It's not every day that you see the chairman of a team make noise with commentary on their team's on-field performance, but that was something that the Padres got to deal with this week after Ron Fowler did a radio interview. While the method of discussion was poorly chosen, he's not wrong that the team just isn't getting the job done. The production on the field just has not been there, and with the Padres sitting at the bottom of the NL West with a 21-34 record, the decision to start trading away veterans could be coming soon from GM A.J. Preller. We've already heard some discussion about a few of the players, and more could definitely be coming.
Let's start by eliminating a few players that the Padres are either not trading, or other teams are simply not going to take. The team has two starting pitchers who have shown flashes of excellent this year in Drew Pomeranz and Colin Rea, both of whom are under team control for multiple years. 1B Wil Myers is still just 25 years old, is having his best season at the plate since his rookie of the year campaign in 2013, and won't be arbitration eligible until next year. You also have the albatross contracts of Matt Kemp (owed $65.2M over the next three years), and Melvin Upton Jr ($17M next year), both of which are unlikely to be traded either. Beyond that though, there are a number of players that could draw a lot of interest before August 1st.
James Shields (RHP)
Shields is only in the second year of a four year, $75M contract, and has not pitched well since arriving in San Diego. The advanced metrics point to some regression toward his norms though. There were rumors during the offseason that the Padres were hoping to trade Shields, and they appear to be continuing to circulate. Trading Shields could potentially free up some money for the Padres, but there isn't really a starting pitcher to pick up his rotation spot should a trade occur.
Andrew Cashner (RHP)
Cashner is your run-of-the-mill trade candidate - a solid starting pitcher with some injury history and impending free agency at the end of the year. He seems a bit more likely to be traded given that he isn't likely to be given a qualifying offer, and the Padres will look to get something in return for him. As with Shields, it's not clear who would pick up his spot in the rotation if he is traded.
Jon Jay (CF)
Jay was acquired by the Cardinals during the offseason in exchange for shedding the contract of Jedd Gyorko, and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He's hit much better this year than last, and could make sense for a lot of contenders as an overqualified fourth outfielder/defensive replacement or even an every day center fielder depending on their other options. This is also one spot where the Padres have a fairly clear replacement lined up in Manuel Margot, who is hitting .299 with 16 stolen bases in 51 games at AAA.
Derek Norris (C)
Norris has been mentioned in trade rumors since the offseason after the team acquired Christian Bethancourt from the Braves, and seems reasonably likely to get dealt before the deadline this year. The problem at this point is that the return for trading him just might not be that much, as he could end up a candidate for a non-tender after the season if he continues to hit around .200. Bethancourt would likely be the beneficiary of the additional playing time, although his value wouldn't really change all that much from a fantasy perspective.