Shocking news came from Jim Bowden of ESPN a few days ago. According to him, A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres tried to trade for the slugging outfielder with off-field issues. This is completely shocking as the Padres outfield is already over crowded.
The former AL MVP is still only 33 years old and might have something left in his tank if he gets his issues resolved. That is a big if, though. The Los Angeles Angels were prepared to pay almost all of Hamilton salary, so that is why the Padres probably were interested. A.J. Preller is not one to walk away from a great deal. Hamilton ended up being dealt back to his former team the Texas Rangers. Probably the best landing spot for him and his family.
So what were the Padres thinking in trying to acquire Josh Hamilton? They probably looked at Hamilton as an insurance policy in case Justin Upton walks away at the end of the 2015 season via free agency. That is a likely scenario, but what would the Padres have done in the mean time to accommodate all their slugging outfielders.
Wil Myers probably would have played first and Hamilton would have had to play center field, or vise versa. Not an appealing thought at all. As much as I am rooting for Josh Hamilton, I really don’t think he was a good fit for the San Diego Padres team. His left-handed bat would have looked great in between Upton and Matt Kemp, but that’s assuming he was swinging the bat well. That really is no given as the slugger’s numbers have tailed off in recent years.
The fact that A.J. Preller is out shopping for more talent is evident that he is not done overhauling the team. The man is relentless as far as trades and improving the team goes. Another trade and most likely a flurry of trades is about to come down. The Padres just have too many infielders and relief pitchers. Jedd Gyorko, Will Middlebrooks, Yangervis Solarte and now Cory Spangenberg are all competing for at bats at second base and third base. The four players are currently being rotated at the positions.
The bullpen has arms like Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit, Dale Thayer, Brandon Maurer, Frank Garces, Shawn Kelley, Nick Vincent and Kevin Quackenbush. The bullpen as a group is not pitching well, but with a track record of success, they are sure to turn it around. Teams will likely be tolling around the Padres, looking for relief pitching help. Anything can and might just happen, the fact the Padres were asking about Josh Hamilton proves that fact. We as fans, will just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.