Fans of the San Diego Padres have understood for quite some time that the other shoe could drop at any moment on the 2014 season. For many, they just want this nightmare to be over, and for relevant change to occur from the top on down. Team CEO Mike Dee, and Team Chairman Ron Fowler have stated that changes could be coming very soon. The wait appears to be over fans, as ESPN’s Jayson Stark shared some interesting information in his column “Rumblings and Grumblings” this morning:
“Not many teams are in sell mode, but San Diego is already in that mode.” ~an unnamed AL Executive
According to Stark, only one outfielder currently under team control is off limits. That player? Cameron Maybin. Others on the roster such as Seth Smith, Chris Denorfia, and Will Venable were all named as potential trade chips for the Padres. The same unnamed American League executive mentioned Chase Headley, saying “They’ve been wanting to move him for two years.”
It is interesting that Carlos Quentin wasn’t mentioned in Stark’s piece, but in reality, the oft-injured Quentin can’t be looked at as a serviceable outfielder any longer. He would make a perfect designated hitter for a team that needs a power bat, and plays in a ballpark that is conducive to hitter’s abilities…Texas Rangers anyone?
As for the mentioned players, let’s assume that the Padres go ahead and move Smith, Denorfia, Venable and Headley. Who gets the shot to prove themselves the remainder of the summer? Does Jonathan Galvez get his shot at the hot corner? Do Hunter Renfroe and Mallex Smith get a chance to shine on the big stage in September or earlier? Will Tommy Medica finally get an everyday gig in the outfield? Or, wait for it…will Austin Hedges get his chance to prove his is the franchise catcher sooner rather than later?
To put it bluntly, while Padres’ fans are loyal, they aren’t stupid. They won’t tolerate seeing another fire sale, and not get a chance to see the team’s top prospects get a chance. If the teams gets blown up, and fill-in garbage gets run out on the diamond every night, expect Petco Park to look like Marlins’ Park during it’s initial year….nothing but crickets.