Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My San Diego Padres Offseason plan

The San Diego Padres were one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 season, winning 90 games, and barely missed out on winning the NL West. Prior to 2011, the Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez, and lost 91 games in 2011. The team is clearly in rebuilding mode, however, they could still remain competitive in 2011, in a subpar NL West. If the season started today, here is what their roster would look like.

RF: Will Venable
SS: Jason Bartlett
CF: Cameron Maybin
1B: Jesus Guzman/Anthony Rizzo
3B: Chase Headley
C:  Nick Hundley
LF: Kyle Blanks
2B: Orlando Hudson

The Padres hit an NL worst .237, and scored only 593 runs, good for 15th in the 16 team National League. The lineup should be better if Chase Headley and Nick Hundley stay healthy, and Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson have rebound seasons. I am still a big fan of Kyle Blanks, put he has struggled to put all of his tools together. Here are a few free agents that would be within the Padres grasp.


  • Josh Willingham, OF: He may be a bit out of the Padres price range, perhaps commanding as much as $9 million over a two or three-year deal, but he has some pop. He hit 29 HR's last year playing in Oakland, and could give the Padres some much needed power. If his price drops a bit, I could see the Padres being a player. 
  • David DeJesus, OF: I have always been a big fan of DeJesus' game since he came up with the Royals. He had an off-year with Oakland last year, but did have an OBP of .384 in 2010. He could be a guy brought in to play the outfield on a one-year deal. 
  • Cody Ross, OF: The former playoff hero for the Giants had a subpar year, but would be a decent option in RF for the Pads. He has a little pop, and can play all three OF positions.
The rotation was not as strong in 2011, but without any additions, the Padres have a decent rotation. Mat Latos pitched well down the stretch, and should be starting on Opening Day. Tim Stauffer had a very solid season as well, and Cory Luebke looks like a future star. Aaron Harang won 14 games, but for some reason the front office has shown no interest in bringing him back. Here is what I project for the rotation:

SP: Mat Latos
SP: Tim Stauffer
SP: Cory Luebke
SP: Clayton Richard
SP: Wade Leblanc/Anthony Bass

The bullpen was the best in baseball in 2010, and for the early part of 2011, but trades and injuries have depleted the depth of the pen. The Padres will certainly look to bring in a few bullpen arms. Here is what I project as of right now:

RP: Josh Spence
RP: Ernesto Frieri
RP: Luke Gregerson
RP: Drew Carpenter
RP: Joe Thatcher
RP: Brad Brach
RP: Eric Hamren

Here are some candidates for both the rotation and the bullpen:

  • Jon Garland, SP: Garland has been a lock for 200 innings and an ERA around 4.00; however injuries ruined his 2011 campaign with the Dodgers. Garland was solid for the Padres in 2010, winning 14 games.
  • Joel Pineiro, SP: Another buy-low option for the Padres. He had a rough year in 2011 for the Angels, but he could be had for a low commitment, a one-year, $3M deal could be enough to bring him to San Diego. 
  • Jon Rauch, RP: Had a miserable year in 2011, but does have experience closing games, something the Padres will need, since the Padres are likely to lose Heath Bell. Chad Qualls had a bounce-back year in 2011, and perhaps Rauch could do the same.
The Padres did acquire Mark Kotsay today, likely to provide depth, and veteran experience. I really do not expect much from the Padres in 2012, but only time will tell. 


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