The San Diego Padres went all out over a 24-hour span from Sunday to Monday, quickly becoming the early winners of Major League Baseball’s offseason.
And they received kudos from New York Mets owner Steve Cohen in the process.
On Sunday night, San Diego traded for Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell, sending four prospects only to follow it up with the signing of highly-touted Korean infielder Ha-seong Kim and the acquisition of Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish for pitcher Zach Davies and another four prospects on Monday.
That’s eight prospects in total given up by the Padres to bolster their pitching staffs into one of the best in baseball as Snell and Darvish join Danielson Lamet, Chris Paddack, the highly-touted southpaw in Mackenzie Gore, and next year, Mike Clevinger after he returns from Tommy John surgery.
San Diego’s aggression prompted impatient Mets fans to take to social media, particularly Twitter, to air their grievances about their team going quiet after acquiring catcher James McCann earlier this month.
But the Padres dealt from a position of strength on the trade market while the Mets are expected to rely heavily on the free agency to acquire their last few upgrades.
“Hey, give the Padres credit. They had a top-5 farm system that gave them flexibility to trade for Snell,” Cohen wrote. “Newsflash, the Mets farm system needs to be replenished.”
While the Padres had the No. 3 farm system in baseball, as ranked by MLB.com back on Sept. 1, the Mets’ stable of prospects was ranked 20th. They currently have three talents in MLB Pipeline’s top 100, shortstop Ronny Mauricio (57), catcher Francisco Alvarez (58), and third baseman Brett Baty (88).
Cohen’s comments suggest that if the Mets were to foray into the trade market this offseason — whether if it’s for a pitcher or a star infielder like Nolan Arenado or Francisco Lindor — they would prefer to deal from their MLB-ready talent pool. That would include the likes of JD Davis, Amed Rosario, or Brandon Nimmo.
As of now, it still appears the Mets’ top priority is on the free-agent market in center fielder George Springer. They’ve also been linked to starting pitchers Trevor Bauer and Tomoyuki Sugano, who is trying to make the jump from Japan after eight professional seasons.