The first blockbuster trade of the offseason is here.
The Rays are on the verge of trading outfielder Tommy Pham to the Padres for outfielder Hunter Renfroe. San Diego is acquiring Triple A infielder and righthanded reliever Jake Cronenworth from Tampa Bay in exchange for Class A shortstop/second baseman Xavier Edwards and another minor leaguer, according to multiple reports.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the deal is done, pending physicals, though it will not be announced until Friday at the earliest, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The players have all been notified they are being traded, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. News of the deal was first reported by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Dennis Lin of The Athletic was first to report the Rays were including Cronenworth in the deal.
As of now, the trade looks to be beneficial for both teams in the upcoming season. Pham, 32, has two years of club control remaining and fills San Diego's need of a high on-base percentage corner outfielder. He slashed .273/.369/.450 with 21 home runs and 3.7 WAR this season, and he batted .360 with two homers in six postseason games.
Pham, who was traded to Tampa Bay on July 31, 2018, spent his first five years with the Cardinals. He was critical of how St. Louis for years kept him in limbo between the major and minor leagues. In 2017, his first full big-league season, he hit .306/.411/.520 with 23 homers and 6.2 WAR in 128 games, and he finished 11th in the NL MVP voting. He struggled in the first half of the 2018 season but got hot after the Cardinals traded him to the Rays.
Renfroe, who turns 28 in January, led the Padres with 33 home runs last season and ranked second among MLB outfielders with 22 defensive runs saved (tied with NL MVP Cody Bellinger). He provides the Rays with the righthanded power hitter they've been wanting to acquire for a while. He also joins centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier to form one of the better defensive outfields in the league.
The Rays also get to save some money by trading Pham, who is projected to earn $8.6 million in arbitration this offseason, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. Renfroe has four years of club control left and is projected to get $3.4 million in arbitration.
Edwards, 20, has been electric in his first two minor-league seasons. The switch-hitting middle infielder was the fifth-ranked prospect in the Padres' deep farm system, according to both Fangraphs and MLBPipeline.
Cronenworth was an offensive force last year with Triple-A Durham, slashing .329/.422/.511 with 10 home runs in 88 games. He recorded nine strikeouts and allowed two runs (none earned) in 7 1/3 innings in seven relief appearances in 2019 with the Bulls. He previously pitched for three seasons at the University of Michigan, where he had a 2.76 ERA, but he did not pitch in the minor leagues before last year.
This is the third trade for the Padres this offseason. Last week they acquired outfielder Trent Grisham and Zach Davies from the Brewers for second-base prospect Luis Urias and lefthanded pitcher Eric Lauer. Then, earlier this week, they got second baseman Jurickson Profar in a deal with the Athletics.