With rumors that the San Diego Padres have spoken to many of the remaining top free agents on the open market, it seems that the team is poised to make some serious noise in a very competitive NL West.
For 50 years, the San Diego Padres have struggled to find any kind of consistency.
Five division titles and two NL Championships in that time is nothing to be excited about. The team has been neglected by virtually every ownership group and has changed baseball philosophies multiple times over the years. In creating a quality meal, you cannot constantly change the ingredients of the dish. Consistency is required, and that has not been the forte of the Friars. The result has been an unsavory meal each and every season for fans to digest.
Heading into the 2019 season, the Padres are coming off four consecutive losing seasons with the present baseball operations group. After the replenishing of the major league roster (Kemp, Kimbrell, Upton, Myers, Shields) prior to the 2015 season, the Padres have focused mostly on young talent at both the international market and the amateur level.
With this commitment to get better, the Padres have created the best farm system in all of baseball. Prospects are essential for a successful team, but they are no guarantee, and there still needs to be a mixture of veterans sprinkled in with the younger players to reach that ultimate goal of a championship.
There is no doubt the Padres have great young players with potential, but the word prospect means nothing in this game. Year after year, prospects fail to live up to the expectations that are put on them and are surpassed by players who play the game with more than just skill — players that are able to stand out at this very competitive level and make a name for themselves. Scouting and evaluating baseball talent is not an exact science.
So here we are at that point, at a crossroads for the San Diego Padres. As rumors of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado heat up, there is the thought process that it is time for the Padres to make a big splash — time for them to commit all their resources and move prospects for relevant major league talent. A.J. Preller and his staff are on the prowl and no team is safe.
The coming weeks could be very exciting as the Padres seem poised to spend some money and make a splash. They already have one of the most talented, highly-regarded prospect groups in all of baseball. If they carefully add payroll in the correct positions, the Padres quest for relevancy could be over. In this 50th year of the franchise, the Padres are very close to turning the corner and becoming San Diego’s team.