Las Vegas oddsmakers have spoken, and the San Diego Padres find themselves at the bottom of the pack with an over/under of 67.5 wins, dead last in their 2017 MLB projections.
This should come as no surprise to many fans, with some even welcoming the possibility of a future #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Assuming the 2017 season heads in the direction Vegas thinks it will, we will look ahead to who might be dangled in trade talks to further the organization’s push to accumulate young talent for their future playoff aspirations.
Solarte’s two-year deal, inked in the off-season, was an intelligent move by A.J. Preller for a purpose seldom discussed. The extra year on his contract provides a potential increase to an already valuable asset. The four-year major league veteran, switch-hitting, third baseman has improved his batting average and slugging percentage in each of his first three full years as a major leaguer, and slugged 15 home runs while playing in only 109 games last year due to injury and the tragic passing of his wife, Yuliette, after her battle with cancer.
Solarte would fit nicely with a contender looking to boost their offensive production at third base or second base. Solarte’s infectious energy would be a great presence in the clubhouse of a contending team. And as mentioned, the two-year contract ensures that a team acquiring Solarte will not be investing in a two month rental, but a cost-effective option for the following season as well. That, in turn, should increase the haul of talent the Padres could receive in return.
The Entire Padres Rotation (Minus Luis Perdomo)
The Padres rotation will be highlighted (or low-lighted) by four bounce back candidates in Jered Weaver, Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill, and Clayton Richard. Each were signed to team-friendly, one-year deals, with Weaver being the highest paid at a modest $3 million for 2017. The talk on Weaver of course is his fastball velocity, or lack thereof, that has sat in the 81-83mph range so far in the spring. That is more than a touch below the major league average. However, in a more pitcher-friendly Petco Park, Weaver and the Padres hope he improves upon his 5.06 ERA and 1.46 WHIP as a starter for the Angels last season. If Weaver can, in fact, bounce back, he could be a valuable veteran piece to the back-end of a pennant contending team’s rotation.
The same can be said for Chacin, Cahill, and Richard, as all three attempt to re-establish themselves as starters after relieving for a majority of the past few seasons. Cahill and Chacin figure to have the most potential value if they can rebound, as they both are under the age of 30, and have had considerable past success as starters.
As for Perdomo, the Padres will continue to handle him gently as he is still tries to hone his already impressive sinker and works on developing a more effective third pitch. Perdomo has had a solid spring so far and at this point figures to be the fifth starter. Look for Perdomo to continue developing, and to be a fixture in the starting rotation going forward.
Youngsters ready to make the jump from the minor leagues to the rotation at some point are Andrew Lockett, Dinelson Lamet, Michael Kelly, and possibly even 2016 draftee, Eric Lauer. Each could be ready after some more seasoning and they could very well be factors later on in this 2017 season.
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