The news has been a bit slow during the 2011 offseason for the Padres. If you take away the LeBlanc for Baker trade and the Bell/Harang arbitration news, it’s been pretty quiet for the most part for San Diego,.
However, one specific piece of news regarding the state of the Padres’ roster that I read last week caught my eye. I read an interesting article from the North County Times by Dan Hayes where Hayes discussed how the Padres have been slowly, and quietly building up their organization with International Players. And this concerted effort by the Padres’ Front Office to build their team and scout International Players may help to get the franchise headed in the right direction and give San Diego at least some hope for the future.
Not much for spending money or venturing into the International Free-Agent talent pool in decades past, the Padres have been making some under-the-radar moves and signing foreign International players in the last few seasons that may begin to reap benefits for the Friars in seasons to come. In fact, the Padres have made enough of an effort, that now 1/5 (8 total) of the Padres’ 40-man Roster is made up of Internationally signed players.
Probably the best prospect out of all of them on the 40-man Roster is one that Justin did an article on to not too long ago in the form of OF Rymer Liriano. Signed out of the Dominican Republic at age 17, Liriano (now 20) has been developing through the minors since 2008, and could now be ready to see some big league action as early as 2012.
To me, I’m glad to see the Padres exercising any and all options to get talented players wherever they can. They certainly can’t outspend anybody, but Vice President of International Scouting Randy Smith can certainly help the team with under-the-radar yet cost effective moves. It’s also nice to see the Padres putting their $8 million dollar facility in the Dominican Republic to good use as well. There’s a whole world out there playing baseball, and the Padres don’t have the luxury of throwing money at anybody and everybody. Thus, taking calculated risks could pay big dividends.
In my opinion certainly a good sign though that the Front Office is at least dedicated to scouring the amateur ranks for talent in as many places as possible. Hopefully their foreign investments bear fruit in the future and the Padres’ hard-work against the team payroll odds will pay off. Only time will tell, but it certainly looks like the Padres are on the right track in terms of building their team.
Follow me on Twitter (@DominicDiTolla)