San Diego Padres’ third baseman Manny Machado left yesterday’s game against the Colorado Rockies with a lower leg injury. X-rays were negative and Machado was diagnosed with a sprained ankle.
There’s no timetable yet for Machado’s return, but Reds fans know all too well how quickly a season can be derailed by injures. The Padres are also without their All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
While Machado’s injury is unlikely to keep him out for the remainder of the season, one could easily see the five-time All-Star be out of commission for about a month. Machado was in the thick of the NL MVP race, and the San Diego Padres are battling the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West.
In the immediate aftermath of Manny Machado’s injury, you’d have to assume that C.J. Abrams will be recalled to the San Diego roster and Ha-Seong Kim will slide over to third base. That will satisfy the need defensively, but Kim is hitting .222/.309/.353 and Abrams, while a top prospect, is just starting to get his feet wet in the big leagues this season.
It would not be surprising in the least if Padres’ President of Baseball Operations A.J. Preller gave the Cincinnati Reds a call to inquire about the availability of Brandon Drury. Drury signed a minor league contract prior to the season and has been Cincinnati’s best player. The former New York Mets infielder is hitting .268/.332/.516 with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs.
A trade like this would make sense for both the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres. Brandon Drury is playing at an All-Star level and will be a free agent after the 2022 season. Cincinnati has little-to-no interest in re-signing the 29-year-old, so trading him before August 2nd’s deadline seems like a forgone conclusion.
The Reds already have Mike Moustakas, who’s under contract through next season, at third base. Donovan Solano is expected to return to the Cincinnati lineup this week, and the Reds’ top infield prospect (Jose Barrero) is currently languishing at Triple-A Louisville.
This move makes sense for both sides. While the return for Brandon Drury isn’t going to be anything earth-shattering, the immediacy of the need on the part of the San Diego Padres could cause A.J. Preller to overpay slightly. Reds’ GM Nick Krall should be on the phone with Preller right now.