Following the blockbuster trade of Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox on Friday night, it appears that A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres front office are far from finished this offseason. According to a column written by Ken Rosenthal on Sunday afternoon, sources have told him that the San Diego Padres are shopping Tyson Ross around and are also looking to possibly trade Matt Kemp as well. As it currently stands, Kimbrel was just the opening blockbuster in what could be a winter filled with big moves by the San Diego Padres.
Going into the offseason, it was pretty evident that the Padres would be actively trying to trade both Craig Kimbrel and Tyson Ross; both were trade options they heavily looked into at last year’s trade deadline. Beyond the four-prospect return the Padres got for Kimbrel, Ross would probably command a similar return, albeit with less overall prospect volume going back to the Padres. Tyson Ross was to the Padres rotation what Kimbrel was to the bullpen and, more importantly, represents a cheaper starting pitcher option than what is currently available on the free-agent market which would definitely make him a hot commodity.
The bigger news in the Sunday column by Ken Rosenthal was the part about the Padres exploring the market of Matt Kemp. This obviously isn’t much of a surprise, given the large sum left on Kemp’s contract, but it does represent confirmation of something that was still uncertain. It seems strange for the Padres to attempt to deal Kemp now, especially just one year removed from the original trade that brought him to San Diego. Kemp actually had a decent season in 2015, one in which he stayed healthy throughout, but lacks much value due to his age, history of injury concerns, and value left on his contract.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of information in Rosenthal’s column was in the possibility of the Padres packaging Kemp with Tyson Ross in a larger deal. This would be a similar deal to the one that brought both Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton to San Diego prior to the 2015 season. This type of deal would obviously torpedo the value of Ross, but would allow the Padres to shed the salary of Kemp for the long term. It may not be a smart play, but at this point it is definitely an option that A.J. Preller will consider.
Whether the Padres choose to trade Tyson Ross and Matt Kemp together, separately, or not at all, it seems pretty clear that the Padres are far from finished this offseason. Far from a complete rebuild, it appears A.J. Preller is content shedding payroll and reallocating resources towards the free agent market. With the All-Star Game coming to San Diego in 2016, the Padres front office may once again go all in next season.