“Padres Game Plan–Giving Up Too Early?”
The offseason has begun for the Padres, but it is loaded with questions.
The five player trade with Milwaukee brought them a front line starting pitcher and another outfield prospect.
Then they went out, and in a surprise move, spent a lot of money on a pitcher who has reinvented himself, but at an inflated price.
The Padres off season blueprint was to get front line pithing help and maybe another outfielder. But in doing so, it cost them a frontline young starting pitcher and the planer they kept painting as their second baseman of the future.
The Zach Davies deal for young pitcher Eric Lauer could turn out to be a plus. Davies is a proven front of the rotation commodity, an innings horse, and a real scrapper. The feeling is that Lauer had reached his ceiling, after two years of scuffling to get his ERA below the 5.00-mark.
Davies and Garrett Richards give the Padres two things they did not have before, age, experience, and some veteran fire in the gut at the front of the rotation.
The other facet of the Brewers trade is strange though. Out goes Luis Urias for young outfielder Trent Grisham. Urias has torn up minor league pitching , but has staggered in parts of two seasons with the Padres. But it takes time to learn to hit major league pitching. Moving him this early in his career is a surprise.
Grisham hit (.300) in a split season between AA-AAA, but was found wanting when given his chance to play the outfield in Milwaukee. A left-handed hitting centerfielder, but the question comes now, why was he needed, if the Padres were so certain about Taylor Trammell, the so-called phenom they got from the Reds. But Trammell hit all of (.229) in AA himself.
The Padres then wrote a check worth 34M to starter turned reliever Drew Pomeranz. They gave him an 8M bonus and a first year salary of 4M, plus 3-additional years on top of that. Pomeranz was (2-10) when the Giants dealt him to Milwaukee. He had been shifted to a setup reliever role, and suddenly became very effective.
The Padres though have to be asked, how you would commit 34M to a pitcher who had health problems in Boston, fell apart in San Francisco, and then reinvented himself in a different role in Milwaukee. All that money for two months of productivity. He would be an ideal fit with Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm and Kirby Yates. Is what we saw at the end of last season for real, it better be. They paid a lot of money on this acquisition.
Next up, possible deals with Austin Hedges and possibly Hunter Renfroe.
How many more core parts will AJ Preller move and why have they given up on the blueprint already, despite the 90-loss season.
This all started with the Francisco Mejia-Brad Hand trade a year and a half ago. Mejia is not a complete product yet. Hedges has a standard that no other catchers around are equal to.
Then the Padres moved the productive and popular Franmil Reyes in the deal that brought them the prospect they hope won’t be suspect, Trammell, who could be years away.
Now they go get Grisham with the hopes he arrives quicker, and gives them productivity.
So now we deal with possible deals for Hedges and Renfroe. That would be two more pieces of what was the foundation of the team that was supposed to win.
The Padres pitching may be better as of today. But the rest of the lineup looks even weaker now.
The blueprint seems blurred. The next week should bring more deals, then the Winter Meetings come here.
Just asking if the Padres have given up on their game plan too early?