For months, rumors connecting the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres have swirled. Why? Because the latter needs to unload a big chunk of payroll and the former has plenty of financial flexibility and a desire to add prospects to a rapidly improving farm system.
But in the wee hours of Saturday morning, it wasn’t the Cubs mentioned as the frontrunner in a prospective Eric Hosmer trade, but rather the cash-printing New York Mets. According to The Athletic‘s Padres beat writer Dennis Lin (subscription required), the two sides are talking about a deal that would send Hosmer and right-hander Chris Paddack to Queens in exchange for Dominic Smith.
There have been other corresponding reports that followed, including one from Joel Sherman that suggests reliever Emilio Pagan could be headed to the Mets in a deal, as well. Andy Martino dropped the details he’s heard shortly after 9 AM here in Chicago, which mirrors what we’d previously heard from Lin.
The deal makes a ton of sense for the Mets, who will enter 2022 without their ace, Jacob deGrom, for a lengthy period of time. Paddack adds depth to that rotation and gives manager Buck Showalter an insurance policy capable of making starts while his ace works his way back.
Eating the remaining $59 million on Hosmer’s contract is nothing to Cohen and New York – and the Friars would get an immediate replacement for Hosmer who comes with a much more palatable price tag and several remaining years of team control, to boot.
Cubs need young pitching now more than ever given rash of injuries
As for the Cubs, I’d love to see them step it up here and make a late push – but it’s hard to see them overpowering the win-now Mets. In an ideal world, Chicago would center something around young, controllable pitching (Paddack, for example) as a piece coming back in a deal given the tremendous uncertainty in the rotation right now.
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Kyle Hendricks hasn’t looked good this spring, Wade Miley is shut down with elbow issues, Adbert Alzolay is sidelined with an injury and it’s all question marks behind Marcus Stroman. Paddack is far from a sure thing but would still be a nice add for this team heading into Opening Day next Thursday.