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Monday, June 12, 2006

What Should the Padres Do?

The Padres have played nearly 40% of the season and are currently on pace to win 80 games. It will likely take 93-94 wins to repeat as Division Champions and 90 wins to make the playoffs as the Wild Card. I rather doubt it's possible to improve the team by 14 wins or even 10. Trading Vinny Castilla straight up for Alex Rodriguez at this point in the season should be worth less than 5.5 wins. The Padres would basically have to make two trades of roughly that caliber to be the favorite for the Wild Card. I don't see it happening. I think the Padres need to look at setting themselves up for next year at the expense of this year and they should start doing so now. This is in no way motivated by losing a series to the Marlins. That sort of thing happens to every team. It's not like we just lost a series to the Cubs.

It's still possible that the Padres begin to play much better and the Dodgers start to play much worse and the Padres experience great luck and the Dodgers have a series of unfortunate events in their future, but how likely is that?

14 Comments:

Blogger Anthony said...

I think you're right to question our ability to compete with the Dodgers but that might be a little pessimistic. One or two moves won't do it but a lot of little improvements might be enough. Unfortunately many of those little moves are unlikely. Things that need to happen:

1. Jake returns to form. What's the chances of that? 50/50? Worse? He hasn't really been right the whole year and I think it's past the point where we can blame the WBC. Don't forget he was hurting at the end of last season.

2. Chris Young continues to pitch like Randy Johnson. I think this is actually more likely. He's a smart guy who seems to really understand his stuff. Imagine if we had vintage Peavy and Chris Young pitching like this all year.

3. Khalil Greene raises his batting average to around .270 and continues to hit for power. I can see him getting red hot for a month, he did it last year. It's starting to look like he's never going to break into that first tier of superstar shortstops. Is it time to look at Dave Magadan? What role does he play in the failure of Sean Burroughs and the shortcomings of Greene?

4. Vinny is replaced by at least a league average hitter or finds the fountain of youth. He's a great guy and I feel bad for him but Vinny is done. If something doesn't change here soon, and dramatically, we're screwed.

5. Adrian Gonzalez continues to hit at his current level. More likely he'll be up and down all year. He's got a great swing but he's still a rookie.

6. Piazza stays healthy and productive and the two backups continue to play well. We have two journeyman catchers and an aging superstar at a position that's tough on a veteran. The reduced playing time may keep Piazza fresh but going with 3 catchers causes other problems on the roster and they're unlikely to maintain their recent level.

Don't forget we have two mid-season "acquisitions" ahead of us: Woody Williams and Ryan Klesko will both be joining the team after the break, if not sooner. If Klesko is healthy and strong he could provide a real boost. A healthy Klesko could also lead to a trade of Dave Roberts to a contender to plug the hole at third.

Who else can we trade to shore up the team? Ben Johnson? Kottaras? Carillo? This is where our lack of depth in the farm system is going to kill us. The Dodgers are in control of the division and their own destiny. Even if Nomar and JD Drew get hurt they have enough chips to swing a deal for a Soriano or Carl Crawford or somebody.

4:22 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Michael said...

It would be high foolishness to try to spend money on a rent-a-player to get into the playoffs this year. If this assortment of old guys and young guys can manage to make the playoffs, great. But trading guys like Sledge, Johnson, Carillo, etc. to acquire a Carlos Lee or a Barry Zito, for example, would be silly. As Richard said, there isn't one player out there who can turn this team from mediocre to great.

What we need is to do what the White Sox did back in 1997: trade our usable veteran bats into prospects and save our money for 2007 and 2008.

I think you have to trade Piazza, Roberts, Cameron, Chan Ho Park (might get some takers this year), Castilla, Woody Williams (if anyone is interested)... These guys are not going to help the Padres win in 2007.

5:15 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

I'm not sure I agree with trading Cameron. His stock is down, so he won't fetch that much. Also, I think he could be a solid contributor in 2007.

Piazza, Roberts, Chan Ho Park (we'd probably have to eat salary), and Woody could probably all be moved for useful pieces of the '07 puzzle.

Castilla is absolutely useless. He's currently the worst third baseman in the Majors. Who needs that?

5:51 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

Anthony,

1) That would be roughly a 2.5 win difference. At that point you're an 82.5 win team.

2) This is already occurring.

3) That's like a half win difference.

4) Roughly a 2-2.5 win difference. We'll round up. 85.5 win team.

5 & 6) These are basically already in the math that gives us 80 wins.

Are Woody and Ryno going to be worth 5 MORE wins than the players who they'll be replacing? I don't see it.

6:06 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Anthony said...

So you're saying if everything breaks right we're looking at 86 wins, tops? Ugh. The team isn't good enough to win but it isn't bad enough to collapse so they won't rebuild.

10:32 PM, June 12, 2006  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

No, I'm saying if it all breaks right we'll perform at the level of an 86 win team. An 86 win caliber team could win quite a few more or less games.

5:07 PM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Lance Richardson said...

It might be box office suicide, but I'd cut bait at this point, with this team. Guys like Roberts, Piazza, Klesko, Bellhorn, Blum, Bard, and any pitcher not named Peavy or Young, could be used as trde bait to stock an extremely weak farm system.

The only way I keep all those guys, or look to acquire additional help, is if I think we can win the World Series.

Unless the acqusitions are Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, we can't.

6:45 PM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Michael said...

I would add that I would happily trade for a big bat or big arm, provided that the player is signed past 2006 and hopefully past 2007. It's the three month rental that I am so against.

10:57 PM, June 13, 2006  
Blogger Anthony said...

From a PR standpoint it's hard to sell a total overhaul when the team is only a few games out. Also I think a lot of fans would look at it as a return to the pre-Petco days of trading off our star players for cheap talent. Whether that was a reality or not I won't comment on, just that most casual fans I talk to feel that's the way the Padres operate.

The 1090 guys have been banging the drum for Soriano but I think it's highly unlikely he would resign. He's having a good year and probably wants to go for the big bucks from a big market team. Are there any other big names that might become available?

3:27 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

Soriano not only wouldn't resign, we don't have the prospects to get him in the first place. Also, our two best hitters are our corner outfielders. The upgrade from Roberts to Soriano would be something like 14 equivalent runs or maybe a win.

7:06 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger LynchMob said...

#82?

ya, now that i've done my part, i want everyone else to hurry up and do theirs :-)

8:19 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

Yours is 82. I have to make it into a bio.

9:50 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger LynchMob said...

No, mine is #80 ... perhaps it's #82 you have to turn into a bio ... I think you could you post what I sent you for #80 "as is"!

If you are talking about what I sent you for #80 (DF), and you really want something bio-ish, let me know and I'll take a stab at it ...

10:23 PM, June 14, 2006  
Blogger Lance Richardson said...

It's number 82, LM. We slid some other guys in front of him. The rankings are mostly determined, but we reserve the right to move guys around if it makes sense to do so.

8:07 AM, June 15, 2006  

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