The Padres are acquiring Brandon Drury from the Reds, according to Ken Rosenthal and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. Prospect Victor Acosta is going to Cincinnati, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The Padres have seemingly been at the center of all the activity at this year’s deadline, extending Joe Musgrove, acquiring Josh Hader, sending Eric Hosmer to the Red Sox and making perhaps the most impactful baseball trade of all time, acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell for a pile of prospects.
The Reds, too, have been busy, sending Luis Castillo to the Mariners, Tyler Mahle to the Twins and Tommy Pham to the Red Sox. Now the two clubs have aligned on a deal that will send Drury to San Diego.
Drury, 29, showed enough promise in his early years with the Diamondbacks that he cracked Baseball America’s top 100 list in 2016 and then was traded to the Yankees after the 2017 season. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a miserable three-year stretch wherein Drury struggled mightily with the Yanks and then the Blue Jays. He dealt with various injuries and struggled to produce when healthy, eventually getting designated for assignment at the end of the 2020 season.
The Mets took a flier on him last year, which worked out well, as Drury hit .274/.307/.476 in a bench role. That production was 14% above league average, by measure of wRC+. Despite that solid work, he was designated for assignment again at the end of the season.
The Reds brought Drury aboard on a minor league deal, which could hardly have gone any better. Drury is having a career year, already having hit 20 home runs and producing an overall batting line of .274/.335/.520 for a wRC+ of 132. He’s also done it while bouncing all around the diamond, playing mostly third base but also seeing time at the other three infield positions and right field this year.
It seems likely that the Padres want Drury to fill a super utility role on the team, bouncing around to various positions based on who needs a day off. The regular infield lineup would likely see Josh Bell at first, Jake Cronenworth at second, Ha-Seong Kim at shortstop and Manny Machado at third. When Fernando Tatis Jr. eventually returns from his injury, the picture will get a little more crowded, but the Padres also cleared out their usual designated hitter by including Luke Voit in the Soto deal.
In exchange, the Reds are getting Acosta, an 18-year-old switch-hitting shortstop. He had an excellent debut in affiliated ball last year, slashing .285/.431/.484 in the Dominican Summer League for a 153 wRC+ and adding 26 stolen bases. He has slumped a bit this year, hitting .243/.346/.360 in the Arizona Complex League for a 99 wRC+. He is still just 18, however, and was considered one of the better prospects in the San Diego system coming into today.