If it looks like a fire sale, smells like a fire sale, it sure seems to be a fire sale.
Welcome to summer and the rest of the San Diego Padres season, courtesy of General Manager AJ Preller and Team President Mike Dee. 1-hired the other, so they are equally to blame for what we have, last place baseball, only to get worse.
The Padres dealing away pitcher James Shields this weekend, is probably just the beginning of a purge of the higher priced veterans on the roster. Assume Matt Kemp will be shopped to somebody, maybe even in the American League as a DH-outfielder.
Ditto for catcher Derek Norris, who can play, but has a couple of young guys, more inexpensive guys, Christian Bethancourt and Austin Hedges, waiting in the wings.
Who knows what the intentions are involving Andrew Cashner. Headed to some type of free agent offer from somebody this season, I would assume he tests the market, but he could be sent packing somewhere else.
The Shields deal to the White Sox came with everything except “we made a mistake” from the Padres GM. He was never the same pitcher he had been in Kansas City, and even less the pitcher he was in those early years in Tampa Bay.
Yes you can trot out the stat sheet about 200-inning seasons, and taking the ball every fourth day, and never getting hurt. But you must also read the columns to the far right, wins-losses, innings per start, home run balls allowed, and escalating ERA’s the last group of years.
And they won’t put into any press release the damage done to the Padres checking account. In his year and a half in San Diego colors, he earned 20M in salary. By virtue of this trade, the Padres are also going to pay some 27M of his future salaries while he wears White Sox colors. And to top all that off, in addition to the dollar bloodshed, the Padres also forfeited a high first round pick in the 2015-draft to sign him.
Think of the magnitude of the investment, cash and draft pick, for the (15-14) record he gave them in a year and a half.
So Preller needs to update his resume. Add this mistake on top of the Justin Upton price, all those minor leaguers, to rent him and his brother’s 16M a year contract. Melvin is playing better, but so what, so are alot of guys hitting (.258) and few if any of those other guys are due 16M this year and next.
Clubhouses can be so fragile, be so volatile. Not a problem though in San Diego, where the term ‘teammates’ was replaced by ‘independent contractors’, last year for sure, and still some this year.
The attitude of Shields, after getting lit last week in Seattle, just a bad outing, come back next start and we’ll see. The real untold attitude was ‘no big deal-I’m getting my 21M, how much are you making.
It’s a sentiment you also feel when you are around Kemp, supposed to be a leader, but someone who would rather be left alone. For someone who did such great things as a Dodger, he no longer is an MVP type player, definitely not a person.
And Justin Upton delivered the same body language, when and it you ever got to talk to him.
And you can to it, Craig Kimbrel, and his red-ass attitude towards the media. A great talent, but farm from a nice person to deal with, as a batter in the box, or a writer-broadcaster in the clubhouse.
Some group of acquisitions Preller has delivered to San Diego. It sure looks like a start-over to me. Hit the reset button with team philosophy.
You trade half the farm system two winters ago to get vets. Then you remove vets to replenish the farm system this year. Now you start selling off assets.
Can you say 105-loss season this year? Is the game plan to become the Houston Astros and lose over 300-yards in a 3-year span, hoping to get good. Sure the Cubs look like they are on their way after years of suffering.
I like Preller, and I hope his invasion of the international market is a success. But I don’t buy having 8-of the top 65-picks in Thursday’s draft means much for the immediate future. Those are 3-to-5 year investments, just ask Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges. The Latin market, all we have to rely on is the data provided by the Padres Dominican academy, which has done little in over a decade to get us talent.
There are now good guys in that clubhouse, Tyson Ross, Cory Spangenberg, Travis Janikowski, Derek Norris, Brandon Mauer.. There are some nice journeyman like Adam Rosales and Carlos Villanueva. Good guys on a bad team. But truth is, none of these guys make you a team to play in October.
Bad Leadership….bad roster….and I fear more bad years ahead of us.