Padres News: Will the Padres Buy or Sell At the Deadline?

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Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

The play of the San Diego Padres is noticeably different in recent days. The feeling around the team is back to being optimistic even though the team is currently nine games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and six games under the .500 mark. This recent play of the team resembles that of early April.

The play of early April faded as the Padres team has been troubled all season long with consistency. The team is currently on a four games winning streak, but before that the Padres had lost six straight. Mind boggling play from this team that takes two steps forward and three steps back on a weekly basis. All those steps back have produced a team with its back to the wall. If the team intends to compete this year, they need to start winning now

Padres management has a lot riding on this season. There are some players on the team who are at the end of their contracts, Justin Upton being the most well-known. Upton will easily be one of the top free agents sought after this winter. He and his management told the Padres they would only discuss an extension with the team before the season. No serious talks ever took place, and the Padres gambled a lot by letting Upton enter his free agent year unsigned long-term.

Retaining Upton will be very difficult for the team. They have a lot of money invested into Matt Kemp and James Shields. As much as the team would love to retain Justin Upton, he is sadly going to play somewhere else next season. Will Venable, Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit are all likely to be traded too if the team falls further out of contention.

General manager A.J. Preller is in a very tough position. The team is right there teetering on the fence on whether or not they are going to contend. A week ago after the team lost six straight, you would easily say the team is about to start selling. One week later and the current four game win streak has the team believing the season is not over. It will truly take a huge streak or impressive string of wins to leapfrog the teams that are in front of the Padres in the National League playoff race.

Mandatory Credit: AP Photo
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo

There are 11 more games before the trade deadline on July 31st. In those 11 games the team must win a minimum of eight games to get back into the race. So far so good, as the team looks more confident and the mental errors seems to be a thing of the past.

Matt Kemp has been absolutely tearing the cover off the ball. He looks like a totally different hitter and seems poised to have another huge second half  of the season, like he did last season in Los Angeles. In the last nine games Kemp is 13-36 (.361)  with three home runs, four doubles and nine RBI’s. His swing looks quicker and the slugging outfielder could be huge for the Padres in the second half.

The Padres will sell if the team falls out of contention. They must play exceptionally well or Padres management will have no other alternative but to sell. The team cannot afford to lose Upton and only receive a compensatory pick in the June 2016 draft. They must receive something for their lone all-star. It’s a confusing time for Padres fans as the future of this franchise literally falls on the next two weeks of play. The team could easily go either way come July 31st.

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