Well, a LOT more has certainly gone on in the Fansided Faux Winter Meetings than the real ones so far. Quick recap? Andrew Cashner and Alex Torres were traded on Day 1 in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, on Day 2 salary cramp Carlos Quentin was offloaded to the Royals for two left-handed pitching prospects, and on Day 3 the FauxPa-dres signed Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas to a record 7-year, $105M contract. What was next?
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Day 4 Goals
With the trade of Cespedes, signing of both Yasmany Tomas and Kwang Hyun Kim the Faux Padres entered Day 4 well over the budget they wanted to be. Devin Sparks and I had to clear payroll. Yet we also still had major infield needs.
Third base was a black hole and a new catcher was an option with the disappointing play of Yasmani Grandal and the understanding that 2014 will likely be the best offensive year of Rene Rivera‘s career. Shortstop was a need as well, with one option being moving Corey Spangenberg over to shortstop and continuing to use Alexi Amarista in a platoon role. We would still love to shed some outstanding contracts like Joaquin Benoit, acquire a left-handed reliever to replace Alex Torres, and see what we can get for bonus outfielders like Will Venable and Cameron Maybin – making a combined $11M+ in 2015 and now pretty expendable with Cespedes and Tomas. Not to mention Seth Smith signed to a multi-year deal and being one of the main brightspots last season.
Rumors from the previous day involved the Braves for third baseman Chris Johnson and lefty reliever Luis Avilan – but they really wanted Jesse Hahn, a young pitcher we were not willing to give up. After back and forth, it was uncertain what could get done. We also waited to hear our fate on the free agency market for Josh Johnson in hopes of a bounce-back season. And we did field some interest regarding Benoit.
We were able to trade Benoit, forgotten man Abraham Almonte, and minor league pitcher Joe Ross for Chris Johnson and Luis Avilan. With this though we were hoping for more of a salary discrepancy, we gained a competent third baseman who will hit at least .285 next season with 10 homers and the successful left-handed reliever. All without giving up top tier minor league arms like Matt Wisler or Casey Kelly.
We also found out we lost out on Josh Johnson – which though you can truly never have too much pitching, would have been nice for the cheap.
We were able to move Joaquin Benoit for who cares what!
Decidedly mixed. The feeling when Johnson signed his extension is that it paid him too much, and a failed first season in San Diego would not bode well as his salary escalates the next few seasons. Yet he is a capable defender and solid average guy, finishing second in the NL batting race in 2013. Currently the faux Padres are still about $8M more per year than when they started the simulation, and still have work to do. Also, moving both Kennedy and Ross puts a lot of pressure on youth to STEP up in 2015. The hope is that Casey Kelly might be ready sooner than later, and that lefty Kim might fill a spot too vacated by Eric Stults. Hopefully by the mid-to-end of the year, other prospects like Joe Wieland or Cory Luebke (owed over $5M this year) can fill out the rotation spots as well. Signing a cheap veteran free agent night be nice.
Still a few days left until our faux simulation ends – with hopes that the real Padres can take some notes on the offensive focus. It appears that the negotiations are heating up for free agent Pablo Sandoval, the price is down for Yasmany Tomas, and even Jay Bruce might fill out the 2015 Padres roster. These are all good signs that Preller understands the pitching staff can be a little worse off if the team is consistently scoring two more runs per night.