If you ever think you know what A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres are going to do next, seek immediate psychiatric help. This organization has zigged when all expected them to zag for two years running, with the trade for Luis Arraez at the start of May only furthering that pattern.

Yet what is very clear, from acquiring both Arraez and Dylan Cease, which they did just as they were leaving for South Korea to begin their season, is that the Padres are in no mood to throw in the towel in 2024. Despite constantly dancing around the .500 mark, this is a team with playoff ambitions, meaning there's likely more work to be done for Preller and his staff.

With that knowledge in mind, today's task is to make three realistic trades that could get the Padres out of limbo and firmly into the postseason. In addition to their high-priced talent performing better, they need lots of help on the pitching staff and could use an outfield bat as well. Here are three moves to address those shortcomings:

Acquire White Sox SP Erick Fedde

Well, Preller and the Padres had success trading with the White Sox once already this spring, so why not double dip? Erick Fedde has seen a career renaissance in his return from the Korean Baseball Organization, pitching to a 2.60 ERA in nine starts with 2.2 bWAR, tied for fifth among all MLB starters.

Though the Padres' rotation was hyped up coming into the season, it hasn't lived up to its billing thus far. Joe Musgrove was one of the least effective starters in the league before landing on the injured list, Michael King has been an absolute roller coaster and Matt Waldron, as a knuckleballer, is a roller coaster by design.

Bringing in Fedde would likely cost at least one and possibly two top ten organizational prospects, but it's worth the price because the Padres would get him for the entirety of 2025 in addition to the rest of this year. If Chicago accepts a package of No. 8 and 11 prospects Homer Bush Jr. and Brandon Valenzuela (rankings per MLBPipeline), it's a win for San Diego.

Acquire Blue Jays RP Yimi García

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Yimi Garcia (93) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning at Rogers Centre
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to flounder, and that's great news for every other team hoping to contend in 2024. If the Jays become sellers, they have all sorts of pieces to entice buyers like San Diego and star reliever Yimi García would almost certainly be one of the first to go. And it's pronounced “Jimmy,” by the way, though starting it with a “Y” is indeed a much cooler spelling.

García was a journeyman for his entire 10-year career before emerging as one of the premier setup men in the game for Toronto this year. He has a 0.53 ERA and 0.58 WHIP in 17 innings, with 100th percentile chase rate and 97th percentile strikeout rate. He has a legitimate six-pitch mix, unheard of for a reliever, and all six are helping him to success in 2024.

Though the Padres have several solid contributors already in their bullpen, most notably closer Robert Suarez, whose numbers almost perfectly mirror García's, it's never a bad idea to add another high-leverage arm. Garcia would allow manager Mike Shildt a bevy of options at the end of games and as a true rental, he shouldn't cost the Padres more than a mid-ranked prospect.

Acquire Nationals OF Eddie Rosario

The Padres' outfield picture looks good at the moment because Jurickson Profar has been one of the best players in MLB this season out of nowhere. But Profar has been unpredictable his entire career and the Padres are also a little thin on outfield bench bats. Enter the Washington Nationals' Eddie Rosario, who could be valuable as both a fill-in starter and late-game pinch-hitter, especially since he's also a switch-hitter.

After getting off to what can only be described as a deplorable start to the season, Rosario has cleaned up his act of late. Since May 4, he is 13-for-36 with four home runs, good for a 1.230 OPS. If he stays hot, his batting average will climb back over .200 and plenty of teams will be interested in his services, especially given his track record of delivering clutch home runs in the postseason.

And once again, Rosario is a true rental, one whom the Nationals signed with the express intent to sell to a contender, so he definitely won't cost a fortune in prospects. The return should be similar to what the Padres might be asked to send Toronto for Garcia (say, No. 16 prospect Braden Nett) and San Diego has never been shy about showing their farmhands the door. Who knows, Rosario might just find some October magic once again wearing brown and gold.