The San Diego Padres are on a trade deadline shopping spree, and they made their biggest splash on Monday, hours before the 4 p.m. ET deadline. The Padres acquired right-hander Mike Clevinger from Cleveland in a massive nine-player trade, the team confirmed.
Here are the full trade details:
|Padres acquire||Cleveland acquires|
RHP Mike Clevinger
OF Greg Allen
OF Josh Naylor
Player to be named later
RHP Cal Quantrill
LHP Joey Cantillo
IF Owen Miller
Clevinger, 29, has pitched at an ace level the last three years, though Cleveland is loaded with pitching and his climbing arbitration salaries were going to create payroll headaches going forward. Cleveland cashed Trevor Bauer in as a trade chip last deadline to reallocate payroll and improve multiple roster spots, and the team did it again with Clevinger in 2020.
Earlier this month Clevinger and rotation-mate Zach Plesac broke COVID-19 protocols and were essentially sent to the alternate site for disciplinary reasons. That incident may have pushed Cleveland to get a trade done, though Clevinger was on the market this past offseason, so this deal didn't come out of nowhere. It was no secret he was available.
Former Marlins president David Samson broke down Monday's deadline on the latest episode of Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
Here are five things to know about the trade and the fallout.
1. The Padres have been very busy
San Diego came into Monday with the third best record in the National League at 21-15, though the Padres are looking up at the Dodgers in the NL West. That said, FanGraphs gives the Padres a 97.9 percent chance to make the postseason. These trades are about gearing up for a deep postseason run, not necessarily chasing every last regular season win.
"We're aiming for the big cake," Fernando Tatis Jr. told reporters, including The Athletic's Dennis Lin, on Sunday. "Why not? Let's go win a World Series."
Here are the five trades the Padres made in addition to the Clevinger blockbuster:
- Acquired Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals.
- Acquired Jason Castro from the Angels.
- Acquired Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox.
- Acquired Austin Nola, Dan Altavilla, and Austin Adams from the Mariners.
- Acquired Taylor Williams from the Mariners.
The six trades including 24 different players. The Padres acquired 10 and sent out 14. The Padres were, hands down, the deadline's most active team.
2. San Diego's rotation is suddenly formidable
Especially in a short postseason series. The Padres have the highest scoring offense in baseball -- they're averaging 5.69 runs per game, slightly ahead of the Dodgers (5.67) -- and now they're in position to send three high-ceiling starters to the mound in October. This is the team's rotation:
- RHP Mike Clevinger
- RHP Dinelson Lamet
- RHP Chris Paddack
- RHP Zach Davies
- RHP Garrett Richards
Lamet is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball. The 27-year-old has a 2.35 ERA this season and a 3.48 ERA in 111 1/3 innings since returning from Tommy John surgery last year. He's struck out 156 batters in those 111 1/3 innings. Davies is quietly running a 2.61 ERA this year. Adding Clevinger to that group makes the Padres awfully imposing.
Also, Clevinger is not a rental. He is under team control through 2022. Davies is under control through 2021, Lamet is under control through 2023, and Paddack is under control through 2024. The Padres will have this group together next season and they have their top three under control at least another two seasons. Clevinger was not a one-year buy. He's a long-term addition.
3. Preller did not touch the top of the farm system
Despite making five trades involving 22 different players in the last 72 hours or so, Preller did not trade any of his top prospects. Specifically, lefty MacKenzie Gore, righty Luis Patino, shortstop C.J. Abrams, and catcher Luis Campusano all remain with the organization and are top 60 prospects in the game, according to MLB.com.
Hedges, Naylor, and Quantrill are all big-league players the Padres subtracted from their MLB roster. Here's where MLB.com ranks the three prospects in the trade in San Diego's stacked farm system, with a snippet of their scouting reports:
- No. 7 Gabriel Arias: "Arias' defensive value gives him a relatively high floor."
- No. 9 Joey Cantillo: "There's reason to believe his upward trend will continue."
- No. 11 Owen Miller: "There's a chance he rides his strong bat into an everyday second base job."
Baseball America ranked the Padres' farm system as the second best in the game earlier this month. Preller used the depth of his system to improve his team's MLB roster for a postseason push. He did not sacrifice the very best his farm system has to offer, however, nor did he give up a prized young MLB player like Jake Cronenworth or Trent Grisham.
4. Cleveland still needs outfield help
Naylor, a former first-round pick and the older brother of current Cleveland prospect Bo Naylor, will step right into the team's outfield, and he won't have to do much to qualify as an upgrade. Cleveland's outfielders are hitting .186/.283/.289 with seven home runs in 34 games this season. Rough. The club may not be done. They may bring in another bat or two prior to the deadline.
Here is what Cleveland's lineup could look like with Naylor:
- 2B Cesar Hernandez
- 3B Jose Ramirez
- SS Francisco Lindor
- 1B Carlos Santana
- DH Franmil Reyes
- LF Josh Naylor
- RF Tyler Naquin/Jordan Luplow
- C Robert Perez
- CF Delino DeShields
Cleveland is averaging 4.18 runs per game this season, seventh fewest in baseball, yet they're tied atop the AL Central at 21-13 because their pitching has been historically great. The pitching will suffer without Clevinger, no doubt, but the Indians have rotation depth in Quantrill, Triston McKenzie, Logan Allen, and Scott Moss. The club badly needed another bad. Naylor will help.
5. San Diego and Cleveland are frequent trade partners
These two teams are quite familiar with each other. The Clevinger blockbuster is their fifth trade in the last two seasons. Here's a recap:
- Aug. 31, 2020: Mike Clevinger nine-player blockbuster.
- July 31, 2019: Trevor Bauer/Taylor Trammell/Yasiel Puig three-team trade with Reds.
- July 12, 2019: Padres send Phil Maton to Cleveland for international bonus money.
- Nov. 20, 2018: Padres send Walker Lockett to Cleveland for Ignacio Feliz.
- July 19, 2018: Padres sent Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to Cleveland for Francisco Mejia.
Two minor trades and three significant deals at the deadline. Preller and Cleveland president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti seem to have a great working relationship and that has led to frequent deals in recent years. Sometimes things just come together and two teams match up often in a short period of time.