The San Diego Padres went crazy this past off-season when they went out and attained three legit starting outfielders. Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers are all-star outfielders and each will be in the lineup on an everyday basis. However the Padres, at the time, already had Seth Smith, Will Venable, Rymer Liriano, Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin on their roster.
There was a huge log jam in the outfield and eight months later, the team is almost in the same position. Sure Maybin and Quentin were moved, but the Padres took on Melvin Upton Jr.‘s salary in return. Seth Smith was dealt to Seattle in probably the best off-season trade. The team did subtract some outfielders but, if you add the fact Hunter Renfroe and Alex Dickerson are knocking on the door for playing time, the outfield is once again over crowded.
It seems that the Padres will not be able to afford Justin Upton for the 2016 season and beyond. With his departure the Padres will need to decide who plays left field next season. Hunter Renfroe would be the likely candidate (If Wil Myers were at first base), but he is still maturing and there are bound to be rough stretches with his development.
Center field also has question marks surrounding it, as the team chooses between Travis Jankowski and Melvin Upton Jr. The only outfield position that seems to be a lock for next season is that of right field and Matt Kemp. Kemp seems to be set in right, but there have been whispers about him eventually moving to first base. It remains to be seen if that is even a possibility. Kemp has a lot of pride and a cannon for an arm. His outfield range is just suffering at the moment, so I can see why a move to first might prolong his career.
Wil Myers is the total wild card as he could play left field, center field, first base or even third base. The team has a lot of flexibility with its positioning of players, but that is not necessarily the best thing. Players need to be in a certain position in order to be comfortable for a season. In my opinion, moving Wil Myers around position wise on a daily basis would be a mistake. The team will have a lot of big decisions to make.
So next years possible outfielders are Kemp, Melvin Upton, Wil Myers, Jankowski, Renfroe, Liriano, Dickerson and Alexi Amarista. There is also a possibility of the team acquiring a player or two in the outfield during the off-season. Jankowski, Renfroe, Liriano and Dickerson are all very young and each still has minor league options left. All four will not be on the Major League roster next season, that you can be sure of.
The off-season will once again be an active one for the Padres. In my opinion, the team will make some more major additions. The outfield could get a complete makeover. Padres fans will just have to stay tuned and wait and see which direction the team goes. It is refreshing that the team is not content with being mediocre. This franchise has high demands and expectations. It just might take a few years for all the effort to transition into success. Be patient Padres fans. You will be rewarded.