The last time the San Diego Padres made an appearance in the postseason was in 2006 when they lost to the Cardinals in the NLDS. Since then, the Friars have only had two winning seasons, including two years in which they lost more than 90 games. It’s safe to say that the Padres, for the last 10 years at least, have not been the greatest team in all of baseball. That being said, San Diego has some promise in their farm system. An array of young talented outfielders, a good amount of young infielders, and some recently drafted pitching makes up a farm system that, in a few years, could transition some players into the Padres everyday lineup.
However, 2016 is long gone for the Padres. They have had some bright spots this year without a doubt, but it appears to be that these bright spots are, sadly, overshadowed by miserable losing streaks, long slumps, and a ton of earned runs. With the July trade deadline coming up, the Padres will obviously be sellers. Jon Jay has been a great addition to the team this year, and with his expiring contract, will he be traded? Matt Kemp is one of team’s best hitters, but with his defensive liabilities and his awful OBP, do teams want him? Wil Myers has been the best first basemen in the National League, does he stay and become the franchise? So many questions arise when it comes to what the Padres WILL do, but people often forget what the team HAS to do to set themselves up for the future.
Let’s take a look at what the team needs to do to be successful in the future.
- Keep Wil Myers and sign him long term
After being plagued by wrist injuries for the first few years in his career, it appears that the 2013 Rookie of the Year is showing what he can really do. Myers is batting .289/.340/.533 with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs. He’s been one of the few bright spots in the dismal Padres offense. It appears he’s found his comfort zone at first base, and this kid is slowly transitioning himself into becoming the face of the franchise. He has 3 years left on his current deal, and he’s only 25 years old. Myers is about to enter his prime, which is extremely scary considering the way he is hitting the ball now. He’s the best hitter on the team, and has shown that he hits for both power, and contact. He’s going to be a perennial all-star, and keeping Myers allows them to finally have a player to build around.
- Get rid of Matt Kemp at the Trade Deadline
At one point in his career, Matt Kemp was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball. He’s driven in 100+ runs in 3 seasons, including 126 in his 2011 campaign. Certainly the Padres were not expecting to get “prime time” Matt Kemp when they acquired him before 2015, but he was expected to produce, which he did. Kemp hit .265/.312/.443 with 23 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2015, a decent season, but it could have been so much better. Kemp has had a successful 2016 campaign as of late, batting .266/.282/.482 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs. Yeah he’s been good, but some eyebrows are being raised about Kemp. For starters, his OBP is god awful (.282). He’s only walked 9 times this year, while striking out on 74 occasions. Kemp is horrifically slow in Right Field, and his playmaking abilities out there draw questions. Let’s also not forget his awful contract, as Kemp is owed $21.5 million per year through 2019. Kemp is very well deserving of a starting spot on any MLB team, just not the Padres. San Diego has incredible talent in the minor league system at his position, and with a rebuilding process in the making, trading Kemp doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Some American League teams could use him as a DH, or a National League team in dire need of a hitter could be looking his way. He will always hit for power, and without possibly having to play the field, Kemp’s numbers could improve. The Padres could look to acquire a pitcher or two for Kemp, something that would really improve their team. To further develop their prospects, Matt Kemp’s time in San Diego has to come to an end this July.
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