Josh Byrnes told Corey Brock of Padres.com, “On the position-player side, I can’t imagine we make any more additions.” This obviously leads most to believe the Padres are still seeking pitching (thus yesterday’s posts on Paul Maholm and Joel Zumaya). However, is the offense ready to go come spring?
The Padres have added a first baseman who can hit to all fields – a necessary trait for a left-handed hitter playing in Petco. They added a catcher who can provide complimentary offense to Nick Hundley. Where Hundley struggles, John Baker thrives. And vice versa. They added a closer with almost as good a track record as Heath Bell. They added prospects. They added a veteran pitcher looking to rebound. They’ve done a lot.
With the struggles of last season, the Padres have done a lot to overcome their 91 losses. Even if these players add moderate benefit and play at only 80% of what they’re capable of, the Padres have a real chance to hit 80-83 wins. If they play at 100% of what the team hopes, the Padres may even replicate their 2010 season.
One through eight the Padres have improved, at least on paper, in three of those spots in the order. Nick Hundley/John Baker is an improvement. Carlos Quentin is an improvement. Yonder Alonso, while unproven, is an improvement based on his ability to hit to the opposite field. All said, the offense is shaping up to be far more respectable than the 2011 version.
Josh Byrnes has every reason to feel comfortable with the moves the team has made so far. However, it sounds like he still has a few tricks up his sleeve. “I don’t think you ever get satisfied.”