“Padres–On the Clock-Under the Gun”
The rumors continue to swirl about this potential trade, that possible free agent signing, and yet little has been accomplished.
At least not in San Diego, where the last place Padres haven’t tasted a playoff win in over a decade.
North of here, the Dodgers, the ones who have played in the World Series two years in a row, have made deal, clearing budget space, and reportedly are ready to offer top free agent Bryce Harper, a record setting 30M-per year contract.
And the Angels have even been active, signing 3-free agent pitchers in a week, in hopes of keeping the young pitching staff afloat, and trying to help win games around superstar Mike Trout. Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Parker Bridwell are better than what they dragged out last year.
Here at Petco Park, the Padres keep getting linked to trades and free agents, but everything being leaked, seems to go against the grain of their philosophy.
Wait till 2020 when all the kids arrive and help put us in the playoff race. That’s what has been sold two years running. And now we are looking at things in a different prism?
Maybe the Padres are panicking a bit. Or maybe reality has set in, that the community is tired of a decade worth of losing and promising.
Cleveland is in seller mode, and will to deal 2-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the final 3-years of his contract. The right-hander (20-9) this past season, is owed (13M-13.5M-14M) on the final 3-years of that Indians contract. That’s pretty reasonable money for a lead ace of a staff, something we haven’t seen in San Diego since….the Kevin Brown era?
But it will cost the Padres plenty to make this deal.
At one point Will Myers was being offered out there but the Indians do not want to take on a 20M contract, even if he would hit well back in the American League.
Now the reports are it will take young starters to make the deal happen. Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, and prospect pitchers Logan Allen-Michal Baez.
That’s a lot of young talent, but then again Kluber is an exceptional pitcher.
But we have heard all this in the past.
GM-AJ Preller likes Noah Syndegaard, but he’s still with the Mets, now off the board.
Last week he was chasing the Blue Jays Marco Strohman. Before that it was the Mariners Mike Leake.
San Diego wanted a shot at Nathan Eovaldi, but the Red Sox retained the free agent.
Matt Harvey could have been bought, but he went to Angels Stadium.
They talked about veteran Anibal Sanchez, the ex Tiger-Brave, but he’s gone too. So are Lance Lynn and JA Happ.
And then a push for ex-A’s, about to be ex-Yankee Sonny Gray.
Dallas Keuchel, who had wonderful years in Houston, wants five years, and isn’t getting it. The Japanese free agent Yusei Kikuchi has till early January to sign, and bidding has begun, but it will be expensive.
Lots of smoke, lots of mirrors, or maybe a lot of B-S.
So multiple things are in play right now.
Owners Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler maybe concerned they are losing the community with all this losing. There is no buzz in this city, and the Padres are the only team in town. They struggled to get to 2M in attendance last year. Season ticket sales are likely off. TV and radio ratings were awful.
Maybe they are trying to push the time frame on getting good up by a year.
The GM has lots of chips, but maybe he is over-valuing his farm system, and people don’t want what he is offering but want what he won’t give up.
Or maybe Preller is gun shy. He made so many bad financial deals the last couple of years, maybe his heart tells him not to trust what his eyes see out there on the trade market. He paid out lots of Fowler-Seidler money in the past. Maybe he doesn’t want to overpay with his young farm system players this time around..
The Padres have Eric Hosmer and Myers, and that’s 43M worth of disappointment in the lineup right now. They have lots of young players in other everyday spots, but most of them are (.260) hitters.
They have a hole at short, a possible vacancy at third, tons of kids coming, and maybe the youngest, and least proven starting rotation in baseball, aside from the Orioles or Royals.
The Padres desperately need a front of the rotation guy, not named Clayton Richard. It will cost them to go get Kluber or someone like him. It will cost them even more credibility if we are staring at another summer of 90-degree temperatures and 90-loss baseball.
Please tell me you have a deal coming to compliment all the kid pitchers you jammed out there last summer. Please tell me you’re not pinning your hopes on Bryan Mitchell and Robbie Erlin to be your veteran leaders in that rotation?
Pick the phrase. Padres-on the clock. Padres under the gun.
To make a deal to get arms. To recapture the fans in this last place town too.