The Editor’s Desk with Billy Brost: Should A.J. Preller Deal Arms For Bats?


The San Diego Padres failed to finish at the .500 mark, and have missed the postseason for the eighth consecutive season with Sunday’s finale against the Wild Card Giants. New GM A.J. Preller is going to be able to use this winter to put HIS stamp on a team that showed signs of promise, with a plethora of pitching, while the offense was an embarrassment to even the best of San Diego-metro area Little League teams.

According to Corey Brock of, Preller could use any of his stable of arms to acquire much-needed bats this winter. The question should be though, are the pieces you’re giving up worth what you are bringing in? The Padres had a payroll north of $90 million dollars until the July 31st trading deadline semi-firesale. By season’s end, with pending contracts coming off the books, Preller is sitting at $41 million. Ideally, the Padres should be looking at going north of $100 million in payroll, while not relinquishing ANY of their arms. The only way you give up an elite arm like Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross, or youngster Matt Wisler and Jesse Hahn, is if you get THE IMPACT bat you’re looking for in return. Anything less, is weakening the team, and you’re robbing from Peter to pay Paul.

I’m a big proponent of augmenting the current roster with up to three bats. I’ve discussed the options of Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, Russell Martin, and even J.J. Hardy. Aside from Cruz, the other should be on the Padres’ radar as affordable and making sense.

If Preller and the Padres were able to keep their arms, sign a bat or two, and expect bounce back seasons from players like Jedd Gyorko and Yasmani Grandal, along with the further development of youngsters like Cory Spangenberg, the Padres would be in prime position to make a run at the Wild Card as early as next season.

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What happens if you trade multiple arms and deplete your pitching depth for hitters that don’t pan out? You’re not only out of pitchers, but now you’re stuck with hitters that still can’t hit. If you sign a pair of bats to short-term deals, you’re only out money and possibly a qualifying offer or two. The Padres already have a top-6 farm system.

Money is easier to replace than developed prospects. Simple as that.

Keeping the Faith all winter long!