Padres Spent Like a Drunken Sailor for International Players

jbackstrom
Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Members of the Navy walk out to the field before the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Members of the Navy walk out to the field before the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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San Diego is known as a Navy town, so this year the Padres spent on International players like a drunken sailor. Bleacher Report says the total, with tax penalties, will reach over $60 Million. Add in nearly $13 million for the June draft pool, the total close to $75 million. YIKES!!! Are these really MY PADRES??

Last I checked the Padres were not taken over secretly by Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. What made AJ Preller and the Padres spend so much? Simple answer, the lower end of the farm system stunk.

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The second answer is the way the system works. MLB says if you over spend your allotment in one year (Padres this year was 3.3 million), you get taxed up to 100%. Should you spend above a certain amount, then you can not sign any international player for more than $300 K the next two years. Essentially limiting teams to the bottom of the barrel of talent. So if you are going to go for it, you might as well spend the three year budget in one one year. That’s what AJ did. In a year when a few big budget teams were hand tied, AJ was able swoop in and grab some highly touted talent.

According to Bleacher Report, the Padres were among the most active with 16 players, (either signed or committed). And according to Baseball America they signed 8 of the top 50 International prospects. On the MLB site, their list of International prospects shows the Padres grabbed #2. #4, #6, #8 and #11.

Here are the Padres top 4 signings and 1 commitment:

  1. Adrian Morejon (Ranked #2) 17 yr old Pitcher from Cuba, Signed for 11 million (22 Million with the 100% tax). He is 6 foot 1 inch and weighs 195 with a mid 90’s fastball. Scouts say he has good command and plenty of poise. In Cuba, he excelled at all levels.
  2. Luis Almanzar (Ranked #4) 16 yr old Shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Signed for 4 Million. He is six foot and 175 lbs. He can hit as well as field. Scouts love his bat and believe he is at the top of the class from the DR this year.
  3. Gabriel Arias (Ranked #6) 16 yr old Shortstop from Venezuela. Signed for 1.9 Million. He is 6 foot one inch and weighs 187 lbs.  He too can hit as well as field the position. Scouts love his swing. Ranked at the top of the Venezuela class.
  4. Jorge Orna (Ranked #8) 20 yr old Cuban Outfielder who was just declared a free agent. He is 6 foot 2 inches 192 lbs.  Several reports have him committed to the Padres. Look for some announcement very soon. Amount unknown.
  5. Jeisson Rosario (Ranked #11) 16 yrs old Outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Signed for 1.85 million. He is 5 foot 11 Inch 170 lbs. Scouts love his quick hands and good swing with speed to cover the outfield.

What all these kids have in common (except Orna) is that they are all very young. Bodies and skills can change, so AJ is taking a big gamble. But so is the June draft, a big gamble. So I look at it this way, it is like getting several more #1 type picks, only younger.

Next: Matt Bush Makes it to MLB

I know this all costs lots of money, but how great is it that this management is willing to “step up to the plate”? John Moores failed to do so  in 2004 and had the Matt Bush fiasco. I know I will be watching with great interest in their advancement.

Drunken sailors usually regret their empty pockets but remember the good time while spending it. In four to five years will the Padres management look foolish and regret their empty pockets or will the Padres fill a team of super stars that will be marching into Petco Park.  I vote the latter!!

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