Now Contending, The Padres Have Traded The Equivalent Of A 40-Man Roster
After four seasons of a rebuild characterized largely by trading major leaguers for prospects, the deal was the first major trade the Padres had made since 2015 aimed solely at upgrading the major league roster, without any farm system considerations.
As fate would have it, it was just the first of an unprecedented flurry of trades to come.
In the last 17 months, the Padres have traded 29 prospects and 13 young major leaguers who had recently graduated from their farm system. The deals have hollowed out what was an extraordinarily deep group of talent, but for the worthy tradeoff of significantly enhancing the major league team.
The Padres compiled the third-best record in the major leagues last season and ended a 14-year playoff drought, with many of their trade acquisitions playing a significant role. San Diego followed up by adding Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove in blockbuster trades this offseason.
Trading prospects and young big leaguers for proven veterans is hardly unique, and is almost always a prerequisite for a team to successfully emerge from a rebuild. But the speed at which the Padres have done it has little precedent.
The Astros, for example, traded 44 prospects or recent prospect graduates as they matured from a rebuilding team into one that made four straight American League Championship Series from 2017 to 2020.
Some of the players Houston traded went on to become all-stars, such as Josh Hader and Mike Foltynewicz, and plenty of others became everyday standouts, including Ramon Laureano and Teoscar Hernandez.
But the Astros traded those 44 players over a period of more than five years, compared to the less than a year-and-a-half in which the Padres have made their trades.
Despite their feverish trading, the Padres have managed to keep most of their best prospects. The organization enters 2021 with seven of the Top 100 Prospects, the most of any team—a testament to the immense prospect depth the Padres built during their rebuild.
Many of the players the Padres traded will likely go on to have successful major league careers, just as many of the players the Astros traded. But if similar success follows, including a World Series championship, it will have been worth it.
Padres Depth Chart
This depth chart presents the 42 prospects or recent prospect graduates the Padres have traded since November 2019. The organization the player was traded to is also listed.
Josh Naylor | Indians
Editor's Note: Franmil Reyes was initially omitted from the list of players traded by the Padres. The error has been corrected.