Preller set for first Off Season with Padres
By John Hiatt
A.J. Preller has been on the Job as General Manager of our San Diego Padres for three months now, and throughout those three months he has been assembling his staff the way he wants it, adding new faces, and retaining old ones, All the while he is still holding numerous meetings with the teams player development, and Baseball Operations staff which is to help shape the vision of the front office.
Still with all of that on his plate, he still has to assemble a 25 man roster for the 2015 season and beyond that will make the Padres Contenders in the National League and hopefully get them back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season. However it won’t be an easy task to take on the Padres offense needs some major upgrades, since the team ranked last in almost every offensive category this past season and especially trying to contend with not only the defending Champions the Giants, and the Dodgers who won 94 games as well,
Preller certainly has his work cut out for him. Preller and the Padres will have 41 million dollars in guaranteed contracts for the upcoming year, but Executive chairman Ron Fowler has stated that the team will have payroll flexibility this off season.
Let’s look at the Padres free agents to be, Tim Stauffer San Diego’s longest tenured Padre has filed for free agency and Josh Johnson has as well after the Padres declined his 4 million dollar option for 2015, though there is a chance that Johnson could return on a smaller deal, Johnson has stated he would like to pitch for the Padres this year.
The Padres needs this off season is almost a no brainer; OFFENSE! The Friars could use upgrades at the corner infield positions, and they have a big decision to make regarding Shortstop Everth Cabrera, who has had a few injury shortened seasons, and made a huge mistake when he was arrested for driving under the influence of Marijuana.
The Padres Potential targets this off season are international Players which is a strong suit of Preller’s, as well as players that are non-tendered by other teams. The Padres most likely option however is via trades, because the Padres are not a big free agent team. Could the Padres trade a pitcher for another bat, like they did last off season?
As Much as it pains me to say it, the Padres could potential trade one of their pitching stars as a trade asset, Tyson Ross is unlikely however due to him possibly wanting a higher return, and the offers for Ian Kennedy didn’t impress the team very much. That leaves the ace of the staff Andrew Cashner who could get offers from other teams, Cashner turned down a contract extension from the Padres last off season.
What can we expect from Preller and the Front office, we don’t know yet, because this is Preller’s first year as General Manager and with a 90 million dollar payroll, it’s still one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, however he seems very motivated and driven to get this team back to being contenders again.