San Diego Padres: Both sides of the September tanking debate

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 28: Jhoulys Chacin
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 28: Jhoulys Chacin /

Tanking is real, but is it something the San Diego Padres should attempt in the final month of the season? Both sides of this argument have some legitimate points.

Despite being the favorite to finish with the worst record in baseball coming into 2017, the young Padres have found a way to emerge from the worst of the worst. Sure, they’re out of the playoff race, but with a 59-74 record, they should fairly easily surpass last season’s 69 win total and take another step towards contention.

To some people, 2017 is exactly that, another step towards contention. But some will argue that winning games in a season which is already a lost cause as far as the playoff race is concerned is counterproductive. We explore both opinions, which each raise some fair points.

Tank. Draft picks are on the line.

What are you waiting for Padres? Stop winning already! You already pretty much sunk your hopes of finishing in the NL West cellar again, and you’re dangerously close to elevating yourselves out of the worst five teams in baseball.

Sure, the organization bombed the first overall pick in 2004, the third in 2009, and the seventh in 2012. But none of those selections were made under the supervision of the brilliant A.J. Preller! And the Padre have had just one selection in the top 10 overall picks since 2012, which was the promising Cal Quantrill last season.

The Padres are already headed in the right direction, just imagine what a higher draft pick would do in 2018! Give Preller a chance to deliver, and he will. In the meantime, who cares if the Padres finish 68-94 or 76-86? No one will care or even remember in three years when we’re focused on a deep playoff run.

Don’t tank. Give the young guys some confidence!

Just the word tanking conveys a very negative tone, a loser’s mentality. And how are these young Padres ever supposed to grow into true professionals if they are INTENTIONALLY losing?

It’s not about the record, but the attitude. Since tanking is so negative, why implement it during a season which everyone would agree has been a step in the right direction?

More from Friars on Base

There’s no reason to reverse the positivity surrounding the organization right now. Two draft picks isn’t even close to worth it. Have faith that Preller will come through no matter which pick he’s given, whether that’s fifth or eighth overall. In the meantime, the Friars should have fun this month and see how many games they can win.

Sure, maybe they’ll drop below the Mets and Tigers. But there’s no way that this late in the season, they can find a way to end up worse off than the White Sox, Giants, Phillies, and Reds, especially when they’re most likely trying to lose as well! It’s hard to beat losers at losing, so just don’t try. Establish a winning mentality and take pride in it.

Next: Offseason outfield decisions

Ultimately, it’s up to you which position you take. Tanking is always frowned upon, but can it really have an impact on the quality of prospects being brought into the organization in the years to come? Chances are, the Padres will be doing everything they can to win as many of their remaining games as possible, as that’s what they do as professional athletes. But it is worthwhile for us fans to take a deeper look, and wonder which direction the organization would be wise to go in.