A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres are poised to make a serious splash this winter.
There are whispers that the San Diego Padres are preparing themselves for a run into relevancy. It starts this winter. The team is positioning itself and looks to be a very active franchise this offseason.
Two years after signing Eric Hosmer and one year after signing Manny Machado to the richest contract in the history of Major League Baseball, the Padres are looking again like they will be busy this winter. Maybe not necessarily on the free-agent market, but they could pull off a significant trade or two. The Padres’ stocked farm system and multiple talented young players that are major league ready are undoubtedly enticing.
Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole are available to the highest bidder this winter, and each has shown an interest in returning home to Southern California. The Padres could very well be players when it is all said and done in landing these pitchers. There are conflicting reports if the team will indeed pay the necessary price to sign either stud hurler. This time last year, there were no links between the Padres and Manny Machado. Things change every week in the winter.
Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler could be more appealing choices for the Padres over the two ace pitchers, as the team needs to upgrade in several areas and could get hamstrung committing more than $30-35 million to one single pitcher. The Padres have already been linked to each lower-tiered pitcher. Wheeler, in particular, has drawn considerable interest from the Padres.
A.J. Preller is prepared to make a move. The team is stacked with talent, and there comes a time when a trade is needed. Self-evaluation is vital here as the Padres must be willing to part with the correct package of young players. It may be painful to trade a player you are developing, but it must be done for the greater good.
The Padres cannot make errors with their next series of moves. A.J. Preller and his future with the organization may depend on that fact. Padres’ owner Ron Fowler is losing patience and demands results stating that- “heads will roll” is the Padres do not have success soon.
Preller recently said this in Phoenix at the G.M.’s meetings:
“You get tied to these players,” Preller said. “And you should. You envision each of these guys playing with the Padres, and you have history with them. But you’ve got to understand at the end of the day, it’s about building a championship-level team at the big league level. If you do it the right way, you have multiples at different spots. Not everybody is going to be able to play for the Padres.” from A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com
In reading that, you get a sense that the team is nearing the end of their evaluation road. Trades will happen.
Several players are blocked by current Major League talent. Expect the Padres to be active, and it would be wise to prepare yourself for a series of moves. The young G.M. moves in waves, and it is evident that the Padres are poised to make a splash this winter.