The rumors have come to fruition! After a lot of talk about the Padres potentially dealing their young center fielder, we finally have a trade. The Padres add a much needed bullpen arm in Emilio Pagan, and the Rays get a breakout candidate in Margot. Let’s break it down, piece by piece.
San Diego Padres
Margot, as previously mentioned, was a highly-touted prospect who hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations. His defense has been as advertised, as he consistently does well by most defensive metrics. However, it’s the bat that hasn’t been there. In his 3 full seasons in the MLB, he’s compiled a .248 career batting average, and a .695 OPS. That’s hardly what you expect from a guy who was given a 60 grade for his hit tool on the standard 20-80 scale by the MLB. With that said, he’s only 25, and there’s plenty of time for him to turn it around, and develop into the player he was once expected to be.
The prospect in this trade, Logan Driscoll, is a promising young talent. He was picked in the 2nd round, 73rd overall by the Padres last summer in the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft. Driscoll is a catcher who has also seen time at right field, and the name of his game is hitting. He’s a solid contact hitter from the left side, with a .337 batting average in his 3-year NCAA career. He also had good showing in low-A ball after being drafted, hitting .268 and striking out just 23 times in his first 39 professional games. He has a strong arm, but his receiving behind the plate needs work, which is part of why the Padres have experimented with him as an outfielder. His above-average athleticism and speed for a catcher allows for him to be an outfielder if things don’t work out behind the plate.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are giving up one of their better bullpen pieces in Emilio Pagan, who is coming off of a fantastic season. In 2019, he recorded a 2.31 ERA, with an excellent 0.829 WHIP. The Rays have a very deep bullpen which allows them to make this move, but Pagan will absolutely be missed in Tampa Bay. Pagan served as the closer, after Jose Alvarado lost the job due to his struggles to start the year. He used his fastball-cutter combination to rack up 20 saves on the season.
Due to the natural volatility of relief pitchers (looking at you, Edwin Diaz), I think the Rays win this trade. Margot is a top candidate for a breakout season, and Driscoll is a promising young player. With that said, Pagan seems unlikely to regress the way relief pitchers do seemingly out of nowhere. He’s changed his repertoire from 2018 to 2019, effectively cutting his walk rate nearly in half. Only time will tell though, what do you think of this trade, and who do you think won?
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