Padres Present a Serious NL Challenge for Dodgers After Big Deadline Moves

Padres Present a Serious NL Challenge for Dodgers After Big Deadline Moves
Tony Dejak/Associated PressBefore the dust settled on the 2020 MLB trade deadline, the San Diego Padres were a legitimate postseason contender.Now, after a flurry of moves culminating on Monday, the Pads have a loftier goal: challenging the Los Angeles Dodgers for supremacy in the National League West—and the Senior Circuit as a whole.First, to recap.…
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger delivers in the third inning in a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Sooner than the mud settled on the 2020 MLB alternate closing date, the San Diego Padres had been a sound postseason contender.

Now, after a flurry of moves culminating on Monday, the Pads contain a loftier purpose: now now not easy the Los Angeles Dodgers for supremacy within the Nationwide League West—and the Senior Circuit as a full.

First, to recap. In separate deals with Cleveland, the Kansas Metropolis Royals, Boston Crimson Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners, the Padres added: accurate-hander Mike Clevinger, outfielder Greg Allen, catcher Austin Nola, accurate-hander Austin Adams, accurate-hander Dan Altavilla, accurate-hander Taylor Williams, first baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland, catcher Jason Castro, accurate-hander Trevor Rosenthal and a player to be named.

The Padres surrendered some key objects, including high-upside outfield prospect Taylor Trammell, accurate-hander Cal Quantrill, outfielder Edward Olivares and catcher Austin Hedges, among others.

On balance, even supposing, they got measurably better. Passable to grunt purpose at the mighty Dodgers? Per chance.

Coming into play Monday, San Diego sat at 21-15, five video games at the assist of L.A. within the NL West but in put for the No. 4 seed within the unusual, expanded playoff layout.

Of the Padres’ 23 September video games, 15 would possibly maybe maybe be towards the Angels, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and the Mariners, all groups with .500 or worse records. They’ll additionally play a 3-game living towards the Dodgers on Sept. 14-16.

It would possibly maybe maybe be a likelihood for San Diego to measure itself towards what’s, till additional survey, the most effective possible group in baseball.

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Dodgers contain MLB’s only document at 26-10. They’ve baseball’s only bustle differential at plus-90. Their pitching personnel paces each and every leagues with a 2.76 ERA, and their lineup ranks fourth with an .805 OPS.

By statistics and the eyeball test, they’re a deep, harmful and total group. So total, in fact, that they made no predominant moves at the alternate closing date despite rumors linking them to Texas Rangers accurate-hander Lance Lynn.

With the Dodgers standing pat, the Padres had a likelihood to shut the gapand so they took it.

Per chance the main addition for San Diego used to be Clevinger, who handled controversy and a non everlasting demotion in Cleveland after violating the group’s COVID-19 security protocols and angering teammates. 

Now, the 29-year-frail gets a new launch up with the Pads. Clevinger flashed ace-level stuff and ends in 2019, posting a 2.71 ERA with 12.1 strikeouts per 9 innings in 126 frames. Over 22.2 innings with Cleveland this season, he posted a 3.18 ERA with 21 strikeouts.

He’ll be half of a personnel headlined by Dinelson Lamet (2.35 ERA, 12.0 Okay/9), Zach Davies (2.61 ERA, 8.1 Okay/9) and Chris Paddack (4.43 ERA, 8.9 Okay/9). Plus, the Padres managed to set their top two pitching prospects, accurate-hander Luis Patino and left-hander MacKenzie Gore. Patino is already within the colossal leagues, and Gore would possibly maybe per chance maybe also rapidly apply.

The Padres additionally shored up a bullpen that lost closer Kirby Yates to elbow surgical treatment and entered Monday ranked 23rd with a 5.20 ERA. Rosenthal, in recount, affords San Diego with a confirmed late-inning arm who posted a 3.29 ERA with seven saves and 21 strikeouts in 13.2 innings for Kansas Metropolis.

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

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Offensively, San Diego reshuffled its catching corps with the subtraction of Hedges and the additions of Castro and Nola, but the largest bat it obtained used to be Moreland.

In 22 video games with the Crimson Sox, Moreland hit .328 with a 1.177 OPS and eight dwelling runs. He’ll provide the Padres with an skilled left-handed vitality risk who can spell first baseman Eric Hosmer and secure reps at designated hitter.

He joins an offense that already ranks No. 1 in OPS (.836) and runs scored (205) due to the dynamic duo of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (13 HR, 1.052 OPS) and third baseman Manny Machado (11 HR, 1.005 OPS), moreover a deep supporting solid.

These Padres can hit. They added impact hands to the rotation and bullpen. With the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, the present leaders within the NL Central and East, and varied NL contenders now now not doing nearly as grand at the closing date, San Diego now appears love the most effective possible risk to the Dodgers.

Catching Los Angeles within the division within the form of short time would possibly maybe maybe be an limitless state. However the two groups would possibly maybe per chance maybe also with out complications collide within the postseason.

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

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The Dodgers contain the threshold in postseason skills as plenty of the Padres’ younger stars equivalent to Tatis contain never been on that stage. And L.A., despite its closing date inactiveness and the Padres’ myriad moves, maybe tranquil has a microscopic edge in skills.

However the Padres and general supervisor A.J. Preller worked hard to narrow the gap and living up a that it is possible you’ll per chance maybe imagine Southern California showdown come playoff time. Pop your popcorn.

“We knew A.J. would be aggressive,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told newshounds. “We dwell up for playing them in September and, who knows, per chance October.”

San Diego used to be a postseason contender earlier than it made a single alternate. Now, the Dodgers are listening to footsteps.


All statistics present as of Monday and courtesy of Baseball Reference.


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