What’s a man to do? In case, what is the man, General Manager AJ Preller, going to do with the fast approaching MLB trading deadline on Friday.
Today is a travel day for the Friars, still on the outside looking in, in the wildcard playoff race. You win 8-of-11, you’d think you’d make progress chasing the leaders. All the Padres are doing is spinning their wheels.
The people above them in the standings, the Giants, Cubs, Pirates, the team they have to pass, are not losing either. You win all these games, and remain 7-and-a half back of the last wildcard spot, the odds seemed stacked again you.
Now Preller has a really tough call to make.
They open a 10-game road trip and a 16-game stretch of games, where they can really put together a streak, and maybe stay in the wildcard race.
Tuesday, it is Citi Field-New York, against the Mets, themsevles trying to stay in the race. After that, the Padres play the garbage in the National League. The Phillies, Reds, Brewers, and Miami. Don’t mean to be mean or insulting, but those four teams are a combined 65-games under .500 as of today.
So what does Preller decide? He could move Justin Upton, but if he does by Friday, one of his two big power bats is gone for the final two months of the season. Probably good bye playoff hopes. Baltimore and the Angels seem to be buyers.
Upton is a soon to be November free agent, and could net you a hot young prospect, but not as much if he were on a mult-year deal.
Ditto pitcher Ian Kennedy, who had a rocky couple of months, but seems to have regained his mechanics and bulldog persopportunity. He walks in November as a free agent oo, and as a mid rotation starter, would be a good rental, for maybe the Angels-Dodgers or Astros. But you deal him, now there’s a hole in your rotation, for there is nothing at AAA-El Paso to prop up your staff. Good bye pennant hopes too.
It is hard to understand how San Diego could deal James Shields, four months after giving him all that money. But at the front end of someone else’s rotation, can you say Cubs, he’d pitch you into October. But that means no lead starter for next season.
Craig Kimbrel is dominant, and would net you much. Maybe Brandon Mauer is your closer of the future, some one of the kids, still unproven at El Paso.
Anybody else gets you fringe prospects, whether that is Will Venable to the Mets, Joaquin Benoit to the Pirates.
Just like the old axiom, players get themselves cut from rosters, the Padres play on the field will determine whether they clean house, or stay the course by Friday.
AJ Preller ‘won’ the Winter Baseball Meetings, but it is stunning his team really isn’t winning. They’re closer to last place than a playoff berth.
The GM made all kinds of deal in the middle of the night in December. Assume he will be up all hours day and night this week, if his team is in the race, or out of the race.
Buyer-Seller, somewhere in between. We’ll find out in the nexgt couple of days.