Padres are built for the long haul with an embarrassment of talent
By Jake Misener
Dynasties are rare. The last one in baseball? The late 1990s and early 2000s New York Yankees, who ran off World Series championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Others might consider the 1990s Atlanta Braves another example: but they managed just one title during a stretch of 14 consecutive NL East crowns.
Now, it’s far too soon for San Diego Padres fans to be talking dynasties – but the pieces are in place. That doesn’t always equate to success, though. In 2015, the Chicago Cubs looked like they had it all in place – but after winning it all in 2016, they never again reached the Fall Classic and are now on the brink of a full-blown rebuild.
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Looking at the short-term, the Padres appear to be one of the best teams in the Senior Circuit – one with a real shot at ending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ stronghold on the National League West.
The offense is anchored by the likes of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., slugger Manny Machado and first baseman Eric Hosmer. That’s not to mention a supporting cast of Trent Grisham, Jake Cronenworth, Tommy Pham and Will Myers.
The club shored up its depth, bringing in a switch-hitting backup catcher in Victor Caratini via the Yu Darvish trade, also bringing back Jurickson Profar on a three-year deal.
Of course, the story of the offseason was San Diego’s relentless pursuit of starting pitching that culminated in the additions of Darvish, former AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell and hometown kid Joe Musgrove. That trio joins an already potent duo of Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack – with Mike Clevinger set to return to the mound next season.
The future of the Padres will be decided by their young prospects
Again, that’s all part of this year’s club. On the very near horizon, San Diego’s got a plethora of young talent, featuring several of the best prospects in the game today – including seven of Baseball America‘s top 100.
This gives San Diego a foundation that’s already in place with the next wave waiting in the wings, ready to step up and fill roster holes that arise in the years to come. An already-loaded pitching staff will add the likes of MacKenzie Gore, Ryan Weathers and Adrian Morejon.
That position player group that already ranks among the best in the game will soon have reinforcements in infielder CJ Abrams and catcher Luis Campusano. It’s really become an embarrassment of riches for San Diego – and if they play their cards right, they’ll be an annual World Series threat for the next decade.