San Diego Padres State Of The Union For 2016

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 - 4 more years down the road.

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 – 4 more years down the road.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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It certainly is a different feel to the winter of the Padres in the 2015 offseason than it was the 2014 Season.  I never bought into the premise of how A.J. Preller built the team last year.

It was one of the easiest over/under wagers of the year.  It ended in the club losing more games than they did the previous year – despite running a higher payroll.

The franchise loses Justin Upton to Free Agency, and have traded or lost their top 3 Relievers in Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley.

Preller has also made a few questionable moves in acquiring Jon Jay for one year – and giving up on Jedd Gyorko.  In my view, this is a weird move.

In an Infield that is already lacking power, this latest move furthers the need to bring in more hitters.

A.J. Preller revamped the 2015 roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings. Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent. Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn't translate to immediate impact on the field. The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad. I think they will be far below that. For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

A.J. Preller revamped the 2015 roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings. Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them a half to a full year to round out their talent- and sometimes it didn’t work at all. Even worse was the team was full of injury riddled players, and immovable contracts.  Also the Justin Upton deal cost them dearly when he walked away from the club.  The Padres GM started youth movement by dealing away Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit.  James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross Derek Norris  and Robbie Erlin may be next on the block.

To be fair the club was staring down Melvin Upton Jr. as their Starting CF before bringing in Jay.  Alex Dickerson in LF and Matt Kemp are slated to be the corner Outfielders for next year.  Kemp did dive in 100 RBI, and played a healthy season, but really is he anymore than an American League Designated Hitter.

Speaking of poor fielders. Derek Norris should be shopped to an American League club now that the Padres have traded for Christian Bethancourt, and are also going to give Austin Hedges a good look as a Backstopper in 2016.

Yangervis Solarte was one of the top few players offensively for the Padres in 2015 - with over 50 Extra Base Hits in his 1st full season with the club. Solarte was acquired at the 2014 Trade Deadline for Chase Headley, and has put up similar numbers offensively for a fraction of the price. Solarte is one of the guys that may have already nailed down a Starting Position in 2016. He Matt Kemp and Wil Myers are the only real solidifying players to begin the year in the field and in the lineup.

Yangervis Solarte was one of the top few players offensively for the Padres in 2015 – with over 50 Extra Base Hits in his 1st full season with the club. Solarte was acquired at the 2014 Trade Deadline for Chase Headley, and has put up similar numbers offensively for a fraction of the price. Solarte is one of the guys that may have already nailed down a Starting Position in 2016. He Matt Kemp and Wil Myers are the only real solidifying players to begin the year in the field and in the lineup.

At 3rd Base this coming year, Yangervis Solate will patrol the position. He actually has slightly better numbers thus far to the production that the departed Chase Headley is putting up in New York.  This trade doesn’t look too bad when you consider Headley makes $13 MIL per year – while Solarte is not even Arbitration Eligible until next year.

At Shortstop, the club has Alex Amarista, and he of the .599 Career OPS, as the Starting player.  I think somehow the club will sign the one player they need the most here in Ian Desmond for the position.  Desmond would give the Infield a definite influx of power they need from the slot.

Cory Spangenberg will have the chance to win the everyday position at Second with Utility Infielder Jose Pirela being the other option.

Matt Kemp couldn't avoid another slow start to the 2015 year, however he 3 slashed .286/.339/.528 with 15 HRs and 53 RBI in 65 Games Played after the ALL - Star Game. San Diego should really be shopping his services via trade. He would be a perfect DH candidate in the American League. At just 4 YRs/$73 MIL cost to an acquiring team, he could be a great addition. Kemp will be too old by the time the Padres are relevant again - so his value will never be higher right now.

Matt Kemp couldn’t avoid another slow start to the 2015 year, however he 3 slashed .286/.339/.528 with 15 HRs and 53 RBI in 65 Games Played after the ALL – Star Game to reach the 100 RBI plateau for the 1st time since his MVP runner up campaign in 2011. San Diego should really be shopping his services via trade. He would be a perfect DH candidate in the American League. At just 4 YRs/$73 MIL cost to an acquiring team, he could be a great addition. Kemp will be too old by the time the Padres are relevant again – so his value will never be higher right now.

At 1B, the club will look to Wil Myers to have a break through season 2 years after his successful rookie season. The former Rays player enters his 4th year – and he has not seen action in more than 88 Games thus far.

He can and would be a decent producer if he can stay healthy, but the jury is still out.  Keep the meat wagon handy.

Journeyman Brett Wallace may provide a pivotal Utility role with the squad – following his .895 OPS in 106 AB stint with San Diego in 2015.  He can play both 3B and 1B – and some DH in Interleague.

The Pitching Staff is still buoyed by a decent rotation.  The club may look to deal James Shields, who can opt out of his current contract after this year.  He will likely do that if he remains in a San Diego uniform unless he has catastrophically bad numbers.

Andrew Cashner and Robbie Erlin also might be made available via trade this winter or next year.  Tyson Ross is also not foreign to trade talk.

The Relief Core is headed up by Nick Vincent and Brandon Maurer as guys that even had remotely good campaigns in 2015 for the squad.  There is not set Closer as of right now and that is probably meaningless at this point anyway.

The worst part about the current roster is the money given out to three players that make almost 50% of the earnings for the team salary this next year.

Melvin Upton JR. will fleece the club for $15.5 MIL, and Matt Kemp in the neighborhood of $18 MIL.  Shields earns a cool $21 MIL for 2016.  These deals are preventing them from signing any real Free Agent with substance.

For an organization that hosts the 2016 ALL – Star Game, the mood around San Diego is sure going to be bleak.

Cashner and Ross are in the 3rd and 2nd year of Arbitration – which means the clock is running out for Team Control. Really they should trade all Starters 1 – 4.

The club needs to regroup and build the club the proper way from the ground up.  It is going to be a massive struggle for the next 4 – 5 years – in a NL West Division that has 3 good teams with the Arizona D’Backs, San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At least Preller has learned his lesson.  The Kimbrel trade to Boston was a great start to replenish the Minor League System.

James Shields continued to be one of the most durable starters in the Major Leagues during the 2015 season - putting forth his 9th straight 200+ Innings year. He went 13 - 7, with a 3.91 ERA. The man is about to turn 34, and could opt out after the season next year with a clause in his contract. The Padres should look to trade him if a deal comes along with value. Shields could still fit the bill for several contending teams. It also might be a cheaper alternative if he pitches well, if he decides to reenter the open market in a down 2016 winter for chuckers. Shields has $65 MIL guaranteed over the next 3 years. Not bad for a guy who has a 127 - 97 record with a 3.74 ERA - including 9 straight years of double digit wins to his credit.

James Shields continued to be one of the most durable starters in the Major Leagues during the 2015 season – putting forth his 9th straight 200+ Innings year. He went 13 – 7, with a 3.91 ERA. The man is about to turn 34, and could opt out after the season next year with a clause in his contract. The Padres should look to trade him if a deal comes along with value. Shields could still fit the bill for several contending teams. It also might be a cheaper alternative if he pitches well, if he decides to reenter the open market in a down 2016 winter for chuckers. Shields has $65 MIL guaranteed over the next 3 years. Not bad for a guy who has a 127 – 97 record with a 3.74 ERA – including 9 straight years of double digit wins to his credit.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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Posted on December 16, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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