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Rays Winter Meetings: Four Possible Trade Partners

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Oct 29, 2015; San Deigo, CA, USA; San Diego Padres new manager

Andy Green

(right) holds up a Padres jersey as general manager A.J. Preller looks on during a press conference at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO PADRES

The Padres went ALL out in 2015 and were the talk of the winter meetings. In fact, they made one of their biggest deals of last winter with the Rays. Why not repeat that and hope for better results?

There are some pieces which make sense on both sides of this equation. First, the Padres lost Justin Upton – so far – to free agency and could be looking to replace him in LF with an option that is cheaper than what’s on the market.

The Padres also dealt their incumbent 1B, Yonder Alonso, to the A’s, which could put them in the market for a 1B instead of a LF, allowing them to keep ex-Rays OF Wil Myers in LF. They seemingly have been searching high and low for a new SS, which would make Brad Miller attractive. And finally, they dealt their two best relievers to the Red Sox and Mariners, possibly opening up the acquisition of some relief help.

On the Rays side, the trade targets are confusing. Derek Norris could help upgrade the offensive production from behind the plate or at DH, but it doesn’t really add up to much of an upgrade. Matt Kemp would cost too much, unless the Padres are willing to cover some cost and do a complete makeover. Finally, neither Melvin Upton Jr.or Wil Myers are likely to return to the Rays. So who could the Rays target?

Hunter Renfroe or Rymer Liriano. The Rays would do well to add either and obtain some depth in the OF and add competition for Mikie Mahtook and others.

Pros: This would likely be a smaller deal than what we envisioned with the Cubs and would feed into the Padres need for success in a division that continues to get tougher every year.

Cons: The options coming to the Rays are limited. The wildcard would be James Shields returning to Tampa, but the financial issues that would have to be worked out are tough to wrap your head around. That and the Rays are not likely to add pitching.

Chances: Average to below-average

Most Likely to Become a Ray? Hunter Renfroe

Most Likely to Become a Padre? Matt Moore

Other highly likely options for trade partners include the Washington Nationals (need RP/SP), St-Louis Cardinals (SP), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (SP/RP).

We hope you enjoyed our predictions and we’ll be sure to compare events taking place with our predictions. We definitely see smoke on the horizon in the direction of Nashville, and where there’s smoke….

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