MLB Rumors: The San Diego Padres are trading outfielder Manuel Margot and 2019 competitive balance pick Logan Driscoll to the Tampa Bay Rays for righthanded reliever Emilio Pagan, per Josh Tolentino of the Athletic.
The Rays acquired Pagan last year in the three-way deal that saw the Texas Rangers send Jurickson Profar to the Oakland A’s. Oakland sent Pagan and a competitive balance pick to the Rays and Eli White to the Rangers, while the Rangers sent Rollie Lacy to the Rays, and the Rays sent Brock Burke, Yoel Espinal and Kyle Bird to Texas. That deal is looking awfully good for Tampa right now.
San Diego picks up a 28 year old righthanded reliever in Pagan who had a 2.31 ERA and 3.30 FIP in 70 innings over 66 games in 2019. Pagan strikes out a ton of batters and doesn’t walk anyone, but he is homer-prone, though that might make him an especially good fit in San Diego — while their home park is close to neutral in allowing home runs to righthanded hitters, its one of the hardest parks for a lefthanded hitter to homer in.
Margot going to the Rays is interesting because he’s someone I thought the Rangers could be interested in, should the Padres move him. The prize (at the time) of the Craig Kimbrel trade, Margot has quality defense in center field and is fast, but has yet to hit in the majors. He’s an odd target for the Rays, given that they have Kevin Kiermaier in center, and Kiermaier is another strong glove, weak bat center fielder, and is owed $33 million from 2020-22, plus a $2.5 million buyout on a $13 million team option in 2023. So who knows, maybe the Rays are about to send Kiermaier to the Rangers, who, you may have heard me mention once or twice this offseason, need a quality defensive center fielder.
Driscoll, meanwhile, was picked by the Padres with their competitive balance pick after the second round, and signed for a below-slot $600,000 bonus. A lefthanded hitter out of George Mason who is listed as both a catcher and a right fielder, and who played in the Northwest League and the Arizona Fall League last year, Driscoll gets good marks for his power and arm.