The Big Picture.
I have become an ardent Padres fan. I root for them every day. Why? Because they have 54 losses, which is tied with the Astros for worst record in MLB. The Twins have only 50 losses. I am rooting for the Padres (and Astros, Mariners, Cubs, etc.) for the rest of this year, because if they do well, then the Twins may get a better draft position next year.
Like the Twins, the Padres are having a TERRIBLE season. Like the Twins, they have every reason to be sellers at the trade deadline, and scant incentive to make any expensive acquisitions.
Why They Will Trade With The Twins.
The Twins have a wealth of toolsy outfielders in their minor league system -- Hicks, Benson, Morales, Kepler and eventually Buxton.
The Padres are less blessed in terms of toolsy outfielders. They have one player at AA who seems promising, Rymer Liriano. Liriano has played 74 games this year at A level and did well at that level -- OPS of .803. But since being promoted to AA he has slumped to an OPS of .387. The Padres have one other toolsy outfielder in their system, who has been at AA all year, Reymond Fuentes. But he has an OPS of only .627.
The Twins have a scarcity of toolsy pitchers in their system, i.e. pitchers who have excellent velocity and high upside. The Padres have more of these guys in their system than the Twins. And the Padres' current MLB starters are doing a lot better than the Twins MLB starters.
Why They Won’t Trade With the Twins
The Padres may not be willing to trade a toolsy pitcher for a toolsy outfielder because they want to keep all of their toolsy pitchers.
ConclusionThe Twins and Padres (and Mariners, Cubs, etc.) would be fools not to at least consider and evaluate trades of A and AA players in situations in which one team has a surplus and another team has a deficiency. Not all trades have to involve a contender giving up prospects to get a MLB level player from a team that has given up. Fair trades between bottom dwelling teams can help both organizations.
Possible Trade Targets --
Adys Portillo -- this guy can throw 100 mph. He has thrown 85.2 innings at A level this year, with 78 strikeouts and 42 walks. There is talk of him becoming a closer, but he has started 17 games this year. Also, he is ranked #16 out of the Padres prospects on their official website, so the Padres might be willing to part with him for someone who is ranked at a similar level in the Twins' system. Portillo is giving up a lot of walks, but maybe he could learn to throw more accurately at 95 mph than he does at at 100 mph. And it would be nice for the Twins to have a starter who can throw 95+ mph, if Portillo can reduce his walk rate.
Keyvius Sampson -- this guy is ranked #8 out of the Padres prospects on their official website and has pitched 84.1 innings this year, with 80 strikeouts and 45 walks. In 2011, at A level, he lead the Padres system in strikouts, with 143 Ks.
Sadly, the Padres farm system looks barer than the Twins, and I see no one else there who I think would be better than the prospects the Twins already have.