MLB: San Diego Padres 2015 RESET

Posted 8/6/15 2:25 PM PST
by Jason Martinez

What if the San Diego Padres, knowing what they know today about how each player involved in one of their many 2014-15 offseason transactions would perform in 2015, could press the reset button and start all over again?

Would general manager A.J. Preller stick with his plan of aggressively pursuing star players, knowing it wouldn’t do much to improve his team’s win-loss record but would energize an uninterested fan base and put more of them in the seats—average attendance is over 31,000/game after finishing at just over 27,000/game last season?

Or what if he just decided that he was happy with the direction his team was going and didn’t make any notable trades or free agent signings prior to the 2015 season?

In either case, here’s an idea of what we’d be looking at today …

 

 

Better or worse? I’d guess around the same.

Either way, the team was going to rely heavily on a bullpen that was one of the best in baseball in ’14 and a talented starting pitcher trio of Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy.

But all three took steps backwards—Cashner and Kennedy more than Ross, who has still been very good—and this current Padres bullpen without offseason acquisitions Craig Kimbrel and Brandon Maurer would be a disaster. Yasmani Grandal‘s breakout season (if it would’ve even happened with the Padres) wouldn’t have been nearly enough to prevent this offense from being very bad again.

Let’s not pretend like the 2015 Padres would be a playoff contender if Preller had stood pat. Yes, their future outlook would seem much brighter to the diehard fan (more talent in the farm system and much more payroll flexibility), but the casual Padres fans who fill Petco Park weren’t going to start showing up in droves because the team “might” be better in a few years.

As a long-time Padres fan that has suffered through some terrible seasons and many boring and underwhelming offseasons, I appreciate that Preller went all out in order to “win now”, a phrase that Padres fans aren’t very familiar with.

 




4 thoughts on “MLB: San Diego Padres 2015 RESET

  1. Anonymous

    So, with the exception of Trea Turner, the Pads didn’t trade any potential stars…just potentially decent MLB players. They now have Kemp, Myers, Kimbrel and Shields for the next several years…ALL better players (with the possible exception of Ross) than they have had over the past 5 years (since trading Adrian). I say it is better to have tried and failed (albeit miserably), than to never have tried at all. Pads will be ok, just NOT this year.

    1. Jason Martinez Post author

      Yep, “trying” was good enough for a frustrated fan base because the perception has always been that they don’t spend money and bring in superstars (at least not while they’re in their prime). I think the most worrisome part of the result is that you need those prospects that will be decent MLB players to plug in to the roster because they come at a low cost for several years. Those types will be necessary when they’re handcuffed financially because they’re paying superstar salaries for unproductive players. Melvin Upton is already there. Shields has been good but nowhere near worth what they’re paying him. Kemp has underperformed (.698 OPS-ugh!) even though he is probably the biggest reason why casual fans are interested this season.

      I think Myers’ absence has hurt more than anyone realizes. He looked like a star in the making before his wrist injury so I’m counting on him if they’re to turn it around in ’16. I’m still hopeful and I believe in Preller, despite the poor results in year one.

  2. Stuart Shaffer

    Mr. Martinez: Good article. Mr. Preller is neither a young baseball genius (as of December 31, 2014) nor an idiot (as of July 31, 2015). We don’t yet know how well he will do. For 2015, I think he was influenced by three things: (1) re-energizing the fan base (your point); (2) chasing the expanded wild card; and (3) getting rid of the three players caught using illegal drugs. Two out of three isn’t bad, but fielding a better team in 2016 will be difficult.

    1. Jason Martinez Post author

      Thanks for reading, Stuart! Yes, he definitely went for it knowing he had a strong chance at a wild card. He added plenty of offense, an elite closer and one of the best SP’s on the market to a team that already had a very strong pitching staff. No one was counting on that pitching staff being so mediocre and the offense being so bad after a strong first month. Very frustrating season. You’re right in that Preller can’t be judged on one year, but it will be difficult to bounce back after trading most of their best prospects and and taking on some bad contracts.

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