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.