It’s a New Year, But Questions Remain About the Padres Roster

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The newest San Diego Padre and former Los Angeles Dodger, Matt Kemp is all smiles with Manager Bud Black as he puts on a Padres jersey for the first time during a press conference at Petco Park. — Howard Lipin / U-T San Diego

2015 is certain to be different from 2014 for the Padres. For one thing, there’s an outfield full of potential All-Stars, and that’s a major change. Gone are the catchers who handled last year’s pitching staff so well, replaced by backstops who got to the majors based more on their hitting skills than their defensive resumés. And just this week, two new power arms were added to an already highly-rated bullpen. But as we flip the calendar to January, some questions still remain about the roster.

Now, if we have learned one thing about General Manager A.J. Preller, it’s that he explores every option when putting his team together, even options that aren’t readily apparent to the typical observer. For instance, 8 days before extracting Wil Myers from the Rays organization, Marc Topkins of the Tampa Bay Times wrote that the Rays were likely to deal either David DeJesus or Matt Joyce, but that Myers was likely to stay with the team. But that was before Preller started working his magic. 

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The U-T’s Dennis Lin outlines five areas of concern with the January 1 snapshot of the Padres’ roster. With Preller sleeping only a few hours a night while putting together his dream team, we can safely assume that today’s roster will not be the roster that the Padres take to Peoria fifty days from now. But using Lin’s outline, let’s take a look at the tasks that are still on the GM’s to-do list in these next seven weeks.