Free Agency Ideas…Getting Better with Age?
The Padres want to win the World Series – What is the plan to get there? Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
In summary, the Padres have some questions ahead. I mentioned Dayton Moore earlier, and that case study looms large for the Padres. Just how will new GM AJ Preller proceed with the Padres? Is he setting a win-now mentality, or win in several years? This first off-season for Preller will be interesting to see what tone he sets and what direction he is setting for the Padres. The fans should look cautiously at making the wrong moves at the wrong time. One of the keys to the Royals push this year was a decision he made at the end of 2012 when he traded future ROY Wil Myers for ace James Shields and Wade Davis. Those big moves must be made, but I’m just not sure that the fall of 2014 is the time for the Padres to make a big decision. Too many question marks are in the year at key position battles! The only infield position that appears “set” is 2nd base, and that with a player who battled to stay above .200 last season.
My guess is that the Padres spend this off-season figuring out what their long-term plan is going to be and cleaning up the 40-man roster as time goes on. Then you can start plugging the gaps. I do like a signing of Bonifacio if nothing else, because he can fill multiple gaps based on who is and who is not performing well. If Yonder Alonso comes around this season – great. If Grandal finds his bat – awesome. But if they don’t, the Padres might find themselves needing to fill bigger holes next year. What they don’t want to do is make a multi-year committment this season that would handicap their growth for years to come.
They are closer than you might think. The pitching is solid across the board with more on the way, and that might prove a valuable trading chips when the time is needed and the Padres are in contention. Their record this year was better than it has been in several years. If ownership, the GM, and the same manager Bud Black can instill an attitude of winning with a few of the right pieces coming together at the right time, success is bound to find the Padres. If they have a plan. Free agency is here, and as GM Preller reads FriarsOnBase.com for ideas, we are all waiting to find out just what that plan will be.