Padres targeting on-field help ahead of deadline

The Padres have long been expected to look for ways to bolster the offense this borderline season. The outfield looks like a particular area of ​​concern, and MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell writes that the club is indeed scouring the market for help on the grass.

San Diego had a midfield offense overall, coming into play Friday with a .241/.317/.374 slash line. This includes a monster .307/.381/.525 star third baseman showing Manny Machado, however, and the production of the Brothers has been a bit heavy. Five players (Trent Grisham, Austin Nola, JC Abrams, Joseph Azocar and Wil Myers) have taken more than 100 plate appearances and been at least 15 percentage points below the league average with the bat, as measured by wRC+. This leads to some areas ripe for possible upgrades, especially in an outfield that was one of the last ten units with an index of 0.220/0.303/0.346.

Few outfielders are more obvious trade candidates than the Royals’ left fielder André Benintendi. An impending free agent at a bottom-place club, the 28-year-old looks like a virtual lock to change uniforms over the next few weeks. He will be a priority target for several teams in need, and Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the Padres are among the clubs interested.

Benintendi is hitting .317/.386/.401 through 363 board appearances. He’s only connected on a trio of longballs, but he’s got a strong walk rate of 10.2% and hit a career-low 14% of his trips. Although he doesn’t have much of an impact from a power standpoint, he brings a disciplined plate approach and makes plenty of contacts. Benintendi has also ranked well in left field in estimated defensive points saved since joining Kansas City, and he collected a Gold Glove and finished second in Fielding Bible Award voting at that position on the season. last.

The Brothers welcomed the left-back Jurickson Profar off the concussion injured list tonight, just a week after sustaining the frightening injury in a collision with Abrams. Profar will partner with Nomar Mazara in the outfield from the corner, with Grisham likely to continue as a regular centre-back. Each of Profar and Mazara are having a great season, but they have more inconsistent career histories. Grisham has had a tough year, carrying a .192/.295/.334 line in play tonight.

Cassavell suggests a capable center could be a target given Grisham’s struggles, although the market for center players is quite tight. from Oakland ramon laurano is the top center fielder with a decent chance of being dealt, but he would need a very good comeback with three seasons of club control remaining. Benintendi’s teammate Michael A. Taylor would be a more affordable fallback, though he’s had a generally checkered track record over his career. Benintendi has some experience in center field himself, but hasn’t recorded an innings there since 2019.

Payroll limitations are weighing on the Padres’ term prospects. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently explored, San Diego’s luxury tax ledger is just below the $230 million baseline. The organization hasn’t shown much appetite to top that mark for a second straight season, raising questions about what kind of acquisitions President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller and his team might be able to pull off. TO DO. Benintendi, for example, plays on a salary of $8.5 million. About $3.4 million of that tab will still be owed by the August 2 trade deadline, and assuming that money pushes San Diego into luxury tax territory if all else remains equal. Of course, the Padres could try to offload their own money and/or only deal with teams willing to pay the wages of traded players if they intend to avoid CBT.

No player the Padres add from outside the organization will have more of an impact than Fernando Tatis Jr. The star shortstop has yet to play this season after being diagnosed with a broken wrist during spring training. He’s ready to take a step forward, however, as Preller told Ben & Woods on 93.7 The Fan that Tatís was about to begin his striking progression today (Twitter link). He will continue to be re-evaluated on a weekly basis, but this is a notable development as he was long overdue for clearance to start swinging a bat.

Tatís will certainly still need some time to get back into playing form, and he will then have to embark on a minor league rehabilitation mission to reduce his time. In the meantime, the Brothers will continue to split the shortstop time between Ha Seong Kim and Abraham. The former has been the primary shortstop for most of the year. He’s played great defense all season, and he’s caught fire on the flat recently. After hitting just 0.232/0.327/0.295 in June, Kim holds a mark of 0.344/0.421/0.531 in the first two weeks of July.

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