Remember way back in the day when the Padres trading for Blake Snell took them out of the running for Yu Darvish and may have also made the Rays more of a player for Willson Contreras? And by “way back in the day,” I literally mean earlier this very day when I wrote about it. Well, gosh, kind of a lot’s changed since then.
First came the reports that the Padres were “deep into talks” with the Cubs to acquire Darvish, which lets us know that San Diego isn’t among the 12 teams on the righty’s limited no-trade list. Then came speculation San Diego could be targeting a catcher as well, leading to Contreras and Victor Caratini being mentioned by Jon Heyman.
Joel Sherman took it a step further by saying he has heard one of the catchers “could be in play.”
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 28, 2020
If that is indeed the case, the Cubs are going to have to get back an absolute monster haul of multiple prospects and probably at least one MLB player making some decent money to make it all work out. Wil Myers has been mentioned and he makes sense because he can play outfield, hits lefties pretty well, and pulls down $13.8 million AAV to balance the money. Shortstop CJ Abrams is the Padres’ No. 2 prospect and could also be in the mix.
Lefty Adrian Morejon is still just 21 years old and has pitched to impressive results over limited stints in each of the past two seasons. Then there’s 26-year-old second baseman Jake Cronenworth, who would be at least a little redundant if the Padres indeed end up landing coveted Korean star Ha-Seong Kim. Cronenworth is a lefty batter and struggled against southpaws, but his overall offensive profile fits the Cubs’ needs.
Update: The Padres have indeed landed Kim.
Pretty much all of those players and then some would have to be involved if either Cubs catcher was being included with Darvish, so this thing coming to fruition would be a blockbuster. It could also backfire badly, especially from a PR perspective. A lot of fans are happy with trades, but those who’ve grown to love Darvish and Contreras in particular are not going to be pleased in the event that a deal comes to fruition.