The Long Winter of Nothing


On Dec. 2nd the Padres GM, Josh Byrnes, said he didn’t expect to be very busy during the winter meetings. Perhaps do “one thing, maybe two”. Sounds exciting, right?


If you answered, “yes”, then what the hell are you thinking?! Nothing about that statement is exciting. It’s boring. Sooooo boring…

In fact here’s the highlights from the last week of posts on involving the Padres:

– We missed the friggin’ boat on one of the main guys we should’ve been courting this off-season: Brandon McCarthy. Looks like he’ll be heading to the D’Backs. Our hated rival. Out of all the pitchers available, McCarthy not only looked like he made the most sense for the Friars, as he’d be a tad discounted since his head almost came off last season, and he induces a healthy amount of ground balls. But, we never expected to be buyers this off-season. We wanted a starting pitcher, but were hoping to trade and not sign. Makes sense. It really does. A GM doing what he said he was going to do is pretty solid.

Andrew Cashner might not be ready for Opening Day because he cut his tendon “dressing meat” with a hunting buddy. I want you to take a second and re-read that last sentence. It’s depressing when the injury bug starts hitting your team before Spring Training. It does seem to be “our thing” though, right? Injured starting pitchers. I’m thinking of making a logo.

– The Padres acquired pitcher Wilfredo Boscan from the Rangers to complete the Corey Burns deal. Although that sounds like the greatest made up name in MLB The Show to date, it is in fact real. And, that name is now part of the Padres organization. So, really it’s a win-win. I guess this also counts as move number one for Byrnes. He said he’d be making one MAYBE two…

Chase Headley’s extension might be figured out in the coming months, but who knows. Byrnes and Co. doesn’t seem to be in a rush since Headley is signed for two more years. I don’t blame them. Not at all, and in fact I think it’s an incredibly smart move. Why? Allow me to explain three possible scenarios: 1) The Padres sign him to let’s say a four-year extension, meaning we have him locked down till he’s 34. Not a bad extension, and ends right around the years any normal player would begin their decline. But, to almost no one’s surprise, Chase has an awful 2013, or just returns to the player he was before 2012. Now the team is committed more time and money to a below average offensive player for many more years. We get burned. 2) The Padres don’t sign him to an extension until the All-Star break, and actually see what his 2013 will look like. Get a feel for what Chase we’ll be getting for our money. If it’s a solid continued performance from 2012, we begin serious extension talks. If it’s back to Chase’s normal pace, then we don’t sign him to an extension, either offer him an out or keep him till his contract expires. You might be thinking, “You’re an idiot! We should try to trade him while his stock is high!” And you’d be wrong, because his stock isn’t high. No one is offering anything great for Headley, and if they had Byrnes would have pounced on it. But, right now everyone is looking at Chase like we are – perplexed. Which Chase is the real Chase? No one wants to gamble on that, and neither should we. At the very least we’ll have a good defensive third baseman for the next two seasons that will hit .268 and steal a few bases. 3) We don’t sign him to an extension, he makes the Padres and Padres fans lives miserable, and we move him to a team he’ll say yes to and let that team deal with whatever comes next – 2012 Chase or 2007-2011 Chase.

-We re-signed Jason Marquis. This could be considered move number two, but it’s not really a move. It’s more of a twitch or a flinch. It made sense, and if anything we can move him to the bullpen when his ERA as a starter jumps over 5.00.

-Although Byrnes has gone as far as to actually say that Headley will not be traded (further proof that the only offers we’ve gotten for him are bad ones) the Yankees are still quietly pursuing him. However, it’s unlikely any deal would get done, I mean other than C.C. Sabathia, Robinson Cano or maybe Curtis Granderson, who would be worth trading for Chase before we can get at least a hypothesis to this ensuing Chase equation? And yes, that’s a terribly long sentence. Triple-A relievers and Ivan Nova won’t do it. So, for the time being let’s all relax and go back to maybe firing Norv.

That’s it. Those are all the highlights from the Winter Meetings. Byrnes wasn’t kidding, huh? BOOORING! Like, the first thirty minutes of The Avengers boring. But, that’s why I like it. Actually, I think I love it. Byrnes isn’t being aggressive. He’s not over thinking every possible angle, or making moves just to make moves. He’s stabilizing the club. Giving people the confidence that they’ll have jobs in 2013. People like that. It makes them play as a team, and as friends, and that makes them play hard. Trying to stay content with what we’re building is very boring, and a lot of the time can be very frustrating. But, I’ve been championing this philosophy all season and I’m not backing out now! I’m backing in. Yes, that sounds very bad. If you didn’t think so, re-read it. Man, I should just delete it, but I’m not going to. Because, although this off-season has been incredibly boring for Padres fans, it is just like The Avengers – if you can get past the first 35 minutes, you will be rewarded for the next hour. If we can just be patient, we’ll be rewarded in 2014, 2015 and beyond! Hell, we might even have something to seriously get behind in 2013! Stay with it fans; there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

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