Taking a look at the transactions for the 2019 San Diego Padres.
In 2019 A.J. Preller, GM of the San Diego Padres made quite a few moves that will affect the team for years to come.
With 2020 expected to be a competing year, the 2019 season was essential a building year for the Padres.
There are hundreds of moves a GM makes every year, including Spring Training invites, the draft, international signings, trades, and waiver claims. Many of these moves have minimal bearing on the major league club. Thus we are going to ignore most of theses steps, only focusing on the significant transactions that affected the team.
Claimed Greg Garcia off waivers
The first substantial move that A.J. Preller made this past winter was quite a good one. Claiming Greg Garcia was one of the best steps made this year as he has shown a lot. Garcia made the opening day roster. He filled the utility role quite nicely seeing time at second, third and shortstop. His actual value, however, came at the plate. Garcia improved his walk rate and thus his OBP around 50 points from the year prior. He’s been a valuable piece of this Padres roster and should be retained for next year.
Signed Garrett Richards
Garrett Richards signed a two-year deal following successful Tommy John surgery. Most of this first year has been spent rehabilitating. Since he’s only going to get a few starts to end the year, it’s too early to say whether or not this is a good move. In his starts, we’ve seen flashes of his old self. The “stuff” is there; he just needs to find consistency and command. His floor is a veteran innings-eater; his ceiling is a top of the rotation arm. The Padres desperately need both, so if he can stay healthy, this will be a positive grade and a quality acquisition by Preller.
Signed Ian Kinsler
One of Preller’s worst deals this year was signing Ian Kinsler to a two-year contract. Kinsler took several steps back offensively and defensively this season. His place on the roster likely blocked guys like Ty France and Luis Urias from coming up sooner than they did during the season. This also cost Garcia playing time who had a much better season all around than Kinsler. The signing of the veteran infielder is one Preller would likely take back if he could.
Signed Aaron Loup
What seemed like a good move at the start of the season ended up being a disappointment. Aaron Loup was brought in to bolster the bullpen being that he is left-handed. However, Loup ended up on the IL after throwing 3.1 scoreless innings. You can’t exactly blame Preller for this; injuries happen in baseball.
Signed Manny Machado
The considerable signing no one saw coming. Manny Machado signing with the Padres turned the baseball world upside down. It put the Padres on the map for 2019 and told everyone they are serious about contending for a long time. Machado had a down year offensively but quickly showed off his Gold Glove defense at third. He’s been looked up to in the clubhouse, even taking Tatis Jr. under his wing. The infielder will be a cornerstone of the team for the next nine years. The 300 million dollar contract may hamstring the club in later seasons, but otherwise, this looks like an excellent addition to the franchise.
Signed Adam Warren
Adam Warren and Aaron Loup we’re both brought in to help solidify the bullpen in free agency. Unfortunately, they both ended the season on IL. Around mid-May, Warren’s ERA was as low as 3.54, but a miserable end of May and early June resulted in his season-ending with a 5.34 ERA in only 28.2 innings pitched. Had he pitched a full year, the right-hander may have been a solid signing. However, injuries and poor performance result in a low grade for Warren.
After claiming Socrates Brito off waivers, he was flipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Rodrigo Orozco. Preller acquired him for virtually nothing. Even if Orozco doesn’t work out, it was still worth the risk; there was none.
At the beginning of the season, Preller traded Diomar Lopez for former Padre Matt Wisler. The slider specialist came out of the bullpen and did not work out, posting a 5.28 ERA over 21 games. He was traded to the Mariners for cash. Preller took a chance to buy low on a former highly-rated prospect. It didn’t work out, but it also didn’t cost the Padres much. If Preller makes 3-4 moves like this and even one can pan out, it’s a win.
When the Padres first traded Alex Dickerson to the Giants, he played exceptionally well, and this looked like a really bad trade. However, Dickerson has since spent time on the IL; something Padre fans are all too familiar with when it comes to the outfielder. If Dickerson can stay healthy, he’s a good ballplayer and should be on a team. With the Padres’ perceived overflow in the outfield at the time, it made him expendable. This is a trade the Padres may soon come to regret. Maybe not so much trading Dickerson, but not allowing him to raise his value in a trade closer to the deadline. Franklin Van Gurp spent the rest of 2019 with High-A Lake Elsinore Storm and Lo- A Fort Wayne Tincaps. He is not considered a top prospect at this time but has some upside.
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