Alexei Ramirez, Jon Jay, Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz
Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Ian Kennedy
The Padres were last years winners of the off-season. What that led to was a last place finish, and the decision to blow up the whole thing, this time without a farm system to fall back on. In losing Upton and Kimbrel they lose their two big splashes of last year. Upton produced last year, but the Padres were nowhere near a competitor with him and are now going to have to rebuild without him. In rebuilding they just added veteran band aids and nothing much that will look to help them in the future. Ramirez spent most of his career in Chicago, and now at 34 is tailing off his career. Jay is a platoon guy at best and when a team like St. Louis is willing to depart with a guy that San Diego is trying to obtain you can kind of understand the type of acquisition this is. Pomeranz has bottom of the rotation stuff, or could find himself being a strong bullpen candidate, but if he is the best move of the off-season it tells you where this team is heading.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Jon Jay/Jabari Blash
- Ryan Spannenburg/Jemile Weeks
- Matt Kemp
- Wil Myers
- Yangervis Solarte
- Derek Norris
- Alexei Ramirez
- Melvin Upton
The Padres probably have the worst lineup in the MLB. To start, as mentioned Jay barely saw time in St. Louis last year and now is thrust into the lead off spot for the Padres. Blash is a guy who will make his MLB debut this season, and is a bit on an unknown. It doesn’t make the top of the lineup seem all that thrilling. They really only have a potential punch in the Myers and Kemp connection, but with that is Myers who has been a major disappointment in the past few years, and between the two you have absolutely no defense. Norris sets up as the star of the defense, and has helped improve the staff. However, the problem is that as a whole they have little spark, they don’t have a big bright spot if Blash or Myers do not settle into roles, and they will more than likely have another year of below average defense. It is tough to sell the Padres being a team on the bounceback for this year.
Ross proved last year to have the most big time upside on his team, and the Padres seemingly spent the summer seeing what they could get for him on the market. It apparently wasn’t enough and now they sit with a 28 year old with high upside on a losing team. Shields went from an ace type to having his worst season of his career last year on the Padres. Shields posted a career low in WAR, and it is tough to blame it solely on his defense. He is now 34,and while he saw an increase in strikeout rate, he really can’t be looked at as a guy who will regress back to the mean.
The Padres lost Kimbrel and replaced him with Fernando Rodney, which is a saving of money, but is certainly a downgrade. As mentioned a guy like Pomeranz can beef up the middle of the pen, but it already wasn’t a high point of the team, before the back end downgrade.
The Padres are a team that doesn’t have the firepower to compete. Their pitching staff may be able to get them to a couple of wins, but unless Myers and Kemp were to really step up there doesn’t seem like enough in the lineup. They could compete with a team like the Rockies, but may be looking to unload Ross midseason and start a true rebuild.