Something To Prove: Why Losing Tomas Won’t Silence Padres’ Off Season
By Matt Mirro
When the San Diego Padres hired A.J. Preller as their new General Manager it symbolized their new direction. They wanted to reinvest in the international talent pool, Preller’s specialty, and they wanted to be more aggressive in free agency. That’s something a young, first time General Manager can promise; aggression. The first off season of a General Manager’s career is an important one. Preller set out to make his presence known and revamp the lackluster Padres.
He saw his chance in the Cuban sensation Yasmany Tomas who was set up for a big payday.International talent? Check! Big name? Check! Big splash? Check! Signing Tomas would’ve announced to the baseball world that A.J. Preller was going a serious player in the off season games. Yasmany Tomas was the embodiment of everything the Padres hired Preller for. But, it wasn’t meant to be. Tomas signed a 6-year $68.5 million dollar contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks last week and it was a tough pill to swallow for the Padres’ front office brass. But, it will not silence them this off season.
Before third baseman Pablo Sandoval signed a 5-year $98 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox the San Diego Padres were major players in the race to acquire his services. When Cincinnati Reds’ star right fielder Jay Bruce saw his name listed heavily in trade rumors the Padres were said to be very interested in striking a deal for him. With Hanley Ramirez now slated to be the Red Sox starting left fielder, slugger Yoenis Cespedes has become the hottest name on the trade market and the Padres are right in the mix. The Friars and Preller are going to make a splash this off season. It’s just a matter of when.
There are still many players available in free agency that could help the Padres in the coming 2015 season. With the Giants losing Sandoval and the Dodgers losing Ramirez the titans of the National League West find themselves weakened and securing a playoff spot next year is not beyond the realm of possibility for San Diego.
The Padres could still ship off some off their young talent to the Reds to acquire Bruce and could strike a deal with a team like the Red Sox for Allen Craig or with the A’s for Brandon Moss to bolster their first base spot. They could sign Nick Markakis or Melky Cabrera and fill holes in the outfield.
Simply put, A.J. Preller has something to prove. He was outbid on Tomas by Dave Stewart, the General Manager of the division rival Diamondback. It’s his first off season as a General Manager and he will not go down without a fight. There is a reason he was chosen to lead the organization and his recent aggressive behavior is evidence that the Padres chose right. It is still relatively early in the off season.
The Winter Meetings are not yet upon us and there are plenty of options for San Diego. Missing out on Tomas was a rough break but it will not stop Preller from improving the roster. The Padres are going to be making headlines very soon.