According to the Padres’ website it’s now official. San Diego finally locked up all eleven of their arbitration eligible players with little to no hitch when they agreed yesterday to a 1 year deal worth just over $2 million with their 5th Starter Dustin Moseley.
The reupping of Moseley gives the Padres a guy that can compete every fifth day and eat innings at the back-end of their rotation. Furthermore, San Diego’s ability to settle with all of their arbitration eligible Starters (Moseley, Edinson Volquez, Tim Stauffer, and Clayton Richard) over the last month has essentially solidified their starting rotation (Cory Luebke makes five) right before they head to Peoria in a couple of weeks.
With the 40 man roster basically set and Spring Training to begin soon, we can all begin the countdown until the Pitchers and Catchers report. I for one am amped up for the intrigue and litany of questions that Spring Training and the 2012 regular season has in store for the Padres.
Will the exorbitant offseason wheeling and dealing by G.M. Josh Byrnes pay off in terms of W’s? Will Yonder Alonso earn the 1B job right out of camp, or will he be challenged by Kyle Blanks? Can Will Venable establish himself as more than a platoon player in RF? Is Cameron Maybin going to improve on his career 2011 campaign? Will Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson rebound after sub-par 2011 seasons? Is Carlos Quentin the answer in LF? And can he bring some pop to the lineup on an everyday basis? Can the Pitching Staff made up of mostly #3 and #4 starters log enough innings and pitch effectively enough to counteract San Diego’s weaknesses at the dish? Is Huston Street an adequate replacement for All-Star Heath Bell?
As I alluded to in my N.L. West preview, I do not believe that the Padres will be competing for the Division crown this season. In fact, they might even finish in the cellar this season. However, 2012 is extremely important with regards to the Padres identifying their loads new talent, working it into their roster while at the same time paving the way for the bevy of Minor League talent which waiting in the wings to come up and compete by 2013/2014.
I’m expecting a summer of surprises however, and I will be more than happy to be wrong about where I project that the Padres will finish in 2012. Now all we can do is play “the waiting game” and cross our fingers that date doesn’t come too slow.
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