Padres News: Padres Future is Most Exciting of All

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Courtesy: UT San Diego
Courtesy: UT San Diego

With the overhaul of the San Diego Padres, comes an expectation of winning now. The team is built to win now and can rightfully go deep into the playoffs, but the most exciting part of this whole reclamation project is the fact the team has a solid future beyond just the 2015 baseball season.

Unlike the team of 1998, this Padres team has multiple talented players under contract for the next few seasons. In 1998 Ken Caminitit, Kevin Brown and Steve Finley all were pending free agents. The run deep into the playoffs the Padres made was magical. The team ultimately lost to one of the best teams in the history of the game. The 1998 New York Yankees swept the Padres in four games.

The worse part of the sweep was the fact most Padres fans knew that this team was not going to be able to be kept together. Kevin Brown was offered the richest contract in Padres history, but declined for more money from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both Finley and Caminiti were not seriously sought after, and both left as well. The fans were given a National League Championship team and then nearly all was taken away. Players like George Arias and Ruben Rivera were set to be the new faces of the franchise. Neither player made it through the whole 1999 baseball season as a starter.

The 1999 San Diego Padres finished fourth in their division 26 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. The same Diamondbacks team that signed Steve Finley from the Padres. It was like having salt rubbed into your wound, if you are a Padres fan. The Padres  74-88 record was a huge disappointment for a team that was in the World Series a season before. A horribly bitter pill to swallow for San Diego Padres fans.

Flash forward to this season and the Padres era that is before us now. Not only Kemp but, James Shields, Derek Norris and Wil Myers are all signed long-term. All four players are important members of the team and their future is going to be here in San Diego. Add to that Tyson Ross who is signed until 2017 and Andrew Cashner signed thru 2016, and the rotations top trio of arms are locked up for the next two seasons. That bodes well for the future of the San Diego Padres.

Justin Upton is a vital part of the team and his impending free agency does concern me a little bit. He will likely command over $100 million dollars on the open market and I’m not sure the Padres can make that type of commitment with how the current roster is situated. I wrote about his pending free agency and if the Padres can sign him. Read about that here.

Being a lifelong San Diego Sports fan has been rough. The teams in San Diego really seem cursed. The consistent underachieving of one team coupled with the ownership issues of another have left most fans in San Diego absolutely dumbfounded. It can really be heart-breaking rooting for the home team in America’s Finest City.

The San Diego Padres and there penny-pinching ways in recent years, had all but driven away most die-hard fans from following them. From the fire sale of the early to mid 90’s, to the refusal to resign Adrian Gonzalez, the team has been frustrating to follow. Baseball is the sport I love, it’s only natural that I will always follow my hometown team. The San Diego Padres hold special memories in my heart and the feeling that the team is going to be competitive for awhile is exciting. The kind of pride Padres fans feel now, has not been felt for a long while.

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