Tommy Pham is heading west, as the San Diego Padres have pulled off a trade to land the outfielder from the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday night. This is all part of Padres general manager A.J. Preller's push to build the Padres into contenders this offseason.
Pham and an unnamed prospect are being shipped to the Padres, while Hunter Renfroe and San Diego's No. 5 prospect Xavier Edwards are going to the Rays. Renfroe led the Padres with 33 home runs in 2019 and became an oustanding corner outfielder. But he struggled to get on base and struck out 154 times. Edwards is a middle infielder with solid tools across the board other than power, but has near-elite speed.
But this deal is about Pham and the Padres. The team had a terrible offense in 2019 and ranked 26th in Major League Baseball in on-base percentage (.308). Pham has a .373 career OBP.
Pham is a solid outfielder and last year in Tampa hit .273 with 21 home runs, 68 RBIs, an OPS of .818 and had 25 stolen bases in 29 attempts. His fWAR of 3.3 bested Renfroe's mark of 1.9. In 2017, Pham's fWAR was 6.2 while he reached 4.1 in 2018. The 31-year-old has consistently been one of baseball's most underrated players.
This is the third Padres trade of the offseason as they acquired Zach Davies and Trent Grisham from the Brewers, while also landing Jurickson Profar from the A's on Monday.
With Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer and Tommy Pham, the Padres have the building blocks of a really nice offense.
The Padres aren't done yet and still have one of baseball's best and deepest farm systems. Preller should be a busy man over the next few weeks.