Three Resolutions for the Organization Heading into 2018
1. Keep moving in the same direction, and don’t try to win too soon
We saw it in 2015, and now Padres fans are panicking after the recent acquisition of Freddy Galvis (seemingly a one-year rental from the Phillies) in exchange for No. 13 prospect Enyel De los Santos, someone who many scouts saw as being able to make a significant big league impact down the road. While Galvis is a big defensive improvement over the likes of Clint Barmes, Alexi Amarista, Alexei Ramirez, etc., he’s still likely only going to be a Padre for one year, a year in which many don’t envision the Padres making the postseason (.500 should be considered a solid goal).
While some think that Preller is aiming for a wild card spot this year, it’s more than likely he’s aiming to improve the defense in the infield, as well as have Galvis become a mentor for younger players, especially for players like Tatis and Luis Urias. Galvis could also have a breakout 2018 campaign, reject a qualifying offer, and net the Padres a draft pick, but that’s just wishful thinking.
The bottom line: Preller shouldn’t try to expedite the process he’s built the past two years; The system has proved to be solid and fruitful, so don’t make any rash decisions like we saw in 2015.
2. Figure out the infield situation
One of the more prominent storylines regarding the Padres this season has been their plethora of options around the infield, and how management can’t possibly head into spring training with their surplus of second and third basemen (Carlos Asuaje, Cory Spangenberg, Luis Urias, Yangervis Solarte, and Chase Headley are seemingly going to be competing for two spots, as it stands). This has really intrigued me the past few weeks, and the acquisition of Headley and Bryan Mitchell for Jabari Blash seemed to only complicate matters further.
Ideally, the Padres will more than likely trade either Solarte or Headley before Opening Day, though the remaining surplus at second base could lead to the trade of either Spangenberg (who can also play 3rd) or Asuaje (who has been an exclusive second baseman his entire pro career). This could hypothetically open the door for Luis Uris potentially starting at second on Opening Day, but now I’m just getting ahead of myself. Along with the Padres showing strong interest in Eric Hosmer, possibly pushing Wil Myers back to the outfield, it looks as though Freddy Galvis is the only infielder to have an Opening Day infield spot locked down.
3. Start moving younger talent through the upper levels of the system
For a couple of years now, the Padres have been known to have a truly solid farm system, though most of their prospects currently reside in the lower levels of the system, and are incredibly raw. Now, as we enter what is most appropriately Year 3 of the current rebuild, it’s time for these prospects to start progressing through the system, and making an impact in San Antonio and El Paso. We’ve already seen the first wave of talent hit the Major Leagues (Margot, Renfroe, Asuaje, and Hedges), and the results have been mainly positive.
I believe that 2018 could be the year that we see the next wave of impact prospects make their debuts at Petco Park (Luis Urias, Joey Lucchesi, Cal Quantrill, Eric Lauer, Jacob Nix?). It’s also going to be very interesting to see how our younger prospects stack up against heightened competition (Mackenzie Gore, Michel Baez, Jorge Oña, Hudson Potts, and many others within the Padres Top 30 Prospects are expected to make a jump in 2018), and how they continue to develop. 2018 is going to be a crucial year for the Padres’ farm system, and future success won’t happen without continued success this year.
Exploring trading veteran players for yet more prospects, stabilizing the rotation for the future, and embracing the Alumni division of the San Diego Padres are all other aspects to consider for the 2018 season.