Padres win series with Twins with eye on Trade Deadline

SAN DIEGO — AJ Preller, you are on the clock.

With lower than 48 hours to go till the Trade Deadline, the Padres — perceived by many across the sport to be some of the lively groups on the market — have but to make a transfer.

Get prepared for a cram session. Preller, the Padres’ president of baseball operations, ought to have a busy couple of days forward of Tuesday’s 3 pm PT deadline. Consider the place issues stand as of Sunday afternoon:

The Padres beat the Twins, 3-2, to take the weekend series of their finale at Petco Park. It’s a win that strikes San Diego 11 video games above .500, clinging to a 1 1/2-game cushion in a decent race for the ultimate two Wild Card spots. In different phrases, the Padres are within the exact place the place it makes probably the most sense to bolster their roster as quickly as potential.

Consider that roster, too. It encompasses a handful of the elite, championship-caliber items you’d anticipate on a staff which may play deep into October. But it additionally has numerous severe flaws, the forms of flaws that should be addressed by a membership with lofty aspirations. The Padres have not hit for sufficient energy. Their lineup is not fairly deep sufficient. Their bullpen, recently, has been unreliable.

And, so, right here we’re, roughly two days to go earlier than the Padres will not have a significant avenue to deal with the issues on that roster. It’s time for Preller and Co. to get to work.

In the meantime, after Sunday’s victory, supervisor Bob Melvin did his finest to downplay any commerce hypothesis.

“I attempt to not focus an excessive amount of on that,” Melvin mentioned. “The guys that we have now are the fellows that I really feel like we’re going ahead with. If one thing adjustments, then nice, if we make a giant transfer or make delicate strikes to boost our roster.”

Still, it was considerably of an acknowledgment that, sure, there is a good probability the Padres can be trying to make strikes. Whether these strikes are “huge” or “delicate” stays to be seen.

If the Padres had been to land both of these two All-Stars, it might qualify as a coup for an offense that might use some thump.

“There’s much more chatter,” Melvin mentioned, evaluating his time in San Diego to previous Deadlines when he managed the A’s. “Obviously not solely has AJ made trades earlier than — [but] he is made enormous trades earlier than.”

It’s an astute statement. In August 2020, Preller swung a series of main offers — six trades within the span of 72 hours main as much as the Deadline. Those strikes helped the Padres attain the postseason for the primary time in 14 years. Then, Preller was again at it in the course of the offseason, swinging offers to amass Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove.

At the 2021 Deadline, issues modified. The Padres, regardless of their apparent want, didn’t tackle their rotation deficit. They made a couple of different minor strikes, however their general inactivity price them dearly, as they collapsed down the stretch.

Based on current historical past — and Preller’s nature — it must be a busy deadline. But even when the Padres swing a deal for a type of huge bats, they won’t cease there.

They produce other areas to deal with on their roster, particularly the bullpen. It’s presently and not using a dependable nearer, though Luis García appeared sharp on Sunday afternoon in his first crack on the function. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, nailing down the Padres’ first save alternative since Taylor Rogers misplaced the job with a handful of current shaky performances.

“We’re simply fearful about profitable video games,” mentioned third baseman Manny Machado. “You management the issues you possibly can management. Go on the market, attempt to win the sport, like we did at this time. Continue to do this at this time, after which the following day and the following day. We have a purpose right here, and that is not going to vary.”

No, the purpose will not change within the subsequent two days. But — with some shrewd Deadline dealing — the Padres’ probabilities of attaining that purpose may nonetheless change drastically.

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