Padres fans will have to learn a lot of new faces in the upcoming season. The Padres have been very active at the winter meetings, trading Adrian Gonzalez for prospects and dealing four relief pitchers for two position players. It will be a totally different team in 2011 but they will still rely on the same system. Pitching number one, with speed on the bases and clutch hitting.
Key Departures so far are; Adrian Gonzalez, Jon Garland, Kevin Correia, David Eckstein, Yorvit Torrealba, Tony Gwynn, Hairston brothers, Ryan Webb, Adam Russell, Edward Mujica, and Cesar Ramos.
Key Acquisitions so far are; Cameron Maybin, Jason Bartlett, Aaron Harang, Dustin Moseley, and the four prospects for Adrian Gonzalez. (notably Casey Kelly)
As you can see, departures outweigh acquisitions right now, so the Padres will have to make some more moves to fill out the major league roster – or play with a lot of minor leaguers on their bench.
I really like what the Padres are doing so far, it is from the same mold as they showed last year. They are getting a lot of young talent that is conducive to PetCo Park. The Padres are cutting the payroll and most fans do not want to see that, but if it has to be done it has to be done. It is good to see the talent being brought back in return for the players being dealt. Maybin and Kelly could be very good players for years to come in San Diego and Bartlett is a solid infielder to fill a big hole for the Padres. When the talks started about trading Gonzalez to the Red Sox I heard names like Bucholz and Ellsbury flying around. I knew Bucholz was not going to happen. The Red Sox would not trade an ace when they are a world series contender. I would like to know if it was possible to get Ellsbury or the flame thrower Daniel Bard in the deal? All in all it was a good deal for the Pads as we all know Gonzalez was not going to be signed to a long term deal with us, which he deserved. Getting Bartlett for very minimal compensation was a great move as well. I was eyeing Zobrist, Brignac or Rodriguez but that would have cost the Padres too much. Bartlett was hurt last year but is a good player and a great fit in San Diego. The Padres originally drafted Bartlett and he should remind Padres fans of David Eckstein, with more power and speed along with a stronger arm. Although Eckstein brought so much more than just his talent. I am figuring that the Padres believe they can replace the relief pitchers they have dealt with other talent from their farm system. I agree with this because of Darren Balsley the Padres pitching coach. If you give him some talent he will make the most out of that player to make him effective.
Some other rumors on deals I think the Pads should consider are: trading Ludwick. If the team is going to be stripped down and rebuilt we might as well go all out. There is no point in keeping Ludwick for one season if we can grab good two good young players in return. I like Ludwick but he is not necessary for this rebuilding process. Rumors I have heard are Ludwick to Detroit for Scott Sizemore and Ryan Rayburn. Rayburn is a younger version of Ludwick with good power, Sizemore is a young versatile player who hasn’t gotten much opportunity and has some upside - but not much. I have also heard Ludwick to the Orioles for Nolan Reimold and Chris Tillman. Reimold is a similar player to Rayburn, young with power. Reimold showed promise in 2009 and then got hurt and struggled last year. Tillman is a very young pitcher with lots of upside who was a second round draft pick a few years back. Personally I like the trade with the Orioles better. I would also consider trading Heath Bell. I feel there is not a good fit to trade Bell as most contending teams that Bell could be dealt to already have a closer. The Padres would simply not get enough in return.
About the Author
Written by Jeff Burke
I am 25 years old living in sunny San Diego. I am married to my beautiful wife Kara. I have been a Chargers and Padres fan through the good times and the bad. I played baseball at Poway high school and Monterey Peninsula college. I have won eight fantasy championships on yahoo since 2001.