Not long after the Chicago Cubs paid the price for Jose Quintana, news broke that the Padres had insisted on a package around Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers in any trade for All Star reliever Brad Hand per a report by Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports.
Verdugo, a twenty-one year old outfielder, was a second round selection by Los Angeles all the way back in the 2014 MLB Draft and is considered by MLB Pipeline to be a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. At Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, Verdugo’s grade 60 hit tool and advanced approach at the plate have been on full display as he’s posted a stellar 346/.416/.463 slashline, and although the slugging percentage leaves much to be desired in terms of power, he’s expected to develop at least average power as continues to mature.
Perhaps, the most interesting facet of this rumor is that it highlights the notion that the front office seems to be interested in receiving near big league ready talent in return for Hand. If you recall, they were recently rumored to have asked for Gleyber Torres from the Yankees. While it is certainly possible that each of those prospects just happen to be among the most desirable in each system, the proximity to the majors of these trade targets shouldn’t be overlooked.
Additionally, Heyman’s report notes that roughly ten teams have seriously inquired about Hand, including the Nationals and Brewers, which should do well to drive up Hand’s trade value over the next couple of weeks if A.J. Preller and company remain patient.