The Padres ownership, who sat and watched a horrible offense last year, spent alot, to bring in bats. The payroll has exceeded $107M heading towards opening day.
Yes there are questions what they will be like in the field, and yes you wonder if you score more runs but give up more runs, have you really helped yourself?
But all Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler could talk about yesterday in the Cactus League was the wide variety of plans new GM AJ Preller put together heading to the Winter Meetings.
Plan A was to find a way to pry Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. When that happened, the message was sent to franchises around the league, this would be a different San Diego going forward.
Then came the complex 3-way deal to get Tampa Bay’s young outfielder Wil Myers. Then slugging catcher Derek Norris of the A’s. And then the Justin Upton Atlanta deal, and finally the signing of pitcher James Shields of the Royals.
You would have thought there had been an eartquake at Petco Park, the land shook so much that first week of December.
In the past you had to ‘hope’ the Padres could play well. That has been replaced by ‘expectations’ of who has arrived and what they have accomplished other places..
Ticket sales have rocketed 600% since New Years weekend thru the end of February. A team that could very play in October, could draw 3M fans in a baseball starved town.
It was a bitter ending last season, the woeful injuries, the near all time record anemic hitting, and the overall malaise in the clubhouse. Fowler gave everyone a chance last year, and was aghast at the money spent, and the end of season results.
The return to health of Yonder Alonso and Cam Maybin might normally be big storylines, but not now. There are just so many bats around them in the lineup, that this could be a very good hitting team, in a pitchers park. Think about that.They are deep for sure in the rotation; have a huge number of relievers; and right now are not even worrying about the 3-arms coming off surgeries.
Sure the lst day of workouts in the Orioles-Pirates-or Nationals camp feels like the Padres camp. Everyone is excited to get started. But this is really different and very realistic in San Diego..
You bring in a World Series starter, a former MVP, 6-All Stars, and a rookie of the Year winner, and you have proven commodities on a roster so much better than a year ago.
Ron Fowler should be excited. The fans should be too. On paper this looks like a very good team. It should be, for San Diego spent alot of currency in contracts and young prospects traded, to make these deals.
Surely better than this time the last couple of years ago. We shall see what the summer brings us, and if baseball in the fall should be on your calendar.