San Diego Padres: Winter Meetings Predictions
By Jason Cooper
As we enter what is perhaps the most anticipated winter meetings in San Diego Padres history, the Friar faithful are anxious to see if all of the Padre talk we’ve been hearing in recent weeks results in, well, any results.
Numerous reports have circulated about the Padres being very active in pursuing free-agent players, as well as being involved in trade talks with numerous teams. The fact that the word Padres has even been mentioned in hot stove news alone is big in of itself, but for the organization to get the fans collective mouths watering from the smell of what they have boiling on the hot stove, only to give them nothing to eat, would be worse than the previous seasons of the fan base going into an off-season with the clear understanding that the Padres wouldn’t be involved in anything significant or exciting news wise.
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With that said, they have to make a move during this week’s meetings, and in true Padres fan fashion, I’m keeping the faith that they will.
Right now, I’m going to look beyond all the talk and give you my bold predictions as to what I feel is actually going to happen over the next few days here in San Diego at the winter meetings, Friar wise of-course.
Once read you might not look at the predictions as necessarily being bold, but let’s be honest, given the Padres history, predicting any significant Padres move at a winter meetings could be considered bold.
First of all: The team will get a bat, an outfield bat more specifically, and even more specifically, a bat not named Matt Kemp. While a player of Kemp’s caliber would look great in a Padres uniform, even the universally hated current ones, the hurdles involved in a Kemp trade will ultimately prevent the deal from happening.
Now that we’ve awoken from the dream that is the Padres trading for Kemp, let us focus on the “splash” that will scratch the reported itch the Padres have had the past few weeks in regards to bringing in an impact bat.
That scratch will be Boston Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Kennedy will be moved for Cespedes, and all things considering, it will be the best case scenario under the Padres not wanting to trade either Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner circumstances. Cespedes will bring some excitement to the ball club, and more importantly, some much needed power. The deal would also leave some room for the Padres to make some more moves, which they will also do while at the meetings.
With what would be considered their big move out the way, the next move will look a little more old Padres regime than the new regime in regards to excitement. With players like Kemp and Justin Upton no longer realistic options, I think the Padres, will out of nowhere, sign San Francisco Giants free agent LF/1B – Michael Morse to a contract.
While not a “sexy” signing so to speak, the acquisition makes sense because Morse will add some pop to the lineup, while also giving the team an offensive upgrade at the first base position. With Morse and Cespedes in the middle of the lineup, the batting-order suddenly looks like one that can do some damage, especially if one Mr. Jedd Gyorko could have a bounce back season.
Outside of the two bats, I see the Padres getting a deal done with Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-Hyun before the December 11th deadline. With Kennedy pitching elsewhere, an agreement with Kwang-Hyun is of more importance.
Those three moves alone will still leave the Padres with some holes, most notably at the shortstop position, but i’m of the belief that those holes will be filled after this weeks winter meetings.
While the Cespedes and Kwang-Hyun predictions wouldn’t be an absolute shock given the reports that have surfaced on the two situations, a Morse signing would come way out of left field (pun intended).
Know that I have had no inside information that resulted in the Morse prediction, just a gut feeling. If the Morse prediction doesn’t come to fruition, feel free to call me out on out, but if I happen to nail it — remember you heard it here first!
Either way it goes, it’s sure to be an interesting week for the Friar fan base. A week that we are all looking forward to. Be sure to stay in-tune with Friars on Base throughout the process for all the latest activity.
And remember…. #InPrellerWeTrust