The Editor’s Desk with Billy Brost: An Off-Season For The Ages


By now, if you’re a die hard fan of the San Diego Padres, there are a couple of things you’ve been focusing on since the end of the regular season. The first is the performance of the Padres’ multiple minor league prospects that are playing in this year’s Arizona Fall League. The other, of course, is the Padres’ pursuit of Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas. Ownership has recently stated that they will be flexible when it comes to payroll this coming off-season, and they will allow new general manager A.J. Preller to make moves that he feels will make the Padres competitive in 2015 and beyond.

More from Padres News

There are reports that Tomas is going to get the biggest contract that a Cuban defector has ever received. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million dollars. Chicago White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu is getting just under $70 million dollars, and he’ll most likely win the AL Rookie of the Year, and had the Sox finished better, would garner a higher finish in the AL MVP race too.

Is Yasmany Tomas the next Jose Abreu? Yoenis Cespedes? Yasiel Puig? Let’s say for the sake of this argument, that he falls somewhere between Cespedes and Puig. Is he worth $100 million dollars? To a team like the Padres, who are desperate for a run-producing, middle of the order bat, he absolutely is. If ownership does indeed allow Preller to reel him in, that’s a great thing for the team and the city.

However, the Padres can’t just sign Tomas and call it good. Now I don’t think for one minute that the Padres are magically going to become the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees when it comes to payroll expenditures. With that said, the Padres do have some holes in their lineup besides needing a big bat in the outfield. First base, shortstop, third base, and even catcher could all be looked at as areas of need.

A.J. Preller has already said he won’t hesitate to trade from his deep stable of arms to get more offense into this lineup. The question is, who is he going to trade and what will he expect to get in return? Is Andrew Cashner on the block? That would obviously get a much bigger impact bat than say Odrisamer Despaigne or Jesse Hahn would fetch. Ian Kennedy is under control through next year, and may be the ideal candidate to deal, since the Padres likely won’t resign him, and Tyson Ross has surpassed him as the 1-A in the rotation behind or equal to Cashner.

If Preller is smart, he’ll trade a Kennedy-type arm for a bat. He’ll use his expanding payroll to sign Tomas, and he’ll augment the remainder of the roster that needs an injection of offense, with value/production-based bats on short term deals. I’ve mentioned the likes of a Russell Martin on a short deal to groom Austin Hedges. The free agent pool is deep in certain areas, thin in others. The pieces are there to make this team a playoff contender now. The Padres and their young GM, while looking to make a splash, need to make sure the moves they make count!