Padres send Margot to Rays, add another reliever in Pagan

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Padres continue to strengthen bullpen by acquiring Emilio Pagan from Rays in exchange for Manuel Margot
The Padres alleviated a logjam in one position while packing another player into what already seemed a position of strength on Saturday.

The team announced it is sending center fielder Manuel Margot and minor league catcher and outfielder Logan Driscoll to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan.

The 28-year-old Pagan appeared in 66 games last season, striking out 96 batters in 70 innings. He posted a 2.31 ERA and yielded a 0.83 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). His WHIP ranked second in the American League, his ERA ninth and his 12.34 strikeouts per nine innings was 13th. Pagan appeared primarily in the eighth and ninth innings and saved 20 games.

The Padres believe their starting rotation will be improved in 2020, but a chief aim of the offseason was to upgrade a bullpen that was young and inconsistent in ‘19. They previously added left-hander Drew Pomeranz and righty Pierce Johnson.

Another goal was to find some definition in a crowded outfield.

Margot was a potential piece in the Padres’ proposed trade with the Red Sox that they hoped would land Mookie Betts. The main component of that failed attempt at a deal, from the Padres’ perspective, was Wil Myers.

Myers now will compete for time in right and center field with Trent Grisham, Franchy Cordero and Josh Naylor. Tommy Pham is the presumptive starter in left field.

Margot, 25, was the Padres’ No.1 prospect in 2015 and had yet to become the dependable bat at the top of the lineup that was expected. However, 2019 saw him become more selective as a hitter and improve as a baserunner. He stole 20 bases (in 24 attempts) while batting .234/.304/.387 in 441 plate appearances. He hit .330 with a .420 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers.

Margot will join Hunter Renfroe in Tampa. The Padres sent Renfroe to the Rays in December as part of the package that brought Pham and infielder Jake Cronenworth.

Driscoll was a second-round pick in 2019. He played both right field and catcher for Tri-City (Rookie) last season.

Pagan, who brings a 3.26 career ERA and 0.98 career WHIP, allowed just a .179 average to both right- and left-handed batters in 2019. Opponents have hit just .206 against him in his three big-league seasons, 14th-lowest allowed by a qualifying reliever in the AL since the start of the ‘17 season.

He will join Johnson, Pomeranz, Andres Munoz, Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm and Kirby Yates in the Padres bullpen.

More movement is likely for the Padres, as they will have as many as 13 pitchers in camp competing for what is currently one available spot in the bullpen.
 

Quetzalcoatl

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Padres continue to strengthen bullpen by acquiring Emilio Pagan from Rays in exchange for Manuel Margot
The Padres alleviated a logjam in one position while packing another player into what already seemed a position of strength on Saturday.

The team announced it is sending center fielder Manuel Margot and minor league catcher and outfielder Logan Driscoll to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan.

The 28-year-old Pagan appeared in 66 games last season, striking out 96 batters in 70 innings. He posted a 2.31 ERA and yielded a 0.83 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). His WHIP ranked second in the American League, his ERA ninth and his 12.34 strikeouts per nine innings was 13th. Pagan appeared primarily in the eighth and ninth innings and saved 20 games.

The Padres believe their starting rotation will be improved in 2020, but a chief aim of the offseason was to upgrade a bullpen that was young and inconsistent in ‘19. They previously added left-hander Drew Pomeranz and righty Pierce Johnson.

Another goal was to find some definition in a crowded outfield.

Margot was a potential piece in the Padres’ proposed trade with the Red Sox that they hoped would land Mookie Betts. The main component of that failed attempt at a deal, from the Padres’ perspective, was Wil Myers.

Myers now will compete for time in right and center field with Trent Grisham, Franchy Cordero and Josh Naylor. Tommy Pham is the presumptive starter in left field.

Margot, 25, was the Padres’ No.1 prospect in 2015 and had yet to become the dependable bat at the top of the lineup that was expected. However, 2019 saw him become more selective as a hitter and improve as a baserunner. He stole 20 bases (in 24 attempts) while batting .234/.304/.387 in 441 plate appearances. He hit .330 with a .420 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers.

Margot will join Hunter Renfroe in Tampa. The Padres sent Renfroe to the Rays in December as part of the package that brought Pham and infielder Jake Cronenworth.

Driscoll was a second-round pick in 2019. He played both right field and catcher for Tri-City (Rookie) last season.

Pagan, who brings a 3.26 career ERA and 0.98 career WHIP, allowed just a .179 average to both right- and left-handed batters in 2019. Opponents have hit just .206 against him in his three big-league seasons, 14th-lowest allowed by a qualifying reliever in the AL since the start of the ‘17 season.

He will join Johnson, Pomeranz, Andres Munoz, Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm and Kirby Yates in the Padres bullpen.

More movement is likely for the Padres, as they will have as many as 13 pitchers in camp competing for what is currently one available spot in the bullpen.
I wanted the Padres to address the bullpen first this year because the bullpen is the easiest and cheapest part of a small-market team to upgrade. Both times we won the NL championship, we did so largely on the strength of our bullpens.

So, yay for the fact we are doing something about our 'pen. What I fear is we are not doing this as cheaply as we could. Because we have no clear plan or vision, we were never going to give Margot a full season to improve as a starter; we were only going to use him to make sure nobody else got a full season to start and improve as our starting centerfielder. So, in short, I don't mind that we gave him up. What I do fear is what else we potentially have given up for the relievers we have got this year. How good are these minor league players we gave up this season, and how big are these new relievers' salaries?

By the way - the article is wrong. We don't, and didn't, have a log jam in centerfield.
 

TTK

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I like this trade. This pitcher sounds pretty good and I think we've seen Margot's ceiling.
 

Fender57

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I wanted the Padres to address the bullpen first this year because the bullpen is the easiest and cheapest part of a small-market team to upgrade. Both times we won the NL championship, we did so largely on the strength of our bullpens.

So, yay for the fact we are doing something about our 'pen. What I fear is we are not doing this as cheaply as we could. Because we have no clear plan or vision, we were never going to give Margot a full season to improve as a starter; we were only going to use him to make sure nobody else got a full season to start and improve as our starting centerfielder. So, in short, I don't mind that we gave him up. What I do fear is what else we potentially have given up for the relievers we have got this year. How good are these minor league players we gave up this season, and how big are these new relievers' salaries?

By the way - the article is wrong. We don't, and didn't, have a log jam in centerfield.
I like this trade. This pitcher sounds pretty good and I think we've seen Margot's ceiling.
I agree that we needed to upgrade the bullpen. We do however have two closers (Yates and Pagan) two setup guys (Pagan and Pomeranz) plus Strahm and Wingenter in the pen so we are definitely set there, duplicity notwithstanding. At least we don’t need to use Stammen in key positions on a nightly basis.

We do not have a center fielder outside of Franchy, and I’m not counting on him until he shows me he can play regularly without getting hurt. He did play a full season of winter ball so there’s that, but we still have no backup plan in center. Pham is firmly in LF and I guess it’s Myers in right (unless the guy from Milwaukee has the breakout season everyone has been waiting for).

I think it’s kind of stark that out of our four guys last year, Franmil/Renfroe/Margot/Myers all that remains is Myers.
 
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TTK

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I agree that we needed to upgrade the bullpen. We do however have two closers (Yates and Pagan) two setup guys (Pagan and Pomeranz) plus Strahm and Wingenter in the pen so we are definitely set there, duplicity notwithstanding. At least we don’t need to use Stammen in key positions on a nightly basis.

We do not have a center fielder outside of Franchy, and I’m not counting on him until he shows me he can play regularly without getting hurt. He did play a full season of winter ball so there’s that, but we still have no backup plan in center. Pham is firmly in LF and I guess it’s Myers in right (unless the guy from Milwaukee has the breakout season everyone has been waiting for).

I think it’s kind of stark that out of our four guys last year, Franmil/Renfroe/Margot/Myers all that remains is Myers.
It seems like they couldn't Dump Myers on anyone.
 

Fender57

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It seems like they couldn't Dump Myers on anyone.
They could not. Who would want that guy anyway. We’d be better off trying to move Hosmer and moving Myers to first and let him play out the string there.
 

Quetzalcoatl

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For a team named after men of God, who will clearly require sooooo much prayer,
to be even on the margin of competitive in 2020, is a Pagan the smartest choice?
Hey. I, Quetzalcoatl, have been sending my best miracles the Padres way, but they keep effing them up. I gave them a shape shifter at shortstop, a powerful demon at third, and put a magical cowboy on the mound. I even created La Mole and a Hunter out of scrubs and turned them into League leading homerun guys. I tried to bring back the best manager ever, whom the Padres once stupidly sent away, by making him retire from the Giants for no reason and then announce he still wanted to manage. Did the Padres do anything about It? No. But that's the bitch about free will - I can't do everything. The swinging friar and I could really use the help. So, if the tree gods and the sun god want to chip in, I am not going to complain.
 
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Fender57

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More on the trade, nothing really said here that we haven't already discussed. Loaded bullpen, hole in CF.
 

Gill Man

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who was the dumbass that signed Myers in the first place? Those are the types of bad moves that negate the good moves. Great teams don't make many of those kinds of stupid mistakes.
 

Gill Man

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Who else? Preller.
I'm beginning to think this guy is in over his head. It's sort of a tough call because he's being asked to work with one arm tied behind his back in a small market vs the teams like the Dogs and Yankers and Botox that can spend whatever on whoever with no problems. But that is even more the reason to have someone who is an einstein as GM....he has to outwit everyone else. Supposedly we have the best farm system in baseball. When does that start to even begin to show results? We are not even close to competitive with the Dogs. And moves like he makes with Myers are devastating to a small market team. Watch Franmil and Renfroe have monster years next year. Would not surprise me.

But the real elephant in the room is who he keeps turning to for manager. WTF is that? Go hire a damn good manager instead of wannabe's! Jeebus H. how hard is that?
 

Fender57

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I'm beginning to think this guy is in over his head. It's sort of a tough call because he's being asked to work with one arm tied behind his back in a small market vs the teams like the Dogs and Yankers and Botox that can spend whatever on whoever with no problems. But that is even more the reason to have someone who is an einstein as GM....he has to outwit everyone else. Supposedly we have the best farm system in baseball. When does that start to even begin to show results? We are not even close to competitive with the Dogs. And moves like he makes with Myers are devastating to a small market team. Watch Franmil and Renfroe have monster years next year. Would not surprise me.

But the real elephant in the room is who he keeps turning to for manager. WTF is that? Go hire a damn good manager instead of wannabe's! Jeebus H. how hard is that?
His hiring of Joyce or whatever his name is convinced me. Excellent farm director. SHITTY GM.
 

Quetzalcoatl

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I still am not ready to fire Preller, but the owner needs him to articulate what our plan is. Is it to develop our young players so that we can compete for a title in the future, or is it to try to win in the next year or two? Based on all the random moves Preller and his managers have made, I can't tell what the plan is.
 

Quetzalcoatl

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More on the trade, nothing really said here that we haven't already discussed. Loaded bullpen, hole in CF.
That is a step up from last year when we had a hole in centerfield and the bullpen.
 

Fender57

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I still am not ready to fire Preller, but the owner needs him to articulate what our plan is. Is it to develop our young players so that we can compete for a title in the future, or is it to try to win in the next year or two? Based on all the random moves Preller and his managers have made, I can't tell what the plan is.
The ownership group plainly stated they must compete this year. The implication is Preller’s job is in the line if they do not. Where the confusion lies is the method AJ is using to accomplish this stated goal. His hiring of Joyce seems to be the antithesis if reaching the stated goal, and diluting the offense and defense seems counterproductive as well. The bullpen, on paper, seems outstanding but again, what good are they if you can’t generate runs. They seem to have put their eggs into the Tommy Pham basket, he will singlehandedly add offense to the batting order and provide stellar defense (from left field).

tl:dr; Preller will fire himself.
 

Quetzalcoatl

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And a hole in the offense. All those relievers won’t mean a thing without a lead to hold.
I think we win at least 15 more games if all else is equal and the bullpen is all that it is supposed to be. That puts at or above .500. Shitty hitting teams have made the post season before.