San Diego Padres are running away with Milwaukee Brewers trade

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 3: Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated by third-base coach Glenn Hoffman #26 after hitting a solo home run during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park August 3, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 3: Trent Grisham #2 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated by third-base coach Glenn Hoffman #26 after hitting a solo home run during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park August 3, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres are seeing positive early returns in their offseason trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Back on November 27th, 2019, while the rest of the country was preparing for Thanksgiving festivities, San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller was busy putting together his roster for the 2020 season.

In what is quickly becoming a fantastic deal for the Padres, San Diego shipped off former highly-regarded infield prospect Luis Urias and starting pitcher Eric Lauer to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Trent Grisham and starting pitcher Zach Davies.

We’re only a few weeks into the regular season, but it appears that this deal may end up swaying heavily in favor of the Padres.

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After three outings (two starts) with the Brewers, Lauer has since been removed from the active roster and sent to the team’s Alternate Site. Lauer is 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, and a .349 batting average against.

Lauer is just 25 years old and is coming off a 2.3 fWAR season with the Padres in 2019, but the lefty hasn’t looked the part of a back of the rotation piece through his first few outings in 2020. He’s never had very much room for error in his game (his elite pickoff move only helps so much) and both the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins lineups quickly knocked him out of his starts before finishing the fourth inning.

As for Urias, it’s been a rocky road since joining the Brewers. Spending his winter in Mexico playing winter ball, Urias broke a bone in his hand and wasn’t cleared to play in spring training games until COVID-19 shut down the sports world.

When Urias reported to summer camp, he tested positive for COVID-19 and missed all of camp. He’s appeared in just three games so far this season for the Brewers after finally testing negative and returning to the active roster.

Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser previously said he believes Urias can win a batting title in the major leagues, but the 23-year-old infielder has yet to find his stride in the big leagues. Urias hit .223 with a .655 OPS in 71 games last season in San Diego.

The ceiling for Urias is still high enough to garner some value out of this trade, even if Lauer doesn’t end up rebounding from his brutal start to 2020.

The win-now San Diego Padres have found two very solid pieces.

The story is a bit different on the other side of this deal. Through the first three weeks of the regular season, the San Diego Padres have seen notable value from both Grisham and Davies.

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Davies, a former highly-regarded prospect with the Baltimore Orioles, is currently 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 0.84 WHIP, averaging nearly six innings per start. He sits among the league leaders in Wins Above Replacement at 0.7, as of August 14th.

Davies has been relying heavily on his changeup in 2020 (41%) and he’s been having fantastic results with the pitch. Opponents are hitting .194 against Davies’ changeup and it has produced a near 34% whiff rate, a 5% increase from last season. Despite a fastball that averages 88 mph, Davies has found success with his offspeed bread and butter and impressive command (3.5% walk rate).

Davies is a nice change of pace pitcher to follow the Padres top power pitchers in Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet and with the addition of a healthy Garrett Richards in the rotation, the San Diego Padres are putting themselves in prime position to make some serious noise in the 2020 playoffs.

Oh yeah, MacKenzie Gore is also waiting in the wings.

The highlight of this deal may end up being outfielder Trent Grisham. Grisham has appeared in every game this season, posting a .235/.373/.485 slash line with four home runs, three doubles, one triple, and 15 walks in 20 games. Only five players in baseball have more walks than Grisham at this point.

Grisham’s high on-base percentage is providing a major boost to the lineup, a lineup that has ranked at or close to the bottom of the league in OBP for many seasons now.

Ignore the pedestrian batting average for right now and throw out the memory of his playoff error back in Milwaukee, Trent Grisham looks like a stud in the making. He’s already quite the Statcast darling.

Grisham is shining in the San Diego Padres lineup, one that includes rising mega-star Fernando Tatis Jr. established veteran Manny Machado, and oft-criticized guys like Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer who have come out of the gates surging in 2020.

The glove has also been pretty impressive. To go along with some of the Statcast numbers in Kiley McDaniel’s tweet above, Grisham is the only outfielder in Major League Baseball with more than one five-star catch this season. He already has two on his highlight reel.

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The season is still young, as are most of the players moved in this trade, but the early return is greatly in the favor of the San Diego Padres. This trade just may go down as one of the most underrated deals of the 2019 offseason.