In the span of about 48 hours the Padres were involved in trading a small village.
It started on Saturday when they sent a couple of prospects to Kansas City for reliever Trevor Rosenthal and culminated (maybe) on Monday morning with a blockbuster that landed starter Mike Clevinger from Cleveland. All told, 24 players are switching uniforms, a wild weekend in the strangest season baseball has ever seen.
Here's the full list of names involved in trades:
RHP Mike Clevinger
OF Greg Allen
C Austin Nola
RHP Dan Altavilla
RHP Austin Adams
C Jason Castro
1B/DH Mitch Moreland
RHP Trevor Rosenthal
RHP Cal Quantrill
C Austin Hedges
OF/1B/DH Josh Naylor
IF Ty France
C Luis Torrens
RHP Andres Munoz
RHP Gerardo Reyes
SS Gabriel Arias
LHP Joey Cantillo
IF Owen Miller
OF Edward Olivares
IF Hudson Potts
OF Jeisson Rosario
OF Taylor Trammell
Even by A.J. Preller standards that's excessive.
What's interesting here is the trickle-down effect. The Rosenthal deal was the first domino to fall. The Padres bullpen, without Kirby Yates, Drew Pomeranz and Jose Castillo, was one of their few yet glaring weaknesses. That situation addressed, the next items on Preller's To-Do list were improving the DH and catching situations.
Moreland addressed the DH spot. He's 2nd in the Major Leagues this year in OPS and has played in three World Series so the 34-year-old brings experience and a big left-handed bat to a lineup that's already one of the best in baseball. More than that, though, it created a surplus of talent.
That's a very important thing to keep in mind here because each move impacted the next.
To upgrade the catching spot, which between Austin Hedges, Francisco Mejia and Luis Torrens was arguably the worst offensive group in the Majors, Preller went to the Northwest to grab Austin Nola. The Mariners backstop has been among the best offensive catchers in the game in 2020. Austin Adams is another bullpen arm who puts hitters away. He struck out 53 in 32 innings a year ago but is coming off an ACL tear. He's expected to be ready for the playoffs.
So the count at that point was one DH, one catcher and three relievers (along with Altavilla). Since Torrens was sent to Seattle the Padres added ANOTHER catcher, Jason Castro from the Angels, for reliever Gerardo Reyes, who wasn't with the big league club at the time.
Now they had a whole bunch of catchers, relievers and DH-types on board, which is exactly what Preller was trying to do because the last thing on the list was a starting pitcher.
And A.J. was going big game hunting.
On Monday, Preller landed Clevinger, who has the stuff to be a front-of-the-rotation starter and two years of salary arbitration left. If the Friars make the playoffs and another team has to go through Clevinger, Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet, they're not going to have a very fun time.
Also in the deal is Hilltop High School and San Diego State alum Greg Allen, a solid defensive outfield piece. To get them A.J. gave up was exactly what he'd been stockpiling in the previous deals: a reliever, catching and a DH-type.
Quantrill was made available because of the addition of Rosenthal and Adams, Hedges was expendable since Nola and Castro and on board and Naylor was getting the left-handed DH reps that now go to Moreland.
But, what about the prospects? Did Preller mortgage the future to try and win now?
Not really, no.
Here are the rankings (according to MLB.com) of the prospects the Friars traded away:
OF Taylor Trammell (5th)
SS Garbriel Arias (7th)
LHP Joey Cantillo (9th)
IF Owen Miller (11th)
IF Hudson Potts (16th)
OF Jeisson Rosario (19th)
OF Edward Olivares (20th)
Trammell had a fabulous Spring Training and Summer Camp and looks like he'll be a solid big leaguer for a while ... but Allen is a switch-hitter who doesn't even hit arbitration until 2022, Jurickson Profar has transitioned nicely to learning left field and Wil Myers has suddenly remembered how talented he really is so there's no guarantee Trammell would have been needed soon anyway.
Arias is a shortstop and the Padres have a pretty good one of those already. Miller is a 2nd baseman but Jake Cronenworth ... acquired in anothe trade during the off-season ... is going to run away with the National League Rookie of the Year award so Owen was blocked. Potts is a 3rd baseman who isn't unseating Manny Machado any time soon. Cantillo looks like he has promise but he's the 4th-ranked left-handed pitcher in the system behind MacKanzie Gore, Adrian Morejon and Ryan Weathers. Rosario and Olivares are closer to the Majors than Robert Hassell and Hudson Head but don't have the same upside.
In 2016 A.J. and his staff have been building depth in the system for weekends just like this. Now they used that depth to make an already solid club not just better, but outright dangerous, and they didn't have to ravage their system to do it.
And the really crazy part? With all the swapping of bodies San Diego only added about $3 million in total salary.
The Padres 5-year rebuild is bearing fruit, and the orchard is still lush. This weekend showed the baseball world that the Padres aren't just going after the playoffs. They're going after the Dodgers, winners of seven straight National League West titles and owners of the best record in baseball.
The next couple of months (and years) are going to be really, really fun.
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.