The Padres Need to Figure out an Off-Season Plan for the Free Agents on the Market. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Free Agency Ideas
The free agency class of 2014/2015 is tough for position players. At least under 30. What it does offer is a few high risk/high reward options, starting at 3rd base now that Chase Headley is gone; though in some irony is a free agent himself.
This article will look at three players the Padres should consider making a run at to help the team in 2014. Right now the Padres pitching appears to be a strength, though even in 2014 with depth we learned that indeed you can never (ever) have too much good pitching.
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The three players I will look at for the Padres are recent (again) World Series winner and top contributor Pablo Sandoval, Dodger Hanley Ramirez, and super-utilityman Emilio Bonifacio. While finances are always a concern when signing veterans as we are learning every day with Carlos Quentin and Josh Johnson last year – these players are all veterans who have made impacts on teams they have played on and certainly Hanley and Pablo could quickly step into major leadership roles for the young Padres team.
We can start by asking what the Padres are looking to do? It all starts with Jayson Werth. You know him, the savaely bearded Washington National. What you may forget about is that in my mind it was he who changed the Nationals from perennial losers to contenders in the National League East and in fact winners of 2 of the last 3 NL East crowns. When they signed Werth to a huge free agent contract after he had helped win a World Series in Philadelphia, there were a lot of questions.
Didn’t they overpay? Why him? What can this really do for a team that had just finished paying for an Alfonso Soriano contract that contributed to 0 playoff appearances? Yet, the Werth signing was influential because it made the other teams – and players – take notice. This organization was ready to go for it. Then they would sign Adam LaRoche, draft and sign premier picks like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Extensions for Jordan Zimmermann and his misspelled brother, Ryan Zimmerman. And Werth set the tone for all of that. He didn’t live up to the monetary expectations of his contract, but outside of his on-field performance, he absolutely accomplished everything the Nationals wanted to get done with that contract. I just hope he invested it wisely. The Padres have a chance to make a splash and make a similar move like the Nats did with Werth. Will they seize it?