for Jackson, the veteran is in the midst of a rebound performance — pitching to a 2.77 ERA with 55 strikesouts in 39 innings. He’d add depth the Friars’ pen.

  • San Diego Padres trade: Eguy Rosario, MacKenzie Gore
  • Oakland Athletics trade: Ramon Laureano, Zach Jackson

On the surface, giving up a former top prospect in Gore wouldn’t make much sense. But it does fit with the value in this trade simulator. Gore has had his stuggles in the recent past, leading to him heading into the 2022 season as MLB’s No. 86 prospect after being sixth on that list last year.

From Oakland’s perspective, adding a MLB-ready arm to the mix would be a coup. This team is nowhere near contention. It needs young anchors. As for Rosario, he could immediately help the A’s infield. The 22-year-old infielder is hitting .277 with 14 homers and 57 RBI in Triple-A El-Paso. He’s San Diego’s fifth-ranked prospect.

Related: San Diego Padres standing in our latest MLB power rankings

San Diego Padres trade for two Detroit Tigers relievers

san diego padres trade for gregory soto
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen remains a huge issues for the Padres. Over the course of the past 22 games, Taylor Rogers has pitched to an 8.14 ERA while blowing six saves. That’s just not going to cut it for a team that fancies itself as a legit World Series contender.

Meanwhile, the likes of Tim Hill (1.32 WHIP), Steven Wilson (4.20 ERA) and Luis Garcia (1.30 WHIP) have been darn inconsistent. Enter into the equation a four-player swap with a Detoit Tigers team that boasts a ton of bullpen arms and appears to be in fire sale mode.

  • San Diego Padres trade: Jackson Merrill, Esteur Ruiz
  • Detroit Tigers trade: Gregory Soto, Andrew Chafin

This deal nets San Diego an All-Star closer in Soto who is under team control through 2025 and has performed at an exceptional clip this season.

Gregory Soto stats (2022): 2.43 EA, 1.17 WHIP, 36 strikeouts in 33.1 innings, 18 saves

In addition to Soto, the Padres acquire a left-handed specialist in Chafin who has a history of success (2.08 ERA, 0.98 WHIP in 2021 and 2022). Talk about changing the dynamics of the Padres’ bullpen.

In return, the rebuilding Tigers add San Diego’s No. 4 prospect in shortstop Jackson Merrill as the headliner. A first-round pick last year, Merrill has been tearing it up at the lower levels this season — hitting a combined .405 with a 1.029 OPS in between Rookie and Single-A ball.

Related: San Diego Padres as legit World Series contenders?

San Diego Padres pull off blockbuster Juan Soto trade

san diego padres juan soto
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego is among three National League West teams that is in on Soto ahead of the MLB trade deadline. For good reason. It has the prospects to offer up for the generational talent. General manager A.J. Preller has never been afraid to pull off that blockbuster.

The idea of teaming Soto up with Fernando Tatis Jr. for the next decade has to be seen as appealing to the Padres. Those two alone would make this among the most-feared lineups in all of baseball. But the cost might be prohibitive.

  • San Diego Padres trade: C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell, James Wood, Robert Gasser, Victor Lizarraga, Reggie Lawson
  • Washington Nationals trade: Juan Soto, Patrick Corbin

Yes, we’re talking about San Diego giving up its former top prospect in shortstop C.J. Abrams as well as its current top farmhand, Robert Hassell. That’s a mighty high price to pay. But Soto is certainly worth it.

  • Juan Soto stats (2022): .245 average, 20 HR, 45 RBI, 83 walks, .886 OPS

Soto, 23, is actually having somewhat a down season for the Washington Nationals. He hit .313 with a .999 OPS a season ago.

Washington also nabs No. 3-ranked San Diego Padres prospect in James Wood, their seventh-ranked prospect (Robert Gasser) and two other top-16 prospects. Oh, and it moves off Patrick Corbin’s ridiculous contract. Talk about a haul.