Padres Editorial: Can the Overhauled Padres Compete?

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The addition of Matt Kemp, James Shields, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and company has indeed given San Diego Padres fans a reason to smile. For the first time in years, the San Diego Padres have playoff aspirations. Rightfully so, no matter what you read on the Internet or hear on the radio. This team will be fun to watch. Real fun.

Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post wrote about the Padres and deemed their 2015 season #2 on his top 5 story lines of Major League Baseball. It’s really amazing how much attention A.J. Preller has brought to this small market team. With little to almost no significant raise to the Padres salary to boot. This kind of imagination is great for a smaller market team. To think out of the box and explore all areas is genius. 

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The game of baseball is hardly an easy sport to predict. Anything can, and most surely will happen. Once you think you have this game figured out, it will turn around and slap you in the face. So to say the Padres will most surely be in the playoffs is not correct. They should however play well, all signs point to an improved team. Which should add to the win total and result in the first playoff appearance since the 2006 season. Right? Well, we can only hope.

With the apparent one-year rental of Justin Upton, it appears the team is ready to compete now. You don’t bring on Justin Upton in a contract year unless you have World Series dreams. The signing of James Shields also proves the win-now mentality. It will be interesting to possibly be a buyer at the trade deadline this July. That hasn’t happened in years and years.

Speaking of Shields, the fact he has always pitched for an American League team means his numbers could get even better. Not facing a DH every night can only be beneficial. Also not having to throw against some of the powerhouse lineups in the American League East, can boost his overall numbers. His leadership skills and motivation cannot be measured by the sabermetrics community. He, just like all the Padres, will just have to show the baseball world what this team is capable of.

It will most surely take more that the 77 wins the San Diego Padres had last year to make the playoffs. This team should surpass that number, but it really depends on how the team comes together. Chemistry has a lot to do with it. Matt Kemp showing up early for spring training shows a lot about his commitment. Seeing photos of he and James Shields palling around in the locker room is fantastic. Build that chemistry, play for each other. That’s what wins ball games, that’s what wins championships.

There is a lot of pressure on Bud Black this season. There are no more excuses about thrown together lineups. This team is stacked offensively. His motivational skills are sure to be put to the test. In the final year of his contract, the team must not disappoint. If the team does, A.J. Preller will surely bring in another manager.

This year’s San Diego Padres team will most surely compete in the tough National League West. Who knows what the season has in store for us? It will be one of the most memorable seasons in this franchise’s history. San Diego Padres fans can thank A.J. Preller and the Padres’ front office for giving us all hope. Lets Play Ball!

Next: Chat Wrap Recap with Sam Geaney

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