San Diego Padres: A.J. Preller Speaks
Thus far, watching the MLB Network in regards to their coverage of the winter meetings you would almost think the Padres didn’t exist in San Diego, as there has been more Gaslamp and San Diego weather coverage than actual Padres coverage so far.
For those not in the know, there was an interview with Padres General Manager A.J. Preller conducted at the winter meetings by the Mighty 1090’s own Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell), which seemingly fell under the radar.
In true GM fashion, Preller kept most of his answers pretty generic and close to the vest, but if you read between some of the lines of a couple of his answers, he actually gave away a couple of pieces to the “What are the Padres thinking/doing?” puzzle.
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In reality, outside of hearsay, no one really knows what the Padres are doing at this point, as things have seemingly gotten more confusing with each report that surfaces.
There have been numerous reports today saying that the Padres will have to add something significant to pair with Yasmani Grandal in order to get Matt Kemp, and some of the names that have been thrown out there, names such as Matt Wisler (who has since been reported as not being in play), as well as Joe Ross — have sent the Padres fan base into a negative frenzy.
The anticipation within the fan base has seemingly turned to anger, and many questions have been asked about how far the Padres are willing to go to make a “splash” this off-season.
Will they give up too much?, Will they mortgage the future to bring in a bat?
Well, Preller’s answers to a couple of questions asked of him within the Caswell interview, might add some clarity to just what’s going on the collective heads of Preller and Friar front office.
When asked about his thoughts on trading within the division, Preller said, among other things:
“The nature of trades in general, usually is, you have to give something good to get something, I think from our standpoint we’re looking at ways to improve our team and if it takes us to the NL West, we’re okay doing that”
What that means to me is, the team has no problem trading players that are considered good, to get what they want — that includes moving “top” prospects. I personally feel Preller’s response should be music to the ears of a fan base that has been banking on “top prospects” to turn this team around for years — only to suffer disappointment after disappointment.
Ask yourself, how many Padres “top” prospects have actually panned out? No one knows how good Wisler or Ross is going to be at the Major League level later on down the line, but we do know how good Kemp is, right now. At some point the team needs to focus on proven a little more than potential, if they want to win games anytime soon that is.
Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
When asked how hard was his buddy Jon Daniels (Texas Rangers GM) trying to pry Andrew Cashner away from him, Preller said:
“J.D. (laughing), is always looking to improve his team, he’s always working hard”
“I definitely think from J.D.’s standpoint, I’m sure he’s out there, hopefully staying away from our good players, and looking to help me out and help me make a good trade as a first time trading partner”
You could be illiterate and still read between those lines. Based on his answer, it seems highly likely that the Padres and Rangers have at the least discussed a deal. Given the fact that Preller, at this point, probably knows more about the Rangers organization and players more that he does the Padres — it makes sense.
While not giving the fans much else, Preller did give the fan base something they can use to gauge his mindset a bit. Although many fans are seemingly not in agreement with the direction things are likely to go in order to get a much needed impact bat like Kemp, I feel like it’s the way to go in order to become competitive sooner rather than later.
The fact of the matter is a player like Kemp will impact the team now, as well as attract other free agent players to San Diego much more than Wisler, Ross, or anybody else currently on the roster will for that matter.
With all of that said, expect some of your favorite current Padres players to be moved, and look for some sort of deal involving the Rangers in the upcoming weeks.