In case you missed it, we were in serious danger of a MLB labor stoppage.
For the first time in over two decades, the players and the owners were in jeopardy of postponing a baseball season. Thankfully, an agreement was made between the two sides, as most in the industry suspected. The game of baseball is a $10 billion dollar plus business, and after a World Series like we just had, there really was no way the game would risk alienating their fans once again.
There were some changes made to the system, and two amendments in particular are very fascinating to Padres’ fans. Teams will no longer have to forfeit a first-round pick for players that they sign who were given a qualifying offer. Also, the international market will be capped to a certain degree and the old system will not be utilized anymore.
Why is that interesting? Well, the Padres completely took advantage of the situation this past year as they had six of the top 85 picks in the draft. Two of those picks (24th & 25th overall) came from the signing of Ian Kennedy by the Royals and Justin Upton by the Tigers. The Padres gave each a qualifying offer, which they refused, and under the rules of the old agreement, the Padres were awarded two extra first round picks. Under the new agreement, compensation picks will earn a team a second or third round pick and possibly a fifth round pick (depending on if they are over MLB Luxury Tax, but that is it. That is a huge difference when it comes to building your farm system for the future.
Now on the international market, the Padres have blown passed their allowed budget to the tune of around $75 million dollars this period. Since July 2, the team has added a lot of young international talent. In the future, no team will be able to add that many players while spending that kind of money on the market. In fact there was even talk of an International Draft during the negotiations. That talked died down eventually and the two sides just decided to alter the present player pool regulations instead. Either way, the Padres took advantage of the situation in 2016. That is clear.
A.J. Preller and the Padres front office sure picked a great time to add all this talent. It’s like they knew something was going to happen, and they were prepared to do something about it. Well, they did just that. The baseball minds that run the team were well aware of the labor talks and knew changes would be made to the system. They should be commended (BIG TIME) for taking advantage of the situation and getting the most bang for their buck. There will never be another year of adding talent like the San Diego Padres just had. The farm system went from a bottom five team in all of baseball, to a top five team, in just a matter of months. Between June’s amateur draft and the July international signing period, the Padres completely went off in adding young viable talent.
In reality, you will never hear anything written by the national media about A.J. Preller in a positive light. Instead, they prefer to paint the picture of a corrupt medical system and a Padres regime that doesn’t care to win. That is fine with me. I know the truth. I am paying attention. This regime is doing something very special, and if you are not aware of it by now… YOU SHOULD BE. You can no longer ignore that fact.
Stop living in the past. This Padres franchise is going through major changes. Like an adolescent teenager, finally awaking out of their childlike slumber, this franchise is getting older. With this experience will come a sense of tradition and values that the fans have not ever seen before. It is coming. In the meantime, enjoy Cal Quantrill, Hudson Sanchez, Eric Lauer, Buddy Reed, Reggie Lawson, Adrian Morejon, Luis Almanzar, Gabriel Arias, Jeisson Rosario, Jorge Ona, Tirso Ornelas, Justin Lopez, Jordy Barley, Alison Quintero, and company. You will never see a draft class like the Padres just had. This new CBA assures that. I commend the Padres front office for having vision and thinking out of the box. With that mentality, the Padres team will go far in the coming years, and perhaps they will finally hoist that World Series Trophy.