There’s been a lot of smoke over the past few weeks regarding Mookie Betts and the Padres. The Red Sox and Padres have been mentioned as possible trading partners, but what could a trade for Betts look like? Let’s take a look at what assets could be made available, and which players may be most appealing to Boston.
Mookie Betts and Padres
There have been trade rumors surrounding Mookie Betts for months. A free agent come the end of 2020, Betts’ name has been thrown around for quite some time, but as of now, he’s still a Red Sox. But the Padres, who are looking to make waves in the NL West this season, have reportedly been interested in acquiring the star outfielder.
But what assets could the Padres offer? Let’s take a look.
MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino
The top two prospects in the Padres’ system, MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino are two of the most talented arms in the Minors right now. Gore has one of the best curveballs in the game right now, along with a fastball that can run up to the mid-90’s and miss bats consistently. Luis Patino, meanwhile, has an explosive fastball, as well as a slider that has received plus grades and a nice curveball.
Considering the potential of these two, it’s no wonder why the Padres aren’t making these two available in a potential Betts deal. The same can be said for C.J. Abrams, a shortstop who was taken in the first round by the Padres this past June. Even though the Sox may want really want one of those pitchers, as well as Abrams, they’re not getting any of them.
While Gore, Patino and Abrams may be off the board, Taylor Trammell could be a prospect that could move the needle for the Red Sox. Trammell was a first round pick by the Reds in 2016, and was acquired by the Padres in the three-team trade in July that sent Yasiel Puig and Trevor Bauer to the Reds and Logan Allen and Franmil Reyes to the Indians. The Georgia native is one of the most athletic players in the Minors, armed with plus speed on the basepaths and terrific bat speed.
However, last season wasn’t a particularly great one for Trammell. In 2019, Trammell batted just .234, hitting 10 home runs and 26 extra base hits across 126 games. Trammell, though, walked 67 times in 2019, and he’s been quite good at drawing walks since turning pro in 2016. With strong plate discipline and great athleticism, Trammell could be a player that could get a trade for Betts done, if the Padres are willing to move him.
Players off the Padres Roster
If the Padres want to get a deal done for Mookie Betts, it’s very likely that San Diego will have to surrender a player off their roster. And a few players on their team may peak the Red Sox’s interest.
Crafty left-handed pitcher Joey Lucchesi could be one of those players. Lucchesi finished 24th among NL pitchers last season in strikeouts (158), and his changeup has proven to be a strong offering at the MLB level. In 2019, batters hit just .183 off the changeup, and the Whiff% rate on the pitch was 38.6%. The lefty could be an appealing option for the Red Sox, and the same could be said for Josh Naylor.
Naylor, a former first round pick by the Marlins, recorded a slash line of .249/.315/.403 in his rookie season last year. Across 279 plate appearances in the Majors last season, Naylor hit eight home runs and 23 extra base hits, and also displayed a keen eye at the plate (4.14 P/PA last season). The Ontario native played all of his games with the Padres in the outfield last season, but Naylor is a first baseman by trade. Naylor’s versatility in the field, along with his strong plate discipline and quick bat speed may make him a player to target.
However, the big hangup for a Betts trade could be Wil Myers. The Padres reportedly want the Red Sox to take Myers back in a trade for Betts, as well as at least 75% of his remaining salary. The Sox appear unwilling to do so, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Will Betts Become a Padre?
It’s tough to say as to whether Betts will ultimately become a Padre. The Padres certainly have the assets to get a deal done, given their deep farm system. However, the Padres don’t want to give up their top three prospects, and for good reason. Betts only has one year left before he becomes a free agent, and there’s no guarantee he would stay in San Diego past this season.
It’s also unclear as to whether the Red Sox are willing to compromise on a package for Betts. As of right now, no team has been willing to give up the necessary prospects to acquire Betts straight away. And given that Betts’ trade value is going down by each passing day, it doesn’t appear the Red Sox will get everything they want.
If I had to take a guess, I’d say that it’s unlikely that the Red Sox and Padres are a match. But things could change on a dime in baseball.
Be sure to keep checking out the FH Freeway site for more news, player reports, and fantasy tips. And make sure to follow us on Twitter, as well as subscribe to our growing YouTube channel, where we’ll post player videos of up-and-coming prospects you should keep an eye on.