The San Diego Padres have under-performed all season long and the team has fallen too far out of contention to realistically come back. Even if the team were to have a major winning streak, its evident the team is still missing some major pieces to truly compete in a tough National League West division.
Seeing the Padres on a daily basis you see the potential of the team but yet a fan can easily realize the team needs an adjustment. The pending free agents on the team must be moved now for potential help in the 2016 season and beyond. The Padres have some very valuable pieces that will surely draw an interest.
Justin Upton is by far the most coveted of the potential free agents to be dealt. He was the lone Padres All-Star and the team is surely having a very difficult time parting with him. The deal is going to have to be right and I would suspect a deal for Upton might just go down to the last minute. Teams will be bidding against each other for his services and that will be in the Padres favor. The Mets, Orioles, Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays, Pirates, Yankees, Royals, Angels, Twins and Astros could all use him. He is that good.
There has been a lot of talk in recent days about the Padres dealing a starting pitcher. James Shields, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner have had their names linked to a lot of other Major League teams. The Padres might be considering a deal involving one of those three starters, but Ian Kennedy is assured to be dealt relatively soon. Kennedy is in the last year of his contract and with Scott Boras as his agent the Padres know they have no shot at signing him long-term. Kennedy hasn’t exactly been pitching very well so his value is low, but he should still bring a decent mid level prospect in return.
The Padres can surely boost a contending teams bullpen and I am not talking about Craig Kimbrel. The Padres are reportedly discussing dealing Kimbrel, but they have two other relievers who are surely going to be dealt. Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley are both pending free agents and each pitcher will be in demand. Benoit in particular should fetch a decent haul, but Kelley himself should bring a decent prospect as well. Teams in the playoff race are constantly looking for bullpen help so the Padres should have no time finding a home for these two relievers.
The last player that will be dealt is Will Venable. The longest tenured Padre will be missed in the clubhouse but is strictly a victim of the numbers game. The Padres already have Will Myers, Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton under contract for next season. On top of that the team has Abraham Almonte, Rymer Liriano, and Hunter Renfroe in the minor leagues. Venable is just too expensive to be kept as a backup, especially when the team is on the hook for $16 million dollars next season. Melvin Upton Jr’s salary for next year.
With the moving of these five free agents the Padres are selling but it’s not as though the team is rebuilding. They are just doing the wise thing in moving players that they have no intention on keeping. Yes, I am aware Justin Upton came out this week saying he would like to stay here long-term. That is nice, but unless he is willing to take a serious discount, it’s not possible. The Padres cannot afford to pay him in the excess of $150 million dollars he is sure to get in the winter. Sad truth, but the Padres most consistent offensive player is as good as gone.
It is time to sell and the Padres are most definitely going to. The smart money has the trade total before next Friday at three or more. It will probably happen very quickly and the anticipation is killing most Padres fans. If A.J. Preller was to move Shields, Cashner, Ross or Kimbrel as well as the free agents the Padres would surely get a huge return. The potential players the Padres would get in return for those pitchers would probably be Major League ready prospects or young established players. Either way the Padres are not downgrading, they are simply reshuffling the deck. In order to shuffle that deck, you have to start trading, so ….. Sell, Sell, Sell!
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.