With about $20 million burning a hole in his pocket, Josh Byrnes has chosen the path of restraint. Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the team should have about $20 million to spend on trades and free agency if Jeff Moorad’s payroll promise for 2012 rings true. Yet as of right now, that money is just sitting. Byrnes has indicated that many of the deals he was looking at during the meetings are done. It’s safe to assume the reasons are because players want too much money or another team snatched the player away before Byrnes could pull the trigger.
The Padres seem intent on finding their closer from outside the organization. They are still interested in the A’s Andrew Bailey and the Rockies’ Huston Street. Both would require a trade as both are under contract with their respective teams. MLB Trade Rumors reported this morning that the club is also interested in Francisco Rodriguez as a potential replacement for Heath Bell. Daniel Murphy is the only position player to pop up on the radar for the Padres. The Carlos Quentin rumors have died down drastically. So as we head to the mid-point of the Winter Meetings, it is looking more like the Padres will make their moves some other time during the winter. Don’t be surprised if they make no moves during the meetings.
Josh Byrnes has plans for the team. That much is certain. So far those plans include finding a closer and possibly a set-up man for the eighth inning. Beyond that, any potential moves the club makes is anyone’s guess. The team needs a bat, they need to move Orlando Hudson‘s contract, they need to replenish their bullpen, they need a starting pitcher, and they need a couple of role players. But other than that, eh, they’re fine.
As other teams are wheeling and dealing, the Padres are standing pat. Whether Byrnes is gun shy or just waiting for the right moment remains to be seen. But if they don’t strike soon, the available talent will run thin. They may focus on the draft. They may focus on trades. They may focus on prospects. Whatever the focus may be, the team needs to build towards a better season than 2011. So far that hasn’t happened.
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