Disclaimer: All the moves discussed here were a simulation and do not contain any substance to the reality of the 2017-2018 offseason.
Writers from each of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams gathered together to do a full-scale offseason simulation for three days, including trades, free agent signings, releases, and much more.
Here are all the transactions that took place that have to do with the San Diego Padres.
I designated Jabari Blash for assignment. I have never been high on him as a major league ballplayer and since I was given the keys to the (insert car representing the current Padres organization here), I axed him. Blash, of course, has tons of raw power and upside. I hate the word upside. Blash never lived up to the hype in San Diego. He even cleared waivers twice. He’s the type of ballplayer that’s First-Team All Triple-A and then once he gets to the Show, he disappears. In 99 big league games over the past two seasons, Blash has hit .200 with eight home runs and 100 strikeouts (33.8 K%). I don’t want to hear how he was unlucky because his BABIP in 2017 was .319. Now, could this turn into a typical Padres move and he becomes an all-star elsewhere? Sure. That’s the risk in this business. But as for his time with San Diego, it’s over.
Free Agent Signings
- Chris Tillman, SP (2 years/$14 million)
Tillman is a native Californian who I am sure wouldn’t mind moving closer to his Fountain Valley, CA hometown. With the loss of Jhoulys Chacin (who went to the Giants for a generous 4 years/$28 million contract in this simulation), the Padres needed a veteran starter to buoy the young stable of arms they are growing. Alongside Clayton Richard, Tillman could shoulder the load.
Tillman has a good track record, but struggled in 2017 (1-7, 7.84 ERA in 24 games). He battled injuries some of the year and never quite got right. 2016 was his last healthy season and he was a solid 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA and a 114 ERA+. If he can even come close to his 2016 numbers, the Padres got a nice deal here.
- Fernando Abad, RP (1 year/$2.5 million with a $3 million club option in 2019)
Not the sexiest name among bullpen arms, but Abad is a solid choice. He will be 32 when the season starts and he has plenty of experience, with eight seasons under his belt for five teams. The Padres lost Brad Hand and Kirby Yates in this simulation and needed to patch some holes in the bullpen. Abad is no Hand, but he did have a respectable 3.30 ERA in 48 appearances for the Boston Red Sox this past season (his 139 ERA+ would be the best in the Padres current bullpen).
Abad has a career 3.65 ERA in 363 games. His career 111 ERA+ suggests he has been an above-average reliever his whole career. In addition, should the Padres contend in 2019, the Padres could pick up his option and have him anchor a bullpen worthy of a playoff berth. He has some playoff experience (in 2014 with Oakland) and has been in numerous division races down to the wire. He knows what it takes to get there.
- Craig Stammen, RP (1 year/$1 million w/ $500K bonus if he reaches 50 appearances)
With Hand and Yates gone, Stammen is a solid name to bring back. I believe he was a bit under-appreciated during the 2017 season with our Padres. The Friars had plenty of arms come and go in the bullpen, but Stammen was a constant, appearing in 60 games with a solid 3.14 ERA (132 ERA+). With eight seasons under his belt as well as a few playoff games, he could mentor guys like Phil Maton and Jose Torres. He will be 34 in March so I was hesitant to sign him for much longer, but he will be welcomed back with open arms to the 2018 bullpen.
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