The Padres’ big trade deadline brought top outfield prospect Taylor Trammell to San Diego as part of a three-team deal Tuesday night. The club sent outfielder Franmil Reyes, lefthanded pitcher Logan Allen, and rookie league infielder Victor Nova to the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe also got outfielder Yasiel Puig and minor league left-handed pitcher Scott Moss from the Cincinnati Reds. Cincy landed right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer in the deal.
Just minutes before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline, the Padres also sent left-handed reliever Brad Wieck to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for righty Carl Edwards, Jr. and $500,000 in international bonus money in a swap of experienced arms who are struggling this season.
Who the Padres gave up
Reyes, 23, emerged as the best success story to come out of the Padres’ previous international scouting regime. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Reyes was hitting .255/.314/.537 with 27 home runs in 99 games this year. After a slow progression in full-season ball between 2013 and 2017, he broke out in Triple-A, finally getting to his immense raw power consistently in games. At 6-foot-5 and at least 275 pounds, while he has worked to improve defensively, Defensive Runs Saved still measured him as the third-worst outfielder in the game this year, though UZR and other metrics merely reflect below-average performance.
Allen, 21, was one of four players who came back from the Boston Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade in 2015. Allen has been a mainstay of our Top 20 rankings for several years and last season was arguably the team’s best starter in Double-A San Antonio.
This season, a big league starting job was his to claim in spring training, but several bad outings cost him the opening day roster. Despite middling performance in El Paso, he did eventually make his major league debut in June. His first outing was stellar, but he gave up 19 runs over 18.1 more innings before the club optioned him back to Triple-A last week.
Nova, 19, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and was playing with the AZL Padres-1. He is having a good year in the desert hitting .330/.421/.451, seeing time at both second, third and in the outfield at center and left field.
Who Came Back
Trammell, 21, is widely seen as one of the top outfield prospects in minor league baseball. He was ranked as the fourteenth best prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law and was at #30 on MLB Pipeline. The Georgia native is considered to have four plus tools – his main flaw is a weak arm that may not play in center – though there is an increasing concern that he might not get to his power in game settings.
Last year, he ranked among High-A Florida State League leaders in on-base percentage (.375) and stolen bases (25). The left-handed Trammell, the 35th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft, shows an advanced feel for someone who also played football in high school. He will likely report to Double-A Amarillo.
MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis‘s perspective
“I think its a good trade for all parties. The Indians get a lot back for Bauer, who they were going to have trouble holding onto. The addition of Bauer makes the Reds’ rotation even better, and right now they are third in the National League in ERA, and they didn’t touch anyone on their big league roster.
“If last December the Padres had approached the Reds with an offer of Franmil Reyes and Logan Allen for Taylor Trammell the answer would have been no. What A.J. Preller did was kind of insert himself into the Reds-Indians deal, like Billy Beane in Moneyball to make his organization better.
“The only thing Trammell doesn’t do well is throw. Although he’s struggling this season, he’s been good at every level and is still only 21. The scouts I have talked to all still really like him.
“Franmil Reyes hits home runs and doesn’t do a lot else. In a way, he’s a little bit like Josh Naylor. I would rather have Trammell than both of them. Logan Allen is a good pitcher, but right now he is more of a floor than ceiling prospect. If Allen had continued to be up and down this year his trade value would have gone down.
“Because Trammell was struggling a little bit in Double-A and what the Reds are trying to do on the major league level, the Padres were able to sell high on Reyes and Allen and buy low on Trammell.”
The Padres have drafted, signed players internationally and traded for prospects under one common mantra: get the best talent available. Trammell has the potential to be better than any of the three players the Padres gave up. He also addressed two glaring organizational needs: center field and left-handed hitting.
Although Michael Gettys in Triple-A El Paso will set career highs in many numerical categories this season, he is still striking out at a thirty percent clip and his overall production is below league average. Buddy Reed in Double-A Amarillo has been slightly better in wRC+ for the Sod Poodles but is also below league average, and he’s been especially challenged away from the offense-friendly environment of Hodgetown.
Jeisson Rosario in High-A Lake Elsinore and Jawuan Harris in Low-A Fort Wayne are impressive athletes and each have been good defensively, but neither of them has hit either. Outside of Naylor in El Paso, the organization does not have any left-handed-hitting prospects at the upper levels.
The Padres had four corner outfielders, Reyes, Naylor, Wil Myers, and Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe has not only been the best offensively but the best by a considerable margin defensively. Myers is having a down year and because of his contract is nearly unmovable. Both Naylor and Reyes are subpar defensive players, but Naylor bats left-handed and can offer a little more, particularly with his on-base skills, than Reyes.
Allen needs a few tweaks but is a major league pitcher. Allen also happens to fit the profile where the Padres have the greatest depth, lefthanded starting pitching. With MacKenzie Gore, Ryan Weathers, Joey Cantillo, and others coming behind him, and Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer and Adrian Morejon already in the major league rotation – they have a few options. You can make an argument that Allen could rank anywhere along that spectrum after Gore.
Nova is a solid wildcard, but again, the 5-foot-9, left-handed-hitting Nova profiles best as a second baseman, another area where the organization is stacked.
Trammell should finish the year in Double-A Amarillo and will give San Diego an upper-level option while potential center field options, 2019 draftees CJ Abrams and Hudson Head establish themselves in full-season ball at Fort Wayne next year. He’ll also allow 40-man roster outfielder Edward Olivares to develop in the corners where he likely fits better.
Padres General Manager A.J. Preller did what he is supposed to do: addressed an organizational weakness by dealing from one of its strengths. The path that the development staff has laid out to build a competitive team by 2020, with 2019 serving as a type of finishing school for the top prospects is still in place.