Padres general manager Jed Hoyer promised an overhaul. He wasn’t lying.
On the day after the Padres watched their postseason dreams slip away, Hoyer insisted that the 2011 team would bear little resemblance to the one that finished two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
The obvious blow for the Padres this offseason was losing first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, one of the league’s most prominent power hitters, to the Boston Red Sox for four prospects after a Dec. 6 trade deal. Without Gonzalez, San Diego now has one of the worst offensive lineups in the National League, but is still not without hope.
San Diego will try to rebound from a disappointing collapse without three-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox for four players, including three top prospects. The Padres knew they couldn’t afford to keep the hometown star, so it was just a matter of when to deal him for maximum value. Co-owner Jeff Moorad and general manager Jed Hoyer said they needed to look out for the franchise’s long-term health. Hoyer has made several other changes to the Padres, who must compete with a payroll between $42 million and $45 million. The Padres had the best record in the National League on Aug. 25, and then went 14–23 the rest of the way. If they don’t fix their painfully inept offense, it’ll be impossible to recapture the good feelings from the summer of 2010.
If Zaun, 39, was going to work his way back to the majors after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum last May, he wasn’t going to play for anybody. The veteran didn’t want to strictly mentor a younger catcher. He also hoped to call games for a veteran pitching staff. And he wasn’t looking to play for another losing team In January, Padres director of pro scouting A.J. Hinch called Zaun — who previously played for 10 teams in a 15-year career — with the right offer.