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“PADRES BASEBALL–NEED AJ MAGIC
He has done so much as GM of the Padres, AJ Preller-GM.
Huge contracts-money and length.
Winning the Winter Baseball Meetings
It brought excitement to our baseball community, the one that went thru the horrors of the Arnholt ownership, the Tom Werner firesales, the Jeff Moorad caretaker years.
Preller and Peter Seidler created a buzz like hardly ever seen before in San Diego, at least not since the John Moore-Larry Lucchino World Series years and the arrival of Petco Park
Expectations haven’t really been met, with the exception of 3-months last year when the Friars got to the playoffs and shocked the Dodgers. So that is the sum total of the Preller period spread out over his 9-years run.
That was then, this now, a team that could be in trouble in lots of ways.
Seidler is fighting health problems again. His ability to lead the way he wants is now open for debate.
The team, that choked away the 2021 season, gave us a summer of shame in 2023, with gross under performances by virtually everyone of the high paid stars. There was no playoff October.
And what was supposed to be a multi year run to get to the World Series could have the window closing quickly.
The payroll, that rocketed to (253M) this year, has led to a tax bill for (296M) in total expenses. It appears the Padres owe MLB some 30M in tax payments.
And now Preller, facing a (50M) reduction in payroll, needs a 48-hour workday everyday this off season to figure out how to navigate the financial numbers and his roster.
In trading for Juan Soto from Washington, 6-players, virtually the top of the farm system, went to the Nationals. Soto delivered big hits and lots of walks, but the team did not win, last year when he arrived and this year, what was supposed to be a year he settled in, it failed.
And now Preller has to deal with agent Scott Boras, who will want more than the (33M) Soto will likely get in arbitration. Cut the payroll, and give Soto a hefty pay-raise. How does that work?
It appears ace Blake Snell and closer star Josh Hader will exit as free agents. The Padres are not interested in a Boras asking price of (25M) for Snell, or upwards of (20M) for Hader.
Now Preller has to find a cost effective replacement for his top starter and his top fireman.
Add in the fact that Preller put hefty option year contract figures in the deals for Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo and Nick Martinez. The 3-righthanders bet on themselves, and now want to cash it to the tune of (15-16M) each. Awful lot of money for the back of the rotation arms.
Complicating all this is the health of Yu Darvish, coming off the bone spur elbow surgery, and the quiet concern of Joe Musgrove, who missed the back half of the schedule with shoulder capsule issues, something you have to monitor going forward.
So that totals 7-issues with what was a power base of the team, the pitching staff. Luis Garcia is unsigned after a bad year. That’s an 8th pitcher in question. Adrian Morejon, who has done little despite the big signing bonus deal he got, could cost 900,000-making you wonder if the Padres can keep him. Now that’s 9-pitchers in question.
So the Padres could get a decent return in the Soto potential trade, but that opens a huge hole in your batting order.
Of course you assume Manny Machado-Fernando Tatis-Jake Cronenworth can bounce back from substandard seasons, but there are no guarantees that happens.
So here we are. Cutting payroll, possibly dealing Soto, losing a big chunk of your pitching staff.
Preller can wheel and deal, and he has. But now he has restraints on him, problems with whom he has to deal with (Boras) and the fact he does not have leverage. Add in, ownership is calling back the ‘blank check’ he was given to go get players, because it did not work out.
The Padres GM-needs some ‘Magic’ to fix this, and keep the Padres in contention. And nationwide, with the storylines the team had to secure a 50M-loan to pay its bills in September, and knowing there will not be a 60M-Bally TV check for 2024, this team looks like it has real problems infront of it.
And by the way, guess what people are saying in November about the Padres GM? Same thing they said in the spring.
‘This is not sustainable-this was reckless’.
Anybody know where the Magic Wand is stored at Tony Gwynn Way.
The Rock Star GM seems to have been a 1-hit wonder like some artists in rock-n-roll music. A huge challenge is just ahead.
Email the Padres GM-he needs to find magic right now.