Padres Editorial: At What Point is it Time to Sell? Now!

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Credit: Jake Roth
Credit: Jake Roth

The San Diego Padres 2016 season started positively for the team when spring training began. A new group of players led by a rookie manager and his philosophies surely brings a feeling of hope. Andy Green says all the right things. He plans on changing the culture of this franchise and that can only result in a better team.

That is not an easy task by any means. The Padres franchise has had years of bad judgments that have left its fan base, for the most part, up in arms. The team has constantly made bad decisions. There is no sugar-coating it. The constant change in ownership has not helped the situation but truthfully there are numerous reasons for the Padres past failures.

Once again the franchise is at a point where they must rebuild their team. The trade of James Shields signifies the team is ready to move its expensive players and let the kids play. It’s a sad thing for Padres fans but it is for the best. If you don’t agree then you have not adapted to the game of baseball and its current development. To be stuck in the middle is a dangerous thing in this game. Your team must either be building for the future or trying to win now. In between means that you are spinning your wheels and success is not close. The Padres aren’t close. They can be if they retool correctly. But it will take time.

Let’s face it. The history of this franchise has been abysmal. The team continually seems to be in a rebuilding process. With that there is no tradition and most players only view the Padres as a stop in their major league careers. That needs to stop and the franchise must develop a “Padres way” of doing things. A positive way to cultivate players and get the most out of them is needed. A process that is envied by other professional teams. It will take hard work to create this, but you can see the plan unfolding currently. Problem is it will take time and Padres fans are not known for being patient.

Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton Jr, Derek Norris, Matt Thornton, Fernando Rodney and Yangervis Solarte are aware that their names are actively being floated around to other teams. There are many potential trade partners and only time will tell what A.J. Preller and the front office will do. Jon Jay and Andrew Cashner could also be discussed as trade chips, but there is an outside chance the team will elect to keep both in hope of potentially earning a compensation pick. The pitching market will be extremely thin this coming off season and Cashner could very well earn the Padres a compensation pick. He needs to get healthy though. Jay is a different story. The outfielder has played well this season but he is no given to be deserving of a qualifying offer. The Padres have shown that they enjoy what Jay brings to the table on a daily basis. The left-handed hitting center fielder provides excellent leadership skills and the Padres might want to consider bringing Jay back beyond 2016 to mentor some of the Padres young players. He could be re-signed if the team feels Manuel Margot still needs time to develop.

Padres fans beware. A trade storm is coming. Some will see this as another hopeless attempt to be relevant but there is an actual method to this madness. I believe that. Fans will see the team attempt to move Kemp, Norris and even Tyson Ross and will act as though the sky is falling. The thought of losing players like that is concerning, but you cannot view it as the team is giving up all hope. Trying to keep up with the Giants and Dodgers in the division is not feasible at this point. The Padres attempted to win the division last season. It did not work. Instead of trying to make it work again this season with essentially the same nucleus, the team wisely chose to go young and build the farm system up. In this day and age of the game of baseball you must have a constant flow of talent arriving at the major league level. The Padres have failed to implement this philosophy and though the team has occasionally been successful, they have failed to be known as a team that is consistently winning.

The time to sell is now. The kids must play. Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot and Austin Hedges must play. Each player brings an exciting aspect to their game, but each is also no guarantee to succeed. The Padres must get a glimpse of each player at the major league level in order to determine which of these young players has “it”. The Padres 2016 season is going to be a work in progress. Instead of giving at bats to veteran players who are not the future, the team needs to get at bats to these kids. It cannot be said enough. The front office is aware of this fact, but moving both Kemp and Upton is no easy task. Ultimately the Padres are going to have to bite the bullet and pull the trigger on a deal. The future of this franchise cannot continue to be stunted while there are legitimate prospects waiting for major league service time. The time to sell is now. Prepare yourself Padres fans, the team could attain some really exciting young players to add to what they already have.

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