With the 2012 regular season now over, the San Diego Padres front office must look to the future and decide what roster moves they need to make to get their team into contention next year.
The names that seem to be most consistently bandied about as offseason trade bait are Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin. Both are coming off good years and have quite a bit of trade value right now.
Headley, in particular, just had a career year. He had career-highs in runs (95), doubles (31), home runs (31), RBIs (a NL-leading 115), walks (86), and stolen bases (17), as well as earning the NL Player of the Month award for September. And at age 28, he is right in his prime.
Quentin's year wasn't quite as electrifying as Headley's, but after coming off the Disabled List, his presence in the Padres' lineup seemed to make everyone around him better. His .261/.374/.504/.877 slash line was the best he's had across the board since his breakout season in 2008.
On the one hand, this means both of these players would be highly prized commodities on the open market. On the other, if the Padres are serious about becoming a contender again in 2012, these are exactly the people they need to have in the middle of the lineup to generate offense and to get fans in the stands.
In Quentin's case, his value may have dropped a little after the news that he'll be undergoing surgery again on his right knee. This is the same knee that kept him out of the lineup for the first half of the 2012 season.
Assuming the news is accurate though, he should be good to go by Spring Training next year.
San Diego does still have some pieces with trade value.
Will Venable had a solid season in right field for the Padres. Playing in 148 games, a career-high, he also tied his career best in batting average (.264), while setting new personal bests in runs (62), doubles (26) and OPS (.765).
Venable's defense is no better than average and that might be a real weakness for him in the spacious PETCO Park outfield. Moving him to make room for top prospect Rymer Liriano in exchange for more pitching depth would be a good option.
The Padres have a ton of depth in their middle infield. With Everth Cabrera, Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe splitting time there already and top prospects Cory Spangenberg and Jedd Gyorko waiting in the wings, something has to give.
I think the best trade option among this group is Forsythe.
Forsythe had a good season at the dish, hitting .273 with six homers and 26 RBI in limited action. At 25 years of age, he's young, with lots of upside.
Moving him to make room on the roster for Spangenberg or Gyorko could help San Diego take the next step towards credibility.
A package deal for both Venable and Forsythe could bring another quality arm for the pitching rotation and give them a legitimate shot at challenging San Francisco and Los Angeles for the NL West.
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