Padres-Winter Meetings-Game Plan”
It will be a fun four days at the Winter Baseball Meetings, but whether ti will be a fruitful four days for the Padres, remains to be seen.
You do recall three years ago, when GM AJ Preller stole all the headlines down at the Convention Center, making all those middle of the night trades at the San Diego version of the Winter Meeting swap shop?.
The deals that netted him the likes of Matt Kemp, Will Myers, James Shields, then Melvin Upton, Craig Kimbrel just before opening day.
It was exciting, but it turned out to be a failure. From what we thought was a pennant contender, the Padres became pennant pretenders, big contracts, and big time bad attitudes in the clubhouse.
He wound up getting rid of all them, some in buy out deals, here’s my money take my bad contract. He got some talent back in other deals. But it set the club back.
His second year was all about investing huge amounts of money, some 91M in all, to sign all those bluechip players from Latin America. That is the promise of the future, but there are still games to be played this year, much like last year’s 96-loss season.
His 3rd off season brought in Freddy Galvis and Chase Headley, both expensive acquisitions, one gone, and the other possibly leaving too, again a waste of money. He spent, maybe badly overspent, for Eric Hosmer to be his first baseman, when he had a first baseman on the roster, in Myers.
Preller always seems to have a roster in flux, looking for something else to add, while giving long suffering fans another summer of sad-sack baseball.
So what does have to show for all this wheeling and dealing over the last three years? Will Myers, Matt Strahm, Francisco Mejia and Craig Stammen., All those trades, all that money wasted, and not much of a major league roster to show for it. No one holds the GM accountable.
So as the talks in the suites and hallways begin in Las Vegas, Preller has a great bargaining chip in Will Myers, possibly a better fit in the American League. He has holdover catcher Austin Hedges with many clubs, needing receivers. He has some surplus young minor league pitching, but that is supposed to be part of the future isn’t it? .
But he has holes lots of places on this team’s roster, and now he has a credibility problem, because in the big picture, the losing continues and we’re still at least a year away from the key kids in they farm system arrives. And there’s no guarantees they will all be stars immediately.
Yes Preller may have spoken to the Mariners about James Paxton or Kyle Seager, and to the Mets about Noah Syndegaard, and to Cleveland about Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer, or even free agent Nathan Eovaldi, but at what price? Going to over pay again, like he did to get rid of the bad payers he traded for before?
He needs to find pitching, and settle on a spot for Myers to play if he keeps him. Maybe he can find a gem of a pitcher on a short term rental in free agency. A Charley Morton, a Matt Harvey, a Clay Buchholz, an Anibal Sanchez or a Matt Shoemaker.
The GM needs to find quality starts and quality innings from a veteran starter or two to compliment the kid pitchers. Guys who have pitched well in the past and might have bounce back ability to do it again.
Signing Garrett Richards, the ex Angels ace, may be a steal, but like so many of the kids in the farm system, that’s a 2020 arrival.
The week will revolve around the free agent frenzy led by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The trade rumors are swirling involving Zach Grienke, Madison Bumgarner, Yasiel Puig and more. But the Padres are not players in that market level of star players.
This will be an important four days for the team. The Padres brass needs to make the right decisions, as we wait for 2020 arrive, they better be prepared to give San Diego fans a better brand of baseball than we have seen in Preller’s past three summers.