The Padres are making big moves at the trade deadline
The San Diego Padres have not been to the postseason since 2006 and want to change that in 2020. The team entered play Sunday second in the National League West standings and are not messing around at the trade deadline.
The Padres have already acquired Mitch Moreland, Trevor Rosenthal, and Jason Castro this weekend. Getting Castro seemed to shore up the needs at catcher after the slow start by Austin Hedges. But the team is reportedly not stopping there and could feature a brand new set of catchers for September.
Padres targeting a dynamic catcher
Austin Nola would be an interesting acquisition for the Padres. He primarily plays catcher, but has also appeared in the infield and outfield since making his MLB debut in 2019. He is slashing .306/.373/.531 this season with the Seattle Mariners.
Depth at catcher is clearly a concern given the play of Hedges and that of Francisco Mejia, a once elite prospect who has yet to become a full-time catcher in San Diego.
Nola would be a great, cheap addition for the Padres. He is already 30 years old, but made his debut last season. That has him aiming to hit free agency in 2026 when he will be nearing the end of his career. Getting him now while he is playing well means that even if he struggles in the future, this was not a major investment.
The club went all-in by signing both Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer to major deals. Now Fernando Tatis Jr. is becoming a star of the game and Jake Cronenworth is batting over .340. The front office is seizing the opportunity and beginning to offer up prospects after a decade of sub-.500 finishes.
Nola is a 0.8 WAR player so far this season and may not be a known name to fans outside of Seattle. However, he is clearly coveted by the Padres and is a backup catcher who could play elsewhere in the field on his days off behind the plate.