Believe it or not, Brandon Drury is among the best third basemen in the National League this season. Drury is second among NL third basemen in OPS and home runs. The Cincinnati Reds found a diamond in the rough when they inked Drury to a minor league deal this offseason.
But Drury is slated to become a free agent after the 2022 season, and most fans assume that his time in the Queen City is coming to an end. After all, the Reds have Mike Moustakas signed through the 2023 season, Donovan Solano is likely to return this week, and top infield prospect Jose Barrero is sitting at Triple-A just waiting for his opportunity.
All those factors make Drury expendable, and contending teams looking for power-hitting right-handed bat may be giving the Reds a call in the coming days and weeks. One of those teams could be the San Diego Padres who just lost potential NL MVP Manny Machado to an ankle injury.
What kind of trade package could the Padres offer the Reds for Brandon Drury?
The San Diego Padres are in a dog fight with the Los Angeles Dodgers for supremacy in the NL West. The Padres will be without Manny Machado the foreseeable future, and without Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego is already thin on the left side of the infield.
That's where Brandon Drury comes in. The Reds infielder has made the most of his opportunity this season, and with Cincinnati out of playoff contention, the front office will be looking to sell as the trade deadline gets closer.
But what could the Cincinnati Reds receive in return for Drury's services? While the San Diego Padres have one of the best farm systems in the league, don't set your expectations too high. Two-to-three months of Brandon Drury isn't going to net Cincinnati any of San Diego's top prospects.
But San Diego's farm system is loaded from top to bottom. Perhaps Cincinnati could look beyond those elite-level prospects like C.J. Abrams and Luis Campusano and find some value deeper in the Padres' minor leagues.
When evaluating and drafting position players of late, Cincinnati has shown an increased penchant to target athletic, young prospects who can play up the middle of the diamond. Matt McLain, Jay Allen, Matheu Nelson, and Jose Torres are all the latest examples of just that.
With that in mind, the Reds could target a few players in the Padres organization. Young prospects like shortstop Yendry Rojas, shortstop Victor Acosta, or catcher Brandon Valenzuela could all be on Cincinnati's radar. The Reds should also be in the market for MLB-ready relievers.
With that in mind, would a trade package of outfielder Samuel Zavala and left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr be too much for the Padres to swallow? Zavala is extremely talented, but isn't even 18 years old. Kerr, on the other hand, is already 27 years old, but his above-average slider and upper-90s fastball could be very tempting.
Zavala, according to MLB Pipeline, is the San Diego Padres 11th-ranked prospect. Kerr ranks in the Top 25 of farm system as well. That would be a pretty good haul for the Reds, and one that could pay immediate dividends now (Kerr) and offer some value for the future (Zavala).