** This article first appeared in baseballessential.com
The San Diego Padres 2015 season did not exactly go to plan. The team did bring a lot of excitement to a mostly dormant franchise. The fan base was recharged, but ultimately the failures of the product on the field resulted in a lost season.
General manager A.J. Preller is poised to make some adjustments to his team in an effort to get them over the hump. You can’t argue that the Padres do not have a solid nucleus of players, however they need balance in their lineup and a bit of cohesion on their team. Chemistry is a tricky thing to create, but the team can alter their roster to create more of a balanced lineup and rotation.
With a nucleus of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, James Shields, Tyson Ross and Derek Norris, the Padres can be a playoff team. They need to address their needs carefully. The first obvious need is at shortstop and the next is left-handers. Both on the pitching staff and in the lineup. At one point last season the Padres had Will Venable as the only left-handed thrower on the Padres 25-man roster.
The lack of left-handed players truly hurt the Padres in 2015 and the team needs to address this issue. A.J. Preller is a young G.M. and he has shown the propensity to do the opposite of what everyone thinks. He is capable of anything, so this list must be taken with a grain of salt. This list will explore the top five free agents the Padres should attempt to sign this winter. The list be made of realistic acquisitions for the team. David Price and Justin Upton would be nice, but let’s be realistic with this piece.
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