MLB San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres’ Top 5 Trade Assets

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5 San Diego Padres Trade Assets

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

With the way the National League West division race had been shaping up, it seemed like no one wanted to win it. The Arizona Diamondbacks currently lead the division with a 47-43 record. The San Diego Padres sit 6.5 games back, but it was a lot closer two weeks ago. Since then, they have dropped 14 of their last 17 games and their record has fallen to 41-50. This stretch came immediately after they were playing their best ball of the year, improving their record all the way to 38-36.

With the trade deadline now three weeks away, it looks like the Padres might want to consider trying to trade some of their assets before July 31. The Padres already have a pretty successful farm system loaded with pitching depth, including Max Fried, Casey Kelly and Robbie Erlin. We have also seen top prospect Jedd Gyorko make his trip up to the majors. But even with all of this talent, they need to wait for all of these guys to come up to become successful. Because of that, there are veteran players on the current Padres roster that do not fit into the long-term plans of the franchise. Therefore, the best bet would be to try and trade some of these guys in order to get even more prospects and really make a run starting in 2014 or 2015.

The Padres could use some young bats to go with the abundance of arms in their farm system, and they just might have enough trade bait at the major league level in order to make that happen. Here are the top five trade assets for the Padres heading into the July 31 deadline.

Zach Slotter is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page or add him on Google.

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5. Nick Hundley

Greg M. Cooper - USA Today Sports

Nick Hundley is a veteran catcher who has been with the Padres for six seasons. He is a career .240 hitter but provides solid defense and if anything, it is important to trade him to create room for top prospect Austin Hedges.

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4. Joe Thatcher

Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

Joe Thatcher leads the bullpen with a 2.16 ERA this season. As a left-handed specialist, he does his job in holding lefties to a .218 batting average. Seeing that he is still arbitration eligible for one more year, he might command a top prospect in the trade market from a team looking to bolster their bullpen before the postseason.

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3. Jason Marquis

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Jason Marquis has actually quietly put together a very solid year in San Diego. He currently stands at 9-4 with a 3.79 ERA. His 63 walks in 107 innings is quite alarming but other than that, look for him to be on the move before the deadline because he is an innings-eater that can be used as a starter at the back end of the rotation or in long relief.

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2. Huston Street

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Huston Street has struggled a bit this year, going 0-4 with a 4.30 ERA. However, he has been solid in save situations, converting 15-of-16. He was an All-Star last year with 23 saves and a 1.85 ERA. It would be pricey for a team to take him on as his contract is good for $7 million next year plus an option for 2015, but he can be used both as a reliable closer and setup man, and many teams need bullpen help heading into the playoffs.

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1. Chase Headley

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

Chase Headley is seemingly always the no. 1 name involved in Padres trade rumors. He is having a bit of a down year this year, batting only .227 with seven home runs, but there is no denying the kid’s talent: in 2012, the Padres slugger won a gold glove, a silver slugger and led the National League in RBIs with 115. He has one more year of arbitration eligibility and the Padres have been looking to sign him long-term. But if they got an overwhelming offer, let’s say three top prospects, they would let Headley go. Headley is the Padres’ most valuable asset and would garner significant talent in return. The question remains if anyone would be willing pay the high asking price.