1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Memo to Padres”

Posted by on July 26th, 2022  •  0 Comments  • 

“Memo to Padres”

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Padres & Baseball Trade Deadline”

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What are you going to do?  What are you willing to give up for the prize player?

The Padres are in on the bidding for soon to be traded Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto, the 23-year old home run hitting star, who has turned down a record 15-year-440M package from the Washington Nationals.

Thus questions that have to be posed to owner Peter Seidler and President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller.

Question #1…Are you willing to make a deal for Juan Soto, renting him for the next 3-playoff races, to see if you can get San Diego back to the World Series?

Question #2…Are you willing to trade away the bulk of your farm system to get a generational star, knowing that you have already traded 30-plus young prospects over the last four years to build this franchise into some type of contender?

Question #3..Are you willing to take on Soto with the idea, if his productivity continues to explode, you’d have to pay him upwards of 50M a year to retain him, in what is still a small baseball market, in terms of fan base and population?

Question #4..Can you deal with super agent Scott Boras, who cares only about the total value of a contract  and the average salary figure that Soto gets, rather than the health of your organization or what is left after you make the trade?

Questions that have to be answered.

Depending on which ‘baseball insider’  you listen to, the Cardinals, Dodgers and Padres seem to have the farm system and resources to deal for Soto.

The Yankees and Mets seem to be in the running too, where total payroll and the luxury tax payments seem to be no problem in the New York market.

The Padres have a double edged sword to consider.

They are up against the luxury tax wall of 230M, with a payroll around 229M as of this week.  If they take on Soto’s 9M-this year, it pushes them into a 2nd straight year, incurring more tax penalties, that include loss of draft picks and bigger taxes on anything above the 230M threshold, because they were over the tax in 2021.

Add in what Preller would have to give up to get Soto.  Sources say the price tag would include either starting pitcher Mackenzie Gore or Adrian Morejon.  It would include promising catcher of the future Luis Campusano.  Add in one of the shortstops, with CJ Abrams or hot prospect Jackson Merrill.  And 1-of the prize plum outfielders, Robert Harrell or  lower minor league phenom James Wood.

The Washington-Dodgers trade talks swirl around pitcher Dustin May, possibly Cody Bellinger, top young catcher Diego Cataya and infielder Gavin Lux.  Hot young arms Ryan Pepiot or draft pick Bobby Miller.  Big money acquisitions have never been a problem for the LA ownership group, so spending huge money on contracts or spending talent currency is not an issue.

The Cardinals ready made major league list might include a trio of outfield choices in Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, and Dyland Carlson, or prospects like Brendan Donovan or current DH-Juan Ypez, plus young pitchers either Jordan Hicks or Matthew Liberatore.  St Louis is paying big money to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado but virtually no one else.

Names have not yet surfaced in any of the New York trade talks, but knowing the boldness of Mets owner Steve Cohen and his spending sprees already, and that desire of Hal Steinbrenner to excel crosstown, you can expect big bids there too.

Do the Padres have the assets to do this?  Yes in the farm system.

Do they have the resources to rocket the payroll higher with a bigger tax bill?  That’s open to debate about how much Seidler wants to spend of his wealth.

Are they willing to go ‘all in’ for next couple of pennant races, realizing then that within 3-years, all their established starting pitchers will be at the end of their shelf life (34-years or  older), and they would have traded their top young pitching prospects?  Three years from now might be a massive rebuild time.

The trade deadline is next week-August 2nd.  The Padres determine their short term future shortly and have to weigh this against the long range health of the franchise to compete over the next decade.

Decisions are coming.  Stay tuned.

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