Let's hope AJ Preller has his cell phone charger nearby.
The Padres General Manager has stayed on the phones all weekend, leading to four deals ahead of Monday's trade deadline - the last of which was a seven-player swap with the Mariners.
San Diego landed catcher Austin Nola and right-handed relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla, while sending outfielder Taylor Trammell, third baseman Ty France, catcher Luis Torrens and reliever Andres Munoz to Seattle.
Trammell was the Padres No. 5 prospect, after coming over in the Franmil Reyes trade last season. France has seen steady work at DH since the former San Diego State star got to the bigs. Torrens recently re-joined the big league roster, and Munoz is out this season following Tommy John Surgery.
The gem of the deal for the Padres is Nola, who made his Major League debut in 2019 as a 29-year-old. Since then he's been a steady offensive contributor, hitting .306 this season with five home runs and 19 RBI. He should provide a significant upgrade offensively over Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia. Nola also has versatility, having played multiple spots in the infield and outfield since his arrival.
Preller also added more bullpen help, with the additions of Adams and Altavilla. Adams is nearing a return from a torn ACL he suffered last September. In 31 innings he posted a 3.77 ERA and struck out 51 batters - giving him one of the highest strikeout rates in the American League. Altavilla has struggled this season, posting a 7.71 ERA.
Tonight's trade, along with previous deals for designated hitter Mitch Moreland, catcher Jason Castro and reliever Trevor Rosenthal signal Preller and the Padres' desire to make a postseason run in 2020. The GM might not be done. Now armed with a surplus of catchers, there may be room for another deal - perhaps including Hedges or Mejia in pursuit of Cleveland starting pitcher Mike Clevinger.
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