After embarking on a rebuilding course following a failed playoff bid in 2015, A.J. Preller has made a flurry of recent deals. He has traded almost everyone on the old roster for prospects in order to patch together a farm system he previously gutted.
Craig Kimbrel, Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton Jr., Andrew Cashner, and James Shields have all been traded or let go in exchange for prospects or first round picks. Preller was especially lauded for his returns in the Kimbrel, Pomeranz, and Cashner deals, bringing in speedy center fielder Manuel Margot, versatile infielder Carlos Asuaje, teen phenom starting pitchers Logan Allen and Anderson Espinoza, powerful first baseman Josh Naylor, and flame throwing reliever Carter Capps.
Having brought in so many high ceiling players, Preller has set his team up nicely for a run for the playoffs once all the team’s prospects reach the majors and blossom. They will all join Wil Myers, Yangervis Solarte, Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, Cory Spangenberg, Travis Jankowski, and Luis Perdomo as MLB contributors.
In recent years, there are three teams that stand out as being able to successfully acquire and develop young talent while turning themselves into contending teams. Those teams are the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, and the Houston Astros.
Each took varying angles at rebuilding in order to create a sustainable winner. While the Astros had a mediocre 2016, the Mets were able to secure an N.L. Wild Card spot, and the Cubs won their first World Series title in over a 100 years, breaking their famed curse. Each chose different routes, with the Cubs focusing almost exclusively on position players, the Mets building one of the most feared pitching rotations in recent memory, and the Astros striking a balance between the two philosophies. The trio of teams all had one goal in mind though. A Championship.
So far in the Padres rebuild, they have leaned more towards the hitters side in terms of gathering prospects, but they also did draft two starting pitchers in the first round of the 2016 amateur draft in Cal Quantrill and Eric Lauer. They are showing that balance is the key in anything, especially in a rebuild. In this article, we will review how the Padres rebuild compares so far to that of the three aforementioned teams.
We will also explore how the rebuild provides hope for the only remaining professional sports team in San Diego (Dean Spanos can suck a lemon).
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