After not being a postseason participant since 2006, the San Diego Padres have it coming together in 2020.
Not only are they currently in line to be the No. 4 seed in the National League playoffs, they are reaping the benefits of having baseball’s top-ranked minor league system in both 2018 and 2019 — by trading prospects for veteran additions who could provide an edge down the stretch and in the playoffs.
And the trading deadline won’t come until an hour before the Padres start the finale of their four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Monday.
The Padres have already made four trades in the past two days while giving up just one top-10 prospect.
They acquired right-handed reliever Trevor Rosenthal on Saturday from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to be named.
On Sunday, the Padres made three trades:
–They acquired designated hitter/first baseman Mitch Moreland from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for two prospects — third baseman Hudson Potts and outfielder Jeisson Rosario.
–They land catcher Jason Castro from the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Gerardo Reyes.
–They also added another catcher in Austin Nola as well as right-handed relievers Dan Altavilla and Austin Adams from the Seattle Mariners while parting ways with infielder Ty France, highly regarded outfield prospect Taylor Trammell, right-hander Andres Munoz and catcher Luis Torrens. Trammell was ranked as the Padres’ fifth-ranked prospect by MLB.com.
So is general manager A.J. Preller done?
“He doesn’t sleep,” offered Padres manager Jayce Tingler.
But the Padres still have one need — pitching.
On Monday night, struggling right-hander Garrett Richards (1-2, 5.17 ERA) will start for the Padres against Rockies right-hander German Marquez (2-4, 4.50).
Richards is likely the set-up man for a “bullpen” outing. In his seventh and most recent start, Richards gave up six runs on four hits and two walks in just two-thirds of an inning against Seattle. That was on Thursday. In his start before that, Richards lasted two innings.
Richards made an earlier start at Coors Field this season, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The Rockies’ starter is no stranger to the Padres, although he didn’t face San Diego during the Padres’ first visit to Denver.
Marquez has a 5-2 career record against the Padres in 11 appearances (nine starts). He has a 4.88 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP against San Diego, while compiling 69 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings.
Despite losing two of the first three to the Padres while giving up 26 runs on 47 hits in 27 innings, the Rockies are still very much in the playoff hunt and a win Monday could be a big boost with the San Francisco Giants following the Padres into Coors Field. The Giants and Rockies could be battling for the possible third playoff berth from the National League West.
“We’ve got to get on a bit of a run here,” said Rockies manager Bud Black.
The Rockies on Sunday made the type of move contenders make — sending infield prospects Tyler Nevin and Terrin Vavra plus a player to be named to the Baltimore Orioles for much-needed bullpen help in right-hander Mychal Givens, who had a 1.38 ERA in 12 appearances for the Orioles. Givens had allowed two runs on seven hits and six walks with 19 strikeouts in 13 innings.
The first order of business, however, is Monday’s series finale with the Padres. A win gives the Rockies a split — and a fifth win in their last seven games.
But Black has a lot of respect for the team he once managed.
“They’re having a good offensive year,” Black said of the Padres. “They’ve made some great adjustments statistically in some of the things they’ve done from the previous couple of years. They’re not chasing and getting deeper in counts. Their strikeouts are down and their walks are up.”
–Field Level Media