2021 MLB Trade Deadline Preview: San Diego Padres


The San Diego Padres sit in quite an interesting position as they emerge from the All-Star Break. Although they rank third in their division, the Padres have an impressive 55-41 record, giving them the second Wild Card spot. How might they approach the upcoming July 30 trade deadline?

Make sure to check out all of our other Trade Deadline Previews.

Current Position

Record: 55-41
Rank: Third in NL West (5.0 GB)
Status: Buyers

The Padres are clear buyers this year. In 2020, they went on a fabulous run as general manager A.J. Preller struck deals left and right. While we might not see quite the same spree from the club this year, the team certainly still has a busy couple of weeks in store. As of now, San Diego’s focus should be on the teams ahead of them in the NL West—the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. By putting themselves in a position to stack up against these foes, the Padres can fight for the top role in their division while solidifying a strong postseason roster in the process.

Trade Candidates

Joey Gallo, Outfielder, Texas Rangers

Rumors over the past month have linked Gallo to the Padres, who have proven they are willing to make deals left and right. Gallo would give San Diego a more permanent fixture in the lineup thanks to his incredible power and ability to get on base. He may have a mere .235 batting average, but he owns a .394 on-base percentage; his MLB-most 72 walks play a huge role in this. He’s also launched 24 home runs, which ranks fifth in baseball. As fun as this fit would be, he is going to cost San Diego a lot—and they surely won’t be the only club trying to acquire him.

Richard Rodriguez, Right-Handed Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates

Rodriguez’s name has surfaced on the trade market for quite some time. San Diego could use a huge boost in its bullpen, and Rodriguez will help with this. Through 36 outings this year, he is 4-2 with a 2.65 ERA FIP, 0.80 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, and 0.5 HR/9. He also locked down a career-high 13 saves over 16 opportunities this year. After spending one year in Baltimore and four with Pittsburgh, Rodriguez is seemingly just days away from playing for a legitimate contender.

Kyle Gibson, Right-Handed Pitcher, Texas Rangers

Gibson might be the top pitcher on the trade market this summer, so his asking price certainly won’t be cheap. With that said, San Diego could pull away from the rest of its competition by trading for a big-name arm like Gibson. The 33-year-old is 6-1 with a miraculous 2.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and .210 OBA this year. He’s walked just 31 batters and struck out 88 over 17 starts. Furthermore, Gibson is under contract through 2022, so he’s more than a three-month rental but will still hit free agency before Texas is competitive again. He likely has a couple more years of relevance in MLB and could serve as a huge addition for the Padres this summer.

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