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The San Diego Padres are a fascinating case.
How many times do you see a team hire a GM, have such GM beginning his tenure by making splashy moves going all in, and in an incredibly short period of time seeing that plan fail epically, and despite it, keeping that General Manager to completely rebuild the farm system that he himself destroyed, the whole situation is very uncommon, and I did not even mention the bad reputation Preller has around the league.
For about some time now fhere has been an Eric Hosmer to the Padres rumor, and with indications it could even be a 7 year deal, San Diego signing Hosmer would be a huge mistake, in so many ways and so I thought I write about it here, then i started doing some research on the Padres and looking at some diferent things i realized that while they have done some nice moves, a lot of the times i have no idea what are they doing and/or they are doing something really stupid, which is the same as the first one, except i actually know what sort of misguided reasoning they are using to justify the move
With that in mind, i decided to put together, a list of weird moves by AJ Preller, this list doesn’t include every mistake made by the Padres, just some i felt should be highlighted.
1, The Will Myers trade.
The thing here is i don’t have a problem with trading for Myers and even now, i think he can provide a lot of value in the years to come, the problem here is, they traded Turner and Ross to Washington, who then traded Souza to Tampa which netted SD Will Myers, notable as well is that Jake Bauers went from SD to TB, to this day i have no idea how on earth Mike Rizzo convinced Preller to trade Trea Turner and Joe Ross for Steven Souza who at the time was a 25-year-old prospect who in fairness had great minor league numbers but at 25 years of age possessed a total of 26 Plate Appearances at the major league level.
You can evaluate the move as you are giving up these 2, to get this other one (Myers) but it doesn’t mean you should give up Myers value for Souza, you give up Souza value for Souza, at the time Souza was the best propsect out of the 3, but all 3 were top 100, and Souza wasn’t even top 20-25, plus he was significantly older, in hindsight, no one expected Turner to blossom the way he did, and Souza actually turned out to be a good player, in a 3 team deal, with quite a bit of talent, i can argue San Diego got the least amount of value, especially when considering Jake Bauers is now a top 10 prospect in the Rays system, and also they traded for CenterFielder Will Myers which is a myth he can’t play CF, it wasn’t to play RF or 1B it was to play Center, if that’s the case just don’t do it. you don’t trade for a guy you have no spot for, to put him in a spot he can’t play on, especially when your corner outfielders aren’t exactly known for their defensive skills.
2 The Will Myers extension.
Sensing a pattern here, not my intention, in this particular subject, i have zero objections towards extending Will, a nice young player could become a bargain through his first FA years, my problem is with the way such extension was constructed, before anything this was done in the beginning of last year. A time in which it was clear and clear for a while the Padres were rebuilding and had no plans of truly competing anytime soon, hs signed this extension with a team in full rebuild mode, the details of the contract are as follows
83 million dollars over 6 years.
There is something really wrong with that, teams usually do backloaded deals when they are in contentiom and trying to save money right now, money they can spend elsewhere to improve the roster, like what Washington did with Scherzer, the players seem to like that in general, now tell me why does a SD team that right now would be set to have a payroll of around 65 million dollars, backloads a deal to save around 18 mil now, money that they have no use for, only to spend 22.5 mil on Myers in the years when you are supposed to be ready to contend. Money that you could use to bulk your roster then, i am not saying front load the deal which i’d at least attempt to, just because it’s very unnusual and i don’t know if Myers would accept it, but i expect that when i sign a player for 83 mil over a 6 year span i never have to pay over 20 on a single year and if i do it would not be when i most need the money, the time i am actually contending and even if let’s say the owner wants to save money now, money he will be open to spending later, the team is rebuilding and the payroll is at 60 ish, any contracts you give short term trying to get some value you can just not give and save some bucks, the team will be bad anyway, and i myself don’t believe that to be the case.
3, The Matt Kemp trade
This one is so obvious i almost didn’t include it, all you need to know is, by the time LA traded him, his defense was so bad he managed to get only 1.4 WAR on a 141 wRC+ playing a full season, 150 games, that says it all, taking on 75 mil, big chunk of the 107 he was owed while giving up Yasmany Grandal of all people, was so bad, Friedman probably threw a party just to celebrate it.
4. Remotely considering the possibility of maybe signing Hosmer
You probably heard some people comparing this to the Werth sign, that’s just dumn, for starters Werth was a significantly better player hitting free agency, coming off a very good tenure with the Phillies, the Nationals gave him a 7 years 126 million dollars contract, during this period you know how much WAR he accumulated, 10.7, that is very expensive, in the years that they made the postseason in how many was he a factor, 1 in 2014, he had a great season they made the playoffs, got bounced by SF, all of the other 3 appearances would have happened with or without him, in a nutt shell take that signing away from Washington they are the same team right now, if anything maybe they win a playoff series, who knows, just considering how hard it is to lose 4 straight, not that it was his fault, he was a never cornerstone, he had 2 good years in 2013 and 2014, that is it, and let’s say for the sake of it, you sign Eric, it’s a given SD won’t compete this year and probably not in 2019 as well, there is just not enough talent there, it takes some time for the prospects to develop, by 2020 you’ll have upwards of 45 mil tied up over at least the next 3 years to Eric Hosmer and Will Myers, two incognites, by then, pushing 30, that so far have only shown flashes of possibilities you might never get, who combined have played 1595 games and accumulated 17.6 WAR, both have career OPS below .800, Will at .768 and Eric at .781 I mean seriously does that sound like a good core to build around at that price, does that excite you in anyway, also of note, Hosmer has never surpassed the .200 ISO, not once, i have nothing against him i swear, the numbers are just there
Anyway that is all i wanted to say, i am sure there have been other mistakes along the way but those are the ones i wanted to point out, SD has some nice prospects, and maybe one or two develop into stars, but in a division with the Dodgers, Giants, D-Backs, and Rockies i’d be concerned, the Padres need a game-changing talent, until then, just have to wait and try to avoid moves like these.