Padres Should Remain Stingy Ahead of 2018 Season

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

In terms of an outfielder, Adam Jones could be a really interesting choice.

His age is certainly something to take into consideration, but his numbers have been incredibly consistent over his illustrious career. If there has been any decline, it has been disguised incredibly well. It is hard to see Jones playing anywhere other than center field. Thus, a signing of Jones could force Manny Margot to a corner outfield position. Not ideal given Margot’s incredible ability in center, but having an abundance of speed in both left and center is not an issue for me (and a major upgrade from Myers in left like many of you are perfectly fine with when we sign Hosmer).

Aside from his consistent offensive and defensive production, Jones would be an instant fan favorite given his roots in San Diego and he is also a great clubhouse guy. We saw this firsthand at Petco during the World Baseball Classic. If the Padres can sign him for the right price, I am all for it. Other outfield options that could possibly work out for the Padres include; Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, Andrew McCutchen (wishful thinking), A.J. Pollock, Jason Heyward (for the right price and if he turns it around), and Michael Brantley. Charlie Blackmon and Michael Brantley are the most likely and intriguing options for me.

However, if Jorge Ona, Franchy Cordero, Jeisson Rosario, or newly acquired Edward Olivares pan out, the need for a proven outfielder will be diminished. The last two slots are of lesser importance, but will be crucial when the Padres begin competing to bring a World Series to San Diego.

While the Padres have several arms in their system, they need an established starter who can eat innings, remain healthy, and act as a leader for the young bucks. Preller thought James Shields could be that type of guy. Fortunately, Preller will have a plethora of options to attempt to fill that spot after 2018.

One option that is intriguing is Carlos Carrasco. He has had a sub-3.50 ERA the last two seasons, he is coming off of a year in which he hit the 200 inning milestone, and he was 4th in the Cy Young voting for the AL in 2017. Given he is on a 4-year/$22 million dollar contract with the Indians, set to expire after 2018 with a club option for 2019-2020, he is set to get paid when he hits free agency. If the Padres are still in need of that veteran starter in the rotation, they should at least be in the mix for Carrasco.

With MacKenzie Gore, Cal Quantrill, Adrian Morejon, Anderson Espinoza, and a host of other prospects looking to break into the major leagues in the next few years, one starter in free agency should be plenty for them. Other potential options include, Gio Gonzalez, Ervin Santana, and Hisashi Iwakuma.

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Finally, an underrated piece to the puzzle of a championship squad is a veteran bench player. Looking back at the last couple World Series winning teams, they each had a veteran guy on their bench (David Ross, Carlos Beltran). Whether the player was a producer offensively or a real clubhouse guy, they made a difference. Not to say this is an absolute necessity for the Padres, but I do believe it is a part of the formula.

One name pops out immediately from the 2018 free agency class that might be able to fill this role; Hunter Pence. He is certainly a risk given his injury history, but for the right price, he would be an excellent fourth outfielder option that not only brings postseason experience to the squad, but also brings a fun personality to keep the youngsters lose in big games.

The Padres may sign one, two, or none of the players mentioned above. It is up to Preller to decide the direction he wants to take the team. It should be taken into consideration however, that the Padres have plenty of options to make a splash after the 2018 season if they feel the need to.

It is imperative for the Padres to not become short-sighted and look to win in 2018 by spending money and prospects on players like Hosmer and Yelich. They are better off saving their money, and their prospects, and build for 2019 and on. The Padres will have much more flexibility after this year if they do indeed pass on Hosmer and Yelich. The Padres are much more likely to compete in 2019 than they are in 2018 and they should build their roster with that in mind.

8 thoughts on “Padres Should Remain Stingy Ahead of 2018 Season

  1. Margot will be a Gold Glover who will improve with the bat. He will be as good or better than Jones in his prime(which has past). So the suggestion of moving Margot to a corner is likely the worst idea. I don’t see Jones as being a upgrade to Renfroe or Cordero. I do agree that Hosmer is not what the Pads need now. Also that a slick fielding SS is a long term need- Look at what Russell did for the Cubs. Next year picking up a young controllable starter to give the Pads young starters a leader would be ideal.

  2. Strong chance they just extend Galvis. Tatis is a 3b.

    Btw – Machado has made it clear he wants to play SS not 3b going forward.

  3. Another reason to wait is the ability to see another year of development with players like Hudson Potts so the Padres can have a better idea of what they have and what they need going into next offseason.

    1. I agree completely. Thet the prospects continue to develop into the ballplayers they’re going to be. The look at free agents in 19 or even 20 to fill the holes. Given the way it’s looking, patience over the next couple of years will help us remain a very competetive club for several years.

  4. No doubt there are some gems going to be available next off-season in the FA market, but the Padres will never be a team that can hand out a $400 million contract. Look what happened to the Angels and their lack of putting enough around Trout to win it all in Anaheim with Pujols’ contract on the books.

    Fangraphs has our projected offense at 10.6 combined WAR, second worse in baseball. We averaged 3.73 runs per game last season. We allowed 5.07 runs per game. We need a team total of around 40 WAR minimum to contend. Adrián González averaged 4.06 WAR over his 5 season he played 1B with the Padres with half of his games in Petco (in the early years). Chase Headley averaged 4.1 WAR over his last 4 full seasons with the Padres the first time. Again those #’s were with half of his games in Petco. So it can be done.

    Looking over our current roster, defense will play a big part on us making up this 15 point move in overall WAR. The other key place we could add to our current projected total WAR is OBP. We need progress in these areas in 2018 for sure.

  5. All of your points are fair and correct. I address Jones’ age in the piece. I agree, his age should definitely be a concern and maybe he’d fit better in a corner OF spot or maybe he’s the veteran fourth outfielder we seek out.

    My point wasn’t to push for us to sign any of the aforementioned players. Instead, I was trying to showcase the plethora of options the Padres have after the 2018 season. Signing a guy like Hosmer this year to a large contract would severely limit their ability to make moves when they really matter. That’s all I was trying to showcase.

  6. I like the title to your article but disagree with about every suggested player move you make here. Adam Jones will be 34 when he hits Free Agency. What is everyone’s fixation on this guy? He has not an a OPS over .800 in the last 4 seasons. He doesn’t steal bases anymore, has broke 100+ RBI’s once in his entire career. He is on the decline in his career. We are going to move Margot to the corner where his lack of power becomes an issue. But my biggest issue with Jones is he is another RH bat.

    Pence is a has been now. We should wait till we are in real contention and grab a starter to put us over the top, one we can bring in reasonably in their walk year that we will resign if we need a pitcher. The way our prospects are setup in two waves, plus this current crop of starters you might be surprised that this established arm around 3.50 ERA and 200 innings might come from one of them.

    We really need Renfroe to turn the corner and Cordero to make it. Then depending on where Tatis plays we need a 3B who hits LH or a SS. Gabriel Arias could be part of the solution also.

    I just don’t know where the run production is going to come from, nobody gets on base enough, we have plus speed guys who don’t steal bases well, nobody hits .300+. No LH bats either. This years draft has some decent LH bats, hopefully we can draft at least a couple at positions of need.

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