It is not as if teams are tiptoeing around the question of if the Padres are trying to win in 2016 or looking ahead to the future. There is no secret regarding that.
The question the Padres have to ask is if they are maximizing their trade value of their players they are getting rid of or if teams are taking advantage of them a bit in a trade market where teams needs gaps filled but not a lot of Tier A options.
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I think everyone would agree that the Padres easily won the Drew Pomeranz trade. He had a bad debut and good second start but the prospect the Padres got back was a great haul. The Padres minor league system has been aided by the strength of the Red Sox system in the last 9 months and Red Sox fans might be wondering slightly about what their team will look like in 2018. Except they have now a legit shot at being World Series contenders in 2016, which is the ultimate goal after all.
The James Shields trade appears to be a loss in the Padres side, though easing the financial burden certainly helps the Padres on several fronts. Erik Johnson hasn’t pitched well and then went straight to the DL. While James Shields first couple of starts with Chicago were disastrous, he has since pitched well for the Sox.
The challenge for A.J. Preller is selling high on certain players and figuring out the timing of this whole thing. Are the Padres planning for 2017, 2018 or 2019? Outfield prospects like Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe appear ready to take on 2017, but who will be throwing the ball for them? Most top pitching prospects appear to need at least a year of development, and the current pitchers filling the pitching dyke are leaving much to be desired.
So, we will continue to monitor how things go as the Padres still have several pieces ready to go. Jon Jay, Derek Norris, and possibly even Ryan Buchter and Brand Hand. What will they get in return? A-ball pitchers or can they get at least a top AA prospect for a hitter like Derek Norris? The plan is working for the Padres, and over the next week we should have a clear idea of when that plan has the Padres aiming for the World Series.