Padres Have Money, But Who Wants It?

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When one thinks of the potential big spenders in free agency, one almost automatically thinks of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After all, those teams almost seem to be sitting on a hidden printing press creating copious amounts of counterfeit currency, or they have a direct pipeline to the United States Treasury. On the opposite side of the dollar, when one thinks of teams whose ownership would be swimming in giant silos filled with money like Scrooge McDuck, one does not think of the San Diego Padres.

However, that has not been the case this offseason. Perhaps surprisingly to most of the baseball world, the Padres have expressed a willingness to spend, and spend big. San Diego was considered a realistic landing spot for the services of Pablo Sandoval, Adam LaRoche and Yasmany Tomas before they signed with the Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks respectively. The Padres are even considered to be a landing spot for Matt Kemp or Jay Bruce via trade. This certainly is not the small market approach that the Padres have implemented in prior offseasons.

The problem that the Padres are facing right now is different than the one they have faced in those aforementioned offseasons. Now that San Diego has money, and a willingness to spend to upgrade their offense, they cannot find a taker. The Padres were spurned by their top choices for the green fields of other teams, and now find themselves exactly where they were at the start of the offseason.

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So what is left for the Padres? Should they truly desire to improve via free agency, their options are more of the second and third tier variety. Melky Cabrera, Mike Morse and old friend Chase Headley may well be decent enough players, but are they really the type of players that are worth the contracts they are likely to receive? Or should the Padres look to take on another team’s headache of a contract, like Kemp or B.J. Upton?

Based on the the way the offseason is shaking out, the Padres may well have to overpay in order to attract any free agents to San Diego. The beautiful weather can only go so far in regards to masking the stench of losing that has been attached to the Padres over the past few seasons. Players want to go to teams they feel can be a legitimate contender, and the Padres simply are not at that level at this point.

Obviously, the Padres are attempting to change this perception and make their triumphant return to the postseason for the first time since Mike Piazza was their starting catcher. It may well just take a couple of key free agent signings, especially given the Padres excellent starting rotation. However, unless the money is right, no one may be willing to take the risk that they may be the only addition.

The San Diego Padres have money to spend. The only problem seems to be that no one wants it.

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