The San Diego Padres, fresh off a run to the NLCS after upsetting the rival Los Angeles Dodgers on the way, have a fairly light offseason on their hands thanks to the hard work of general manager AJ Preller over the past year.
His most recent blockbuster, which brought Juan Soto to the West Coast, has the team in a tremendous position to succeed for the next two seasons, assuming he continues to supplement the star-studded roster with the proper talent.
As for the farm system? Well, that needs a lot of work. It doesn’t necessarily matter at the moment because the Padres don’t need a spectacular pipeline for the next 2-5 years, depending on how things shake out, but it’s important to note because Preller will have to dive right back in to replenish what was lost in the Soto, Josh Hader, Brandon Drury, Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell trades the last couple years.
On Tuesday, there was a 3 p.m. PST deadline to protect any eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft by placing them on the 40-man roster.
The Pads added just one in pitcher Tom Cosgrove, who spent the 2022 season between Double-A and Triple-A. The 26-year-old still isn’t quite ready, but he’s knocking on the door.
Padres protect Tom Cosgrove from Rule 5 Draft with 40-man roster move
The more notable aspect of this is who the Padres opted not to protect. Per MLB.com, there were eight of the team’s top-30 prospects that needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to avoid being poached in the Rule 5 Draft.
Preller protected none of them.
Every year, there are obviously always some Rule 5 casualties, but when your team doesn’t add a single top-30 prospect to the 40-man roster, it shows there’s a definite need to rebuild due to a lack of faith or a dearth of talent. Some might say both of those factors are in play here.
The Padres have now exposed the following players to the Rule 5 Draft on Wed., Dec. 7:
- Korry Howell, OF (No. 9)
- Jairo Iriarte, RHP (No. 10)
- Noel Vela, LHP (No. 11)
- Tirso Ornelas, OF (No. 18)
- Nerwilian Cedeno, 3B (No. 26)
- Brandon Valenzuela, C (No. 27)
- Moises Lugo, RHP (No. 28)
- Matthew Waldron, RHP (No. 30)
Dive through their stats and you can see why. There’s not exactly much promise there … or at least nothing worth spending an MLB roster spot on.
In the Soto trade alone, the team’s top four prospects (CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, James Woods and Robert Hassell) all went to Washington, along with No. 14 prospect Jarlin Susana. In the Hader trade, the Padres’ sent Nos. 7 and 17 in addition to two MLB pitchers. In the Darvish trade, the Padres’ Nos. 11, 13, 15 and 16 prospects were dealt. In the Blake Snell trade, the Padres’ Nos. 3, 7, 14 and 15 prospects were sent to Tampa. In the Musgrove deal, the Padres’ No. 7 and 17 prospects were traded to Pittsburgh, in addition to now-star reliever David Bednar, who was out of the top 30 at the time.
Wait a second … it looks like Preller knows how to build and rebuild a farm system if he was able to pull all of those off between Dec. of 2020 and Aug. of 2021.
Yeah, nothing to worry about here. Just gotta get to work on the international market and ahead of the 2023 draft.