Image credit: Austin Allen (Photo by Stephen Smith/Four Seam Images
Six days after trading Luis Urias to the Brewers, the Padres made a move to shore up second base in advance on the non-tender deadline.
Profar, 26, was set to be non-tendered by the A’s. Padres general manager A.J. Preller was a Rangers executive when Profar was a prospect in Texas’ system and has a long history with him.
Dec. 12 Update: The Padres have sent Buddy Reed to the A’s as the player to be named later.
Austin Allen, C
Allen is a physical lefthanded hitter with above-average power and the hitting ability to get to it. He hit at least .280 with 20 home runs at high Class A, Double-A and Triple-A and made his major league debut last season. No one doubts his hitting ability, but his defense is another matter. Allen is a fringy to below-average catcher with a fringy to below average arm who lacks mobility. The same size and strength that make him an effective power hitter negatively affect his ability to get out of the crouch quickly, and baserunners run freely on him. Because of that, evaluators have long seen Allen as a C/1B/DH type rather than a true backup catcher. His move to the American League should open up at-bats for him as a DH, and the expansion of rosters to 26 players should help him make the roster as a third catcher.
Buddy Reed, OF
A second-round pick in 2016, Reed has long enthralled with his athleticism and underwhelmed with his ability to hit. The hyper-athletic Reed is a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder capable of making game-changing plays at any time. His plus-plus speed turns likely doubles to the gap into outs, and his plus-plus arm allows him to gun down runners at any base and change the momentum of games. Reed flashed some of that ability at the Futures Game in 2018 and kept it up at Double-A Amarillo in 2019, notching 18 outfield assists and earning Best Outfield Arm in the Texas League in Best Tools balloting. For all his athletic gifts, the switch-hitting Reed has long struggled to hit. His pitch recognition and plate discipline are extraordinarily raw and his swing path does not allow him to cover much of the plate. His long levers and natural strength give him above-average raw power when he does connect and he’s a basestealing terror when he gets on, although his instincts and decisions have room for growth. Reed went unprotected and unpicked in the Rule 5 draft. He needs significant offensive work to reach the majors as even a reserve outfielder, but if he unlocks a workable swing and approach, he can be a dynamic player.
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Profar famously ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball in 2013 before injuries derailed his rise and sapped his physical ability. Profar missed the entire 2014 and 2015 seasons with shoulder injuries, then struggled to find consistent playing time in 2016 and 2017. He appeared finally to break out in 2018 with the Rangers, but he fell back to earth in 2019 after a trade to Oakland and was set to be non-tendered by the A’s. The switch-hitting Profar offers power and speed in the middle infield. He is coming off back-to-back 20 home run seasons and is 19-for-20 on stolen bases over the last two years. However, he’s also a career .234/.315/.394 hitter who suffered through a horrendous case of the yips last season and lost the A’s starting second base job. Manager Jayce Tingler was also a member of the Rangers front office when Profar was a top prospect and is very familiar with his strengths and weaknesses. The Padres hope that familiarity will help them get the best from Profar in 2020. He will be a free agent after the season.