Padres Should Remain Stingy Ahead of 2018 Season

Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres have been building up their farm system ever since their failed spending spree before the 2015 season. While Preller was responsible for the fiasco that was 2015, he has quickly built the farm back up to be one of the best in baseball yet again.

Unfortunately, with continual failure as the staple of San Diego sports, patience is hard to come by for San Diego fans. This lack of patience could be placing pressure on the front office to make a large splash in free agency (to acquire a guy like Eric Hosmer), or to sell off the farm again (to acquire Christian Yelich).

Arguments can be made as to how each of those players will positively impact the San Diego Padres in years to come. However, should the Padres really be big spenders before 2018? No. And here is why.

For starters, the Padres do not need a first baseman. They should not be looking at first basemen. Most importantly, they should not be looking to sign a first baseman to a massive contract. Wil Myers may not be producing offensively as well as we would like to see, but I do not see Hosmer making any more of an impact. The last thing the Padres need right now is another massive contract when losing games throughout 2018 benefits their rebuild.

The other reason to remain stingy before the 2018 season is the list of players who will become free agents after this season. The Padres should not be competing for a wild card spot this season. It does them no good. They are not ready to compete for a championship just yet and they should save their money. Here are some of the names that could intrigue the Padres after 2018.

There are four slots the Padres need to fill within the next few years; assuming Tatis and Urias fill up the middle infield, the Padres need to find a third baseman, an outfielder, a starting pitcher, and a veteran bench player. These can all be found in the 2018 free agent class.

You are about to find out why the Padres need to save their money. The ideal scenario would be to sign Manny Machado and Adam Jones. Wishful thinking Padre fans; this has a 0% chance of happening. However, signing one of them could be possible if we pass on Hosmer.

Credit: AP Photo

Manny Machado is the gem of the third baseman class, but given his prestige and age come 2018 free agency, it is unlikely the Padres sign him. He will be out of their budget. And he does not feel like the right fit for San Diego. However, A.J. Preller may throw an offer out there. You never know. It would certainly garner major buzz around San Diego, but signing him would also limit our ability to make any other significant moves.

Other potential, and cheaper, free agent third baseman options include; the aging Josh Donaldson, Marwin Gonzalez, Jung-Ho Kang, and Logan Forsythe. Unless the Padres believe Hudson Potts is their answer at third come 2020, the Padres may be forced to trade for someone given their options outside of Machado in free agency.

Another option would be to sign a long-term shortstop and move Tatis over to third. Tatis reminds me a lot of Manny Machado in terms of their build and tools. Both lengthy with good arms and good power. Moving Tatis to third could pave the way for the Padres to sign a free agent shortstop like Jose Iglesias. Not the best option in terms of offensive production, but an absolute stud with the glove. He would not be a bad option for the Padres, who have been desperate for defensive production up the middle for years.

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Tanner Wrape on Twitter
Tanner Wrape
Hey everyone! My name is Tanner Wrape and I am a proud alumni of the University of California Riverside. I received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Political Science. I am now living in Washington, D.C. getting my Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology at George Washington University. Currently, I am interning at the George Washington Program on Extremism which is a think-tank dedicated to better understanding terrorism, extremist ideologies and radicalization.

While my work deals with some heavy topics, sports have always been a great way to wind down and relax. I have been a fan of the Padres since I was a little kid and I played baseball up through high school. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever want to chat about anything.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. Margot will be a Gold Glover who will improve with the bat. He will be as good or better than Jones in his prime(which has past). So the suggestion of moving Margot to a corner is likely the worst idea. I don’t see Jones as being a upgrade to Renfroe or Cordero. I do agree that Hosmer is not what the Pads need now. Also that a slick fielding SS is a long term need- Look at what Russell did for the Cubs. Next year picking up a young controllable starter to give the Pads young starters a leader would be ideal.

  2. Strong chance they just extend Galvis. Tatis is a 3b.

    Btw – Machado has made it clear he wants to play SS not 3b going forward.

  3. Another reason to wait is the ability to see another year of development with players like Hudson Potts so the Padres can have a better idea of what they have and what they need going into next offseason.

    1. I agree completely. Thet the prospects continue to develop into the ballplayers they’re going to be. The look at free agents in 19 or even 20 to fill the holes. Given the way it’s looking, patience over the next couple of years will help us remain a very competetive club for several years.

  4. No doubt there are some gems going to be available next off-season in the FA market, but the Padres will never be a team that can hand out a $400 million contract. Look what happened to the Angels and their lack of putting enough around Trout to win it all in Anaheim with Pujols’ contract on the books.

    Fangraphs has our projected offense at 10.6 combined WAR, second worse in baseball. We averaged 3.73 runs per game last season. We allowed 5.07 runs per game. We need a team total of around 40 WAR minimum to contend. Adrián González averaged 4.06 WAR over his 5 season he played 1B with the Padres with half of his games in Petco (in the early years). Chase Headley averaged 4.1 WAR over his last 4 full seasons with the Padres the first time. Again those #’s were with half of his games in Petco. So it can be done.

    Looking over our current roster, defense will play a big part on us making up this 15 point move in overall WAR. The other key place we could add to our current projected total WAR is OBP. We need progress in these areas in 2018 for sure.

  5. All of your points are fair and correct. I address Jones’ age in the piece. I agree, his age should definitely be a concern and maybe he’d fit better in a corner OF spot or maybe he’s the veteran fourth outfielder we seek out.

    My point wasn’t to push for us to sign any of the aforementioned players. Instead, I was trying to showcase the plethora of options the Padres have after the 2018 season. Signing a guy like Hosmer this year to a large contract would severely limit their ability to make moves when they really matter. That’s all I was trying to showcase.

  6. I like the title to your article but disagree with about every suggested player move you make here. Adam Jones will be 34 when he hits Free Agency. What is everyone’s fixation on this guy? He has not an a OPS over .800 in the last 4 seasons. He doesn’t steal bases anymore, has broke 100+ RBI’s once in his entire career. He is on the decline in his career. We are going to move Margot to the corner where his lack of power becomes an issue. But my biggest issue with Jones is he is another RH bat.

    Pence is a has been now. We should wait till we are in real contention and grab a starter to put us over the top, one we can bring in reasonably in their walk year that we will resign if we need a pitcher. The way our prospects are setup in two waves, plus this current crop of starters you might be surprised that this established arm around 3.50 ERA and 200 innings might come from one of them.

    We really need Renfroe to turn the corner and Cordero to make it. Then depending on where Tatis plays we need a 3B who hits LH or a SS. Gabriel Arias could be part of the solution also.

    I just don’t know where the run production is going to come from, nobody gets on base enough, we have plus speed guys who don’t steal bases well, nobody hits .300+. No LH bats either. This years draft has some decent LH bats, hopefully we can draft at least a couple at positions of need.

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