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This week, Inside the Clubhouse looks back at the biggest moves from MLB Trade Deadline, including a San Diego Padres push for Trea Turner.
A deal was never close, but Padres general manager A.J. Preller routinely explores trades for every big name. He held talks with the Washington Nationals on Turner and Max Scherzer, though one Nationals source categorized the discussions involving Scherzer as “general back and forth,” before the Padres later acquired right-hander Daniel Hudson from for two prospects.
At the time, it was not immediately clear where Turner would have fit with the Padres. But after Fernando Tatis Jr. re-injured his shoulder on July 31, Turner would have been the natural replacement at shortstop. If Tatis had remained healthy, team officials were confident they would have figured it out, with one option being moving Tatis to the outfield to ensure that he remained on the field the rest of the season as he battled the shoulder injury.
Some executives view Turner, 28, as the favorite to win the National League MVP with Tatis and New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom on the injured list. His 6.9 fWAR since 2020 ranks second in baseball behind Tatis (7.4). He leads shortstops since 2020 in hits (202), total bases (338), average (.326), OBP (.378) and sprint speed (30.7 mph). And he’s in the midst of one of the best offensive seasons of his career, entering Monday with a 136 wRC+.
Adding Turner would have narrowed the gap between the Padres and Dodgers. But with both Turner and Scherzer going to Los Angeles, it not only maximizes the Dodgers’ chances of winning the World Series in 2021, and beyond, it makes the Padres’ quest of catching them and the San Francisco Giants, who added former NL MVP Kris Bryant, infinitely more difficult.
The Padres, however, expressed confidence after the deadline, but it was hard not to be underwhelmed by their haul. They added Hudson, Adam Frazier and Jake Marisnick and left their most pressing need — a starting pitcher — unaddressed, citing the high asking prices throughout the game. Then Tatis went down with another shoulder injury and while the organization is optimistic that he will avoid a surgery that could come with a recovery of at least four months, a source with direct knowledge said late last week that “it’s too early right now (to tell). I think next week we will know if he can give it a go or not.”
While the Padres await the official word on Tatis, they are forced to watch Turner and Scherzer play for their division rival while they hope a talented, yet flawed, roster can help them erase a 7.5-game deficit in the NL West.
One more note on Trea Turner…
Turner: 2,802 plate appearances, 443 runs, 768 hits, 135 doubles, 32 triples, 93 home runs, 306 RBI, 208 walks, 192 stolen bases, .300 batting average, .355 OBP, .486 SLG, .841 OPS, 21.3 fWAR.
Jeter: 2,876 plate appearances, 484 runs, 804 hits, 121 doubles, 31 triples, 63 home runs, 340 RBI, 272 walks, 86 stolen bases, .318 batting average, .389 OBP, .465 SLG, .855 OPS, 19.4 fWAR.
What will the Tampa Bay Rays do with Tyler Glasnow?
The Tampa Bay Rays will have a difficult decision coming in the offseason with Tyler Glasnow.
Glasnow, 27, is likely out until 2023 after undergoing successful Tommy John surgery on Aug. 4. He earned $4 million this season and is likely to get a raise in the $5-6 million range in arbitration this winter. And the Rays, who operate with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, will have to decide whether to trade, keep or non-tender him.
The Rays discussed Glasnow in trades before the July 30 deadline, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, with one option being sending the injured right-hander to the Chicago Cubs for Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel. But the Cubs, and every other team the Rays spoke with, were concerned about Glasnow’s medicals, with the Rays communicating that he likely needed Tommy John surgery.
Trading for Glasnow in the offseason would still come with plenty of risk, but some teams might be more open to it. While he will miss the entire 2022 season, he should return in 2023 and present more upside than arguably any starting pitcher available. And by acquiring him, it gives any team the inside track at signing him to a contract extension — something that could appeal to a big market team that can add players with such risk.
The Rays could sign Glasnow for 2022 and trade him next July when he’s closer to 100 percent health. They could, perhaps more likely, decide to hold onto him and trade him during the 2023 season as a rental before he eventually departs in free agency. But a number of teams will be watching this situation closely this winter as questions mount whether Glasnow has pitched his last inning in Tampa Bay.
Jonathan Schoop staying with the Tigers was a surprise
Agent Scott Boras generally prefers his clients to establish their values on the open market. So when infielder Jonathan Schoop signed a two-year, $15 million extension with the Detroit Tigers, there was a sense of surprise among rival agents.
“Schoop is a better player than Jurickson Profar and Kiké Hernandez,” one agent said, “and they all got the same AAV (average annual value) and Profar got an extra year.”
It’s true. Schoop, 29, is hitting .291/.335/.468 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI in 423 at-bats this season. Profar, 28, signed a three-year, $21 million deal this offseason and is hitting .242/.344/.327 with two home runs and 24 RBI in 269 at-bats. Hernandez, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $14 million contract this winter and is hitting .248/.328/.460 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI in 359 at-bats.
It’s possible that Schoop indicated a desire to Boras to complete an extension in-season. Upon signing his deal, Schoop told reporters that “I feel really good here. I feel really comfortable here. And I wanted to stay here. I’m really happy. This is one of the happiest days of my life.”
It’s also possible that Schoop and Boras wanted to get in front of a crowded infield free-agent market ahead of an uncertain offseason with the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire. The deal includes an opt-out clause after the 2022 season and if he continues this level of production, makes Schoop a likely candidate to exercise that clause in search of a more lucrative contract.
But other agents are convinced that Schoop’s offensive numbers, as well as his defensive versatility, would have landed him that kind of deal this offseason.
Joey Gallo was a big risk for the Yankees
A few rival executives questioned Joey Gallo’s fit with the New York Yankees, wondering if adding a strikeout prone bat to an already strikeout heavy lineup would create additional problems. The Yankees, however, bet that his power and plate discipline, as well as his Gold-Glove-caliber defense, would offset any swing-and-miss concerns.
Indeed, Gallo is hitting .147/.275/.353 with one home run and 16 strikeouts in 34 at-bats in New York. He has shown glimpses of what made the Yankees so bullish on his outlook at Yankee Stadium, hitting a go-ahead three-run homer on Thursday in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. He also recorded his 10th outfield assist on Sunday, which ranks second in baseball behind Hunter Renfroe of the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees are 8-2 since the trade, with Anthony Rizzo recording an RBI in his first six games before going on the COVID IL, and the organization is hopeful Gallo will follow suit as he gets more comfortable in New York — even as some rival executives remain skeptical.
Around the Horn:
- The Boston Red Sox are struggling. They have lost 10 of 13, blowing a 7-2 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, with both Toronto and the Yankees catching up in the AL East.
- Some executives felt the Philadelphia Phillies overpaid for right-hander Kyle Gibson. So far, he has quieted those concerns. He has a 2.13 ERA in two starts since the trade, including a six-inning appearance against the New York Mets in which he allowed only one run on Friday.