In my first off-season article, I will discuss the San Diego Padres, the Winter Meetings, and we’ll take a look at Shortstop needs.
With the Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton deals knocked out before the start of baseball’s annual General Managers Christmas Sale. Let’s look into the crystal ball into what could go down for A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres during this year’s Winter Meetings.
The Padre front office has plenty of work in front of them heading into these meetings. Starting Pitching, Bullpen, Shortstop and some complimentary bench pieces need addressing before spring training begins.
More than likely, they cannot address everything, but the groundwork for the entire off-season will likely be laid while in Florida.
Being honest, it is a crap shoot about what to expect from the front office. Not when you hear names like Eric Hosmer and Ohtani being mentioned in the same breath with the team.
The most pressing need, in my opinion, is at shortstop. Whatever decision made will only be with this year in mind. With top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. likely manning the spot beginning in 2019.
It still leaves a lot of possibilities on both the free agent and trade markets. Do they sign a one year deal for a stop-gap free agent or do they trade for a shortstop?
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If they were to sign Hosmer it could give a glimpse of which way they could be leaning. Signing him would show me they are wanting to field a better defensive team next year.
With that in mind, it narrows that list to four of the names before mentioned. Cozart, Escobar, Iglesias, and Galvis. Two free agents, and two trade possibilities.
Cozart is likely out of the question considering the year he just had, his age and what he could want contractually. That leaves Escobar, Galvis, and Iglesias.
If the Padres had not gotten the year out of Tatis Jr. that they did, any of the names listed would be in play.
With their Shortstop of the future likely only a year away, they almost certainly will have to go the free agent route.
That leaves Escobar as the last man standing. Coming off his worst year statistically, he could sign a one year prove it deal until Tatis Jr. is ready.
Galvis is the most intriguing to me but I don’t see Preller trading away any top prospects for a one-year rental.
The same could be said for Iglesias although the price wouldn’t be nearly as steep as a deal for Galvis.
Signing Hosmer could be the key. Pairing him with Hedges and any of the four defensive shortstops mentioned would give the team a better defensive infield.
Knowing the team had the highest groundball rate among its pitching staff tells me they really want to improve the defense. Hosmer and any of the four shortstops would do that immediately.
Friar faithful, one thing is for sure; the team should have a better shortstop next year than in years past.
And if this year doesn’t turn out as planned we finally have our shortstop savior of the future waiting in the wings. I hope this Winter meetings preview of the shortstop shows that very thing.