The Padres learned earlier this week, that even though they had the largest offer on the table to free agent San Francisco Giants’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, he chose to take his talents from the Bay area to the baseball mad city of Boston, where he will team with Hanley Ramirez on the revamped Red Sox. For the Padres, they were never considered the favorite, and now the team has learned that Cuban slugger, Yasmany Tomas, has also chosen another team, this time, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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The team has been viewed as having been in on Tomas since he held his first public workouts. They, along with the Phillies, the Braves, and the team he signed with, the Diamondbacks, had offers on the table, ranging in both length and wealth. According to Dennis Lin of the UT-San Diego, he has heard that the signing of Tomas could prove to make or break Friars’ GM A.J. Preller. After all, the GM was hired under the guise of having extensive knowledge of the international market, which the ownership believes will give the Padres a distinct advantage compared to just going out and signing domestic players to large contracts, usually when the player is past his prime. Now that Tomas is off the table, along with Sandoval, does that mean Preller is a failure as a GM?
Is it an all or nothing gamble for Preller, his career and Tomas? Common sense would tell me that assertion is plain ridiculous. The man hasn’t been on the job a full season and his career is already in peril? This from the same franchise that has allowed a manager to go almost a decade without a winning record, and hired someone like Josh Byrnes to run the ship?
How about the media and fans give Preller some time to rebuild the dumpster fire that was left for him by an ownership group and general manager that would rather make fun of fans wearing a jersey of a guy that just got hurt than put a winning product on the field? We here at Friars On Base have argued the entire offseason, that if the pitching remained the same, and Preller was able to acquire a couple of impact bats, the team THEN becomes a second wild card contender. We have NEVER said this team is a title contender, with or without Tomas and Sandoval. While it’s unfortunate that the team has missed on both players, there are other avenues to improve the offense.
The Padres are a couple to three seasons away from dismantling the foundation that both the Dodgers and Giants have built, and for anyone to think that one signing, even one of Yasmany Tomas’ caliber is going to set the tone for a successful run as a GM is ludicrous. From what I’ve read, some reports suggest that Tomas isn’t even a quality defensive outfielder, has ZERO chance of manning third base at the big league level, and will most likely morph into a first baseman/DH type when all is said and done.
A.J. Preller and the boys are now 0-for-2 on their bid to sign an impact bat. This is the result of being a small market, having a larger ball park, not having compete in almost a decade, and not being known to sign free agents to big money deals. The culture has to change. Hell, there was a time when NO free agents wanted to sign with the New York Yankees. Now, the Yankees set the market more often than not. It only takes one player to put their faith in Preller and the organization. Once players see the Padres are about winning, others will follow. Keep your chin up A.J., better days are ahead!