I like taking the pulse of the Padres fan base on Twitter. After the Huston Street and Chase Headley trades, Twitter blew up with disgusted Padres fans, doomsayers and pessimists. I do share in some disappointment seeing these players go.
I also got the same vibes when we re-signed Seth Smith. That reaction puzzles me. I love the signing. He has clearly been our best hitter all year, and more importantly he has been consistent. While other players have seen their average drop into the low .200’s, he is still up at .285. We complain when we trade away good players. We complain when we sign players who don’t play well. Now we are complaining when we sign someone who actually is having a career year? Heck, I have seen us complain on social media while we are playing well. I have been seeing a lot of whining on social media the past few weeks.
Some of the pessimism is definitely understandable, in fact, I have participated to a degree as well. Yes, this is a bad and most likely a lost season and yes we have traded away some good players for seemingly little in return. But come on Padres fans, we are not yet like the Rockies, Cubs or Astros. We have some good players to build around. On top of that, no one can beat our pitching on a consistent basis.
I, for one, am pleased with who we got in return for Headley. Yangervis Solarte has been a decent filler at 3rd base for the Yankees. This year, in almost the same amount of playing time, Solarte has a higher average than Headley (.254 to .229), just has many hits (64) only one less home run (6) and one less RBI (31). He also has the upper hand in slugging percentage this year, .381 to .355. Not to mention, Solarte is 3 years younger than Headley and his best baseball is more than likely still ahead of him.
He has done this in the AL East, one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. So call me crazy if I am not freaking out about the trade. Solarte is a decent return that can contribute immediately.
We already know the players we got in return for Street and I am excited about those prospects. Street was a great closer but we still have a stellar bullpen. Joaquin Benoit is more than capable of stepping into the closer role. I know there is not a lot of reasons for optimism this year, but we still have players who we can build around for years to come.
I understand the frustration, I am frustrated too. But we don’t need to be doomsayers and complainers about every single part of this organization and every single move we make. We wouldn’t make a trade unless it benefited the Padres too. I trust that our front office isn’t brain-dead and if more deals are coming, I trust that they will get a good return so we can build for the future.
The 2014 San Diego Padres are now about building for the future. It is a cliché, I know, but that is the reality of the situation. I am here to stay, I won’t waver. I, as many of you, demand a product on the field that can win, and win often. But we must be patient and weather the storm this year, as the San Diego Padres play…Quadruple-A baseball and rebuild.