“PADRES-CHARGERS–ON TROUBLE STREET”
Disarray….yes that word describes the Padres and the Chargers at this hour. Lots of issues and lots of opinions.
CHARGERS…A franchise with so much anticipation is now going back to square one, with the housecleaning-firing of its Coach-GM…and the impending firing of the coaching staff once they get to the finish line of another non-playoff season.
SPANOS FAMILY…Nice track record, a composite record of (314-343) since they bought the club in 1984. They have gone thru 13-head coaches in 39-years and that does not include the interim coaches they brought in. And you are going to trust Dean and John Spanos to hire the right guy after their last three hires. Remember, they fired a Super Bowl coach (Ross) and a 200-win coach Schottenheimer, and a Hall of Fame coach (Coryell). Some 1st Family of Football.
TELESCO-STALEY…Fired for different reasons. Telesco’s teams were (89-95) and won just 2-playoff games in his tenure. He built a roster of young athletes, but ignored vested veteran free agents that could have made a difference as stabilizers as short term rentals. Anybody remember what Stan Brock, Reuben Davis-Sean Lee-Dennis Gibson meant to the Chargers in their Super Bowl season. Drafted well but was too conservative to make bold acquisitions. Staley (24-25), might be a bright light XO guy, but it appears his playbook was too complicated for the young group of athletes he sent out there on Sundays. And he was too inflexible to change his ways, defiant if you will. Add on a 3-year siege of injuries and they never had a full team on the field around QB-Justin Herbert (30-32) in his career.
GM OPENING…Sources tell me Adam Peters-the 49ers Assistant GM, is a hot candidate for the Bolts GM job. There are key assistants in Kansas City and Baltimore who deserve consideration too, but Peters has a world of experience.
COACHING HOT LIST…Is Bill Belichick leaving New England at the end of the season? If so, a strong candidate, but I am not giving him control of football operations. Belichick, the GM, failed Belichick the coach in the post Tom Brady era in New England. Jim Harbaugh-Michigan sure sounds right, but the price tag will be steep and so will the intangible on his resume, he wears out his welcome a couple of years after he gets to any of the jobs he has had. Veteran assistant Raheem Morris, former head coach Dan Quinn-doing a brilliant job in Dallas, Miami Off Coor-Frank Smith and Rams Off Coor-Mike LaFelur top my list.
PADRES..The longer free agency goes, without AJ Preller making a deal, leads me to believe the financial issues are much more severe than they let on.
LUXURY TAX…MLB sources say the Padres owe MLB (39.8M) as a luxury tax penalty for going over the tax limit 3-years in a row, because of the Preller spending spree. Add in the 10-slot penalty in the draft and the loss of international pool dollars, that is quite a credit card bill the GM has run up.
PAYROLL..The Athletic is reporting the Padres payroll is not just going from (253M) to (200M)…it may go as low as (180M) because of all the bills that have come due. And the fact they will not get anywhere near the (60M) TV money this year because of the Diamond Sports Group collapse, that’s alot of lost revenue.
ROSTER…10-pitchers have now vacated the Padres roster since the last game they played. Of course Blake Snell and Josh Hader highlite that list, but so does the trio of Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo plus Nick Martinez. All 3-wound up signing for 15-16M each with the Royals and Reds. The Padres did not have the money to do those deals.
FREE AGENCY…The Padres were outbid by the Giants for OF-Jung Hoo-Lee and are not in the running for Yosh Yamamoto. And now 41-pitchers in all have come off the free agent board in two weeks, some guys you’d thought the Padres could be in on. The Friars might have an outside chance on P-Shoto Imanaga, but the price on pitching just keeps going up. Money again becomes part of the conversation.
TRADES…Yes there are still pitchers out there on the trade block, but Preller cannot revisit stripping this next wave of young players from the minor league system to get access to Shane Bieber , Dylan Cease and others. Jake Cronenworth could be dealt, but Preller might have to throw money in the deal to get someone to take on the 7-years owed to a (.229) hitter, even if it brings back a pitcher
THE YANKEES DEAL…Yes, strength in numbers, getting four pitchers in the Juan Soto trade, but did they get the right arms? Clarke Schmidt was not in the deal, neither was Gleyber Torres nor Jason Dominguez. Michael King was, and hot Class A-pitcher Drew Thorpe was,, but the Yankees gave up back of the rotation guys who were part of a non playoff team. Not sure Preller got the right pitchers in a trade for an MVP type talent in Soto.
MINOR LEAGUERS…The Padres have added 9-minor league players as free agents or via trades, but the only one with any major league experience is relief pitcher Enyel DeLos Santos, and he surely is not a Josh Hader or a Robert Suarez.
GONE…There are now 18-players gone from last year’s roster, amounting to some (68M) cut from the payroll. There are holes everywhere, LF-CF-1B-a front line starter, a couple of relievers. I keep thinking there might be one big acquisition coming, but how, for who, and how do you pay for all this.
NL WEST…The Dodgers sign Ohtani, trade for Glasnow, and are pursuing Yomamoto too. Arizona has added Eduardo Rodriguez to a young World Series pitching staff. The Giants are starting back with Hoo-Lee. The Padres have the core of their batting order, but have a deficient pitching staff plus other holes to fill
The Chargers have problems of leadership.
The Padres have problems within that roster and I fear money problems.
Not an easy time for fans in San Diego. Disarray seems to be part of both conversations.