Are Padres Fans Losing Patience?

Credit: AP Photo

AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

With little accomplished this winter in regards to improving the current roster, are some San Diego Padres fans losing patience with the team?

The definition of patience, according to Merriam-Webster, is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

The patience of Padres fans has certainly been tested, not just lately, but throughout the history of this franchise. The team has made the postseason just five times in its history; six if you count the infamous Game 163 against the Colorado Rockies. Their last winning season was in 2010. Since then, it’s been 80 and 90-loss seasons.

The San Diego Padres are entering the 2019 season with some major question marks, which are expected to be addressed before Opening Day in April. One of those question marks is: who will rescue the club from its woes at third base? The other question mark pertains to its inexperienced staff: who will anchor the rotation as a frontline starter?

The Padres are reportedly nearing the end of their current rebuild. Fernando Tatis Jr., the No. 2 prospect in baseball, is expected to make his major league debut during the first half of the 2019 season. As of now, Padres may not have anything to look forward to until possibly June. Patience.

Tatis, Jr. is not the only highly-ranked prospect that will join this team at some point in the future. Left-handed pitcher Logan Allen could make his debut this season. Luis Urias was called up last season, as was Francisco Mejia. Coming sometime later are Cal Quantrill, MacKenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon, Austin Allen, and Michel Baez. Patience.

This is where patience comes into play. This team is supposed to be competitive in the not-too-distant future. A.J. Preller has spent the past few seasons rebuilding a farm system he once depleted when bringing in the likes of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Craig Kimbrel. He traded Kemp and Kimbrel, among other players, for prospects. And then there was that James Shields trade that brought Tatis, Jr. to the organization.

Padres fans have been told to have patience. The time is coming when the team will contend for championships. But that time is not yet here, and this team is going on a half-century with no World Series titles. They have two National League pennants, but the last one came in 1998, over two decades ago.

Getting a jump start on ending this drought begins this offseason. And despite the riches in the farm system, no single prospect addresses the biggest hole on this roster – a starting third baseman. Unless of course, the Padres prefer to wait for Hudson Potts to make his arrival in 2021 when the team is already supposed to be a contender. Patience.

Credit: Getty Images

A free agent third baseman is available this offseason. Manny Machado is a superstar and a generational talent. Reports have indicated that he is being courted by the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago White Sox. The Padres have made no attempt to pitch an offer to Machado.

It’s possible that the superstar third baseman could sign an eight-year, $200 million contract with his new team. That comes out to an average annual value that is slightly higher than what the Padres are currently paying first baseman, Eric Hosmer. Paying Machado $25 million per season is doable for a team with a payroll that sits below league average.

Signing Machado would make sense for the Padres. It fills the glaring hole at third. In addition, it would excite a fan base that has been waiting for something — anything, to be excited about. As of now, there isn’t one player on the roster not named Fernando Tatis, Jr. that brings that kind of excitement.

The other need the Padres have indicated they want to address is finding a frontline starter for the rotation. The Padres have been mentioned in a plethora of rumors regarding starting pitchers.

Early in the offseason, they were said to be discussing trade scenarios with the New York Mets to acquire Noah Syndergaard. Over time, those talks were said to have evolved into a three-team trade with the Miami Marlins. Rumors suggested that the Mets would acquire All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and the Marlins receiving prospects, while Syndergaard would go to the Padres. Rumors.

Various pitchers were mentioned in rumors involving the Padres. Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, starting pitchers for the Cleveland Indians, were both said to be trade targets for the Padres. Another possible target mentioned was Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman. No reports have indicated any of those talks making progress. The same goes for the possibility of acquiring Sonny Gray from the Yankees.

The Padres entered the offseason with an expectation to make moves to improve the roster and put a better product on the field in 2019. So far, that hasn’t happened. The only move that has happened so far is signing 37-year-old Ian Kinsler and signing Garrett Richards, who won’t pitch until 2020.

Finishing below .500 in 2019 would mark the ninth straight losing season for this team. The silver lining here is that the organization is at least trying to build a promising future. That is where patience comes in. The only problem is that fans have remained patient for nearly 50 years. They expect results, and they will only become more apathetic with each sequential losing season. Since 2010, the product on the field has been boring. Petco Park has been filled with fans of opposing teams.

Regardless of what this roster looks like on Opening Day, the process is still moving forward. The prospects that baseball writers keep talking about will eventually be with the big league club. The only question is, how long will Padres fans remain patient while waiting for these prospects to arrive? As for the team, can they do enough to keep fans interested until then?

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7 thoughts on “Are Padres Fans Losing Patience?

  1. Hold the line throughout 2019, and let the young guys play. The exception being a deal for a 3rd baseman or frontline pitcher (Greinke) for a couple prospects outside of our top 10, if the addition is to our teams advantage. Let’s see what Renfroe / Reyes / Margot and the other young talent can do . See if they can build off of 2018. Increase their value and marketability league-wide. Possible trade options going into 2020.
    Pass on Machado. No question he’s a Star, but in the past he’s expressed the desire to play SS and with Tatis on the way, the team doesn’t need the distraction. Plus, Arenado (?) is a free agent at the end of 2019 and he’s the better option at 3rd as a FA, if the team is going to spend big $$$$$!!!. Waiting a year, will give the team a better idea of where they are based on 2019 performances before deciding to pursue him.
    Pads have a stocked minor league system, with many getting close or close to major league ready, so they say. So, let’s give them a shot. Find out who are “keepers” for the long run. Urias, Cordero, Allens (2). Paddock, France, etc.
    Harper, Machado, Moustakas, etc are all talents, but the Pads aren’t there yet. So bottom line, hold tight and let the development process play out.

  2. I believe in the current course of events. The re-build is a long term plan. There’s zero chance Machado signs with SD. I laugh at fans who just want the Padres to spend; would these same fans pay to see a game, if ticket prices more that doubled?

    A build from within is so refreshing, because the prior plans were year to year with no continuity whatsoever. Keep the faith for now. Let the youth mature. Come 2020 through 2025, that will be the time to sign a big time free agent to fill the gaps. I don’t want 1 year of success, I want success over a decade. A mid-market team like San Diego must always have a few players a year graduating into the Majors; that all starts in 2019, but should continue year after year from there.

    If you disagree, fine. That’s your choice. If I am wrong in 3 years, then so be it. I just live the game.

    1. Machado may or may not want to play in SD, but he certainly won’t if we don’t make him an offer.
      As for ticket prices, you need to educate yourself a little. The Padres had $266 mil of revenue last year, more than enough to afford Machado AND Harper AND Greinke.

      1. How do you know they didnt explore making an offer? Reports were out there they were they had. Saying they can afford to do it and doing it are entirely different things. The question of signing both has been bounced around in several places on MLB network, MLBTR, and articles written by experts within the baseball industry. They all have pretty much said even the Yankees, Nats, Phils, Cubs, Dodgers wouldn’t have the means to sign them both. How can you honestly expect the Padres to do this. On top of which you want Greinke. Cmon..

        This ownership group has spent more money in the free agent market, in the draft, with Intl signings and player development than any other front office in 2 decades. There are topics their feet could be held to fire but spending for talent isnt one of them. Hosmer should be a valuable lesson along with the all in 2015; that spending money is only part of the equation to success. Clearly Im more in the Greg W camp. Gerrit Cole and a run at Anthony Rendon this time next year would be a fraction of the cost of Greinke and Machado. Plus it would give 2019 to settle the issues that should have been settled in 2018..

  3. Short answer: yes, fans are losing patience.
    The bigger question: has this franchise turned over a new leaf, stopped being a joke and started being a well run club?
    Answer: still the clown show.
    The article does an excellent job in pointing out how Machado would be an easy fit on the roster. And who cares the cost? If it takes 10 years and $33 mil a year, do it. After all this club is paying Hosmer $21 mil to kill worms, will soon be paying Myers $22.5 mil to play half a year and play fortnite, and will be paying $23.15 mil to 5 players to NOT play for SD. This works out to $50 mil next year for almost no value, and $52 mil in 2020.
    With a projected payroll of $95 mil for 2019 there is room to move.
    Here are those moves:
    1) Sign, if we can, Machado. A 26 year old superstar is just too rare not to be in on this.
    2) Sign, if we can, Harper. See argument above.
    3) Trade Myers. Dump as much of the salary as possible to offset the above moves. If a veteran player has to be accepted in return make it a pitcher on a short deal, such as Leake.
    4) Trade Renfroe and Reyes. These guys might headline a deal for a pitcher. Corner OFs who hit for power, but offer nothing else, are dinosaurs – on their way out. Give those ABs to Cordero, who has a much higher ceiling.
    5) Add a front line pitcher. Two options suggest themselves. Either sign Keuchel. or trade for Greinke. Neither will be without some pain, but these are proven top end starters.
    After this psychedelic trip, things might look like:
    RF: Harper
    CF: Margot/Jankowski
    LF: Cordero
    3B: Machado
    SS: Tatis
    2B: Urias
    1B: Hosmer
    C: Hedges/Mejia
    the pitcher obtained in the Renfroe/Reyes trade; or trade for Sonny Gray.
    The point is not whether this can happen, most likely it can’t. The point is what the club should be aiming at. With $266 mil of revenue, they can afford this. And hey, Preller can even keep Pirela, which he seems hell-bent on doing anyway.

  4. I thought the piece was fine. Yes more patience is needed. 2020 was always the earliest this rebuild would produce a decent team. I do doubt Machado signs for less than $30 mil AAV

  5. The San Diego fans believe in this rebuild and want to wait for the players to come up. Terrible article by taking the easy way out. Hold strong and believe. There are quite a few bright spots you could talk.

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