Here we go again. I was having a good time with my San Francisco Giants franchise – but I lost all of my work. I upgraded to a PS4 Pro and forgot to save my work to the cloud. Here I am today – back at square one. This time I am working with a new franchise, and with input from reddit I have decided to go with the San Diego Padres.
The goal with this team is to build a long lasting contender without depleting the farm system too much. The Padres have been to the World Series twice before, but have never won it all. If I get this team in a position to make a run I will be tempted to unload the farm and go all in. Heading into the season this club is ranked in the bottom third of the league – pitching is the glaring weak point.
I feel like we are in a pretty good spot as an organization financially. If I were GM at the time I am unsure if I would have signed Manny Machado for 10 yrs at $300M – but I have to work with it now. Eric Hosmer is eating up a large portion of our budget for the foreseeable future – he is a player that I will be looking to move if I can find the right deal. Wil Myers is the third in our trio of enormous contracts – and that thing is backloaded. I will not want to pay at 32 year old Wil Myers $16.6M in his final year. Garrett Richards is the other outlier – I’ll be moving on from him as well if I can find a taker.
We have some decent bats in the lineup – but this doesn’t look like a team that will contend in 2019. Fernando Tatis Jr. is an exciting young player that I am happy to have on my squad – but I want to find a better place for him in the lineup. Machado is a solid bat to build around in the middle of the order, and Hunter Renfroe provides good pop against left-handed arms.
Our rotation needs some work. The only arm I am excited about on this staff is Chris Paddack. In the bullpen I can build around Kirby Yates.
We have some weak points in our coaching staff that I want to address right away. Our hitting coach (Johnny Washington), pitching coach (Darren Balsley), and 1st base coach (Skip Schumaker) are not up to my standards. I had to let them go.
I replaced them with Lee Flores, Rob Moin and Jeremy Salazar. All three of these coaches only influence attributes in a positive way. As you can see with Manager Andy Green – some coaches can negatively impact player performance. Unfortunately, I am not willing to eat the remaining $10M on Green’s deal to let him go.
I really like Eric Hosmer as a person and as a player – but I do not like him for seven more years with $100M still owed to him. First base is an easy position to find a replacement. I do not think it will be hard to duplicate his 2018 season of .253/.322/.398 with 18 HR and 69 RBI.
|Eric Hosmer||29||78||C||Astros||Yuli Gurriel||1B||34||78||C|
|Boog Powell||26||63||B||Tyler White||1B||28||70||B|
Yuli Gurriel is a solid replacement for Hosmer at first base. He put up a better .291/.323/.428 in 2018 with 13 HR and 85 RBI. He also provides me some versatility with the ability to play 2B, 3B and LF. Tyler White will be an option off the bench for me – he can also spell Machado and Gurriel when needed. Hector Rondon quickly becomes one of the best arms in my bullpen. The best part about this deal is I save $9.4M this season and get myself out of that seven-year Hosmer contract. I have no commitments to these new players beyond the 2020 season.
Wil Myers was the next contract I wanted to get off the books. He only played in 83 games in 2018 – putting up a slash of .253/.318/.446 with 11 HR and 39 RBI. My lineup is incredibly right-handed heavy – I would love to grab a left handed or switch hitting outfielder for Myers.
|Wil Myers||29||80||B||Brewers||Christian Yelich||RF||27||91||A|
|Franmil Reyes||23||73||A||Luis Aviles Jr.||SS||24||64||C|
Not bad to just go out and grab the 2018 N.L. MVP. Christian Yelich immediately becomes the best bat in my lineup – he will pair nicely with Machado in the middle of the order for years to come. I am sad to see Franmil Reyes go, but I do not see him as a fit for my organization. He is a slow outfielder and looks like he may be a better fit for the American League long-term. I also lose a young prospect in C.J. Abrams – but I am set with Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop for years to come – Abrams was a luxury that I can afford to lose in this deal. With this trade I save $6M on the 2019 season and pick up a much better contract in Christian Yelich vs Wil Myers.
Target: Joc Pederson
I have my eyes on Joc Pederson as the ideal platoon partner to pair with Hunter Renfroe in left field.
|Cal Quantrill||24||67||B||Dodgers||Joc Pederson||LF||26||85||B|
|Robbie Erlin||28||79||B||Kyle Garlick||RF||27||58||C|
This is a good deal for my club. I grab a bat that I desperately needed against right handed pitchers. I also am able to match contracts in this trade by getting rid of Ian Kinsler. Robbie Erlin and Cal Quantrill were nice pieces to have in the organization – but neither player is irreplaceable.
Target: Ender Inciarte
I need a solid lead-off hitter and an everyday centerfielder. Ender Inciarte is exactly the guy I need on my squad.
|Brett Kennedy||24||64||B||Braves||Ender Inciarte||CF||28||79||B|
Not bad. I have to give up three prospects, including pitcher Brett Kennedy. I have plenty of young arms in my farm system – I think we will be OK.
Target: Noah Syndergaard and Zach Wheeler
As I mentioned earlier – our pitching needs some help at the Major League level. The Mets have been rumored to be sellers at the trade deadline in 2019 – so I wanted to see how this would play out in my fantasy world.
*This trade was completed in two separate deals – for the sake of organization it is in one table.
|Luis Urias||21||79||A||Mets||Zach Wheeler||SP||28||82||B|
|Francisco Mejia||23||69||A||Noah Sydergaard||SP||26||90||A|
|Manuel Margot||24||70||A||Tim Tebow||LF||31||61||C|
|Craig Stammen||35||82||A||Jeff McNeil||2B||26||82||B|
This is a blockbuster of a trade. I pick up an ace in Noah Sydergaard and a solid arm in Zach Wheeler. My pitching rotation is now looking great. In order to get this deal done, I traded away three A level prospects in Luis Urais, Manuel Margot and Francisco Mejia. Urias was my future second baseman, so I went back to the Mets and found a way to grab Jeff McNeil. McNeil now becomes my best contact hitter and everyday second baseman. I was able to include a couple larger contracts in the McNeil trade to balance out the contracts I took on.
Target: Marcus Stroman
This is another player that is rumored to be moved at the 2019 trade deadline. I inquired with the Blue Jays to see if I could grab Marcus Stroman to continue to improve my staff.
|Franchy Cordero||24||71||B||Blue Jays||Marcus Stroman||SP||27||83||B|
I trade away a trio of contributors in order to get Stroman – the most valuable in the deal being Nick Margevicius. I also hate to see Franchy Cordero go, he gave me some outfield versatility off the bench.
Target: Mike Clevinger
Like I said, the pitching rotation was weak. I reached out to the Indians to see what they would want for Mike Clevinger – a pitcher in his late 20’s but with a manageable contract.
|Phil Maton||26||68||B||Indians||Mike Clevinger||SP||28||83||B|
This trade was a no-brainer for me. I had to give up three B level prospects, two of which are 26 years old. Anderson Espinosa was the youngest player in this deal – but he is years away from competing for a Major League roster spot.
Target: Josh Bell
While I was content with the numbers I would get from Yuli Gurriel – I was concerned with his age and other factors. I also had an abundance of right-handed hitters in my lineup – so going out and grabbing a switch hitting first baseman would be ideal for my club.
|Yuli Gurriel||34||78||C||Pirates||Josh Bell||1B||26||83||A|
|Logan Allen||21||63||A||Christian Kelley||C||25||60||C|
This is an awesome trade for my club. I move on from Gurriel before he dons a Padres uniform and only have to give up Logan Allen and a 25 year old minor leaguer. I get one of the best hitters in the game – Josh Bell.
Targets: Jose Alvarado, Diego Castillo and Matt Duffy
At this point my bullpen consisted of Kirby Yates, Jose Castillo, and Hector Rondon. The Rays had a duo of young Dominican relievers that caught my eye. I also thought Matt Duffy would be a good fit as a utility player off the bench.
|Matt Strahm||27||75||B||Rays||Jose Alvarado||CP||23||88||B|
|Adrian Morejon||20||63||A||Diego Castillo||RP||25||82||B|
|Jacob Nix||23||68||B||Matt Duffy||3B||27||72||B|
It is hard to find good lefty arms from the pen, and Jose Alvarado is one of the elite arms in the game from that side. Diego Castillo also adds much needed depth to my middle relievers. I lose a trio of solid players in this deal – but feel OK with what I gave up. Matt Strahm became expendable after all of the starting pitcher I have traded for. Adrian Morejon is a solid pitching prospect – but I have plenty of depth there in the minors.
Target: Tim Beckham
I have always rooted for Tim Beckham – it feels like he has been around forever, and he is still just 29 years old. He seems like a player that I can acquire for minimal prospects while providing me with some speed and versatility off the bench.
|Tirso Ornelas||19||57||C||Mariners||Tim Beckham||SS||29||71||C|
Target: Franchy Cordero
With where my team stands right now – I have four great outfielders in Yelich, Pederson, Inciarte and Renfroe. I want to carry a 5th outfielder on the Padres this year to be a defensive replacement and give me some speed off the bench. I need to get Franchy Cordero back.
|Luis Campusano||20||61||B||Blue Jays||Franchy Cordero||LF||24||69||B|
|Dillon R. Overton||27||63||C|
Target: Adley Rutschman
I am content with Austin Hedges as the everyday catcher on the Padres – for now. Adley Rutschman projects to be an all-star in the near future and hits from both sides of the plate. He is a guy that I can stash in the minors for a couple of years. This could really help us out long term.
|Miguel Diaz||24||65||B||Orioles||Adley Rutschman||C||21||68||A|
The big piece that I give up is Xavier Edwards. He was blocked by Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop and is still a few years from being ready. I feel like top tier catching prospects are very rare – I had to take my chances and go get Rutschman.
Target: Stephen Vogt
Stephen Vogt is a solid bat and would be nice to have as depth at the catcher position. He also can provide some veteran leadership to such a young squad.
|Trey Wingenter||24||58||B||Giants||Stephen Vogt||C||34||69||C|
Target: Brendan McKay
I have always loved pitchers that can hit. With us being in the National League, having a pitcher with some pop would give us an advantage. While Brendan McKay is not quite ready for my squad yet, he would be an exciting piece for the future.
|Michael Baez||23||66||A||Rays||Brendan McKay||SP||23||67||A|
I had to give up a really good pitching prospect in Michael Baez – but I feel like the price is worth it in order to get McKay.
I had the opportunity to lock down some of my new acquisitions prior to Spring Training. I gave up quite a few valuable assets in order to build such a talented roster – I wanted to ensure these guys would be around for a few years.
- Sydergaard – signed through the next two years at $8.5M per. He will be a free agent in 2021 when he is 28.
- McNeil – this is an incredibly team-friendly deal. We have our second baseman at just $2.8M a season through 2023.
- Clevenger – another value signing for the Padres. We bought out his remaining arbitration years at just $1.1M each through 2021.
- Hedges – three years for less than $1M per. I have Hedges at a price where I could possibly keep him as a backup when Rutschman is ready.
- Castillo – a solid lefty out of the pen for less than $1M a year through 2020.
- Renfroe – signed through the 2022 season for $3M a year.
- Bell – this is the largest contract I gave out this offseason, and it still seems like a great value. Josh Bell will be a Padre through 2023 for just $5.1M a year.
- Alvarado – I lock down my new closer through the 2022 season for just $3.2M per year.
- Castillo – a solid right-handed reliever for two years at less than $1M per season.
- Cordero – signed through the 2021 season at $1.5M a year.
I traded away some of my better position player prospects – luckily I was able to find a few gems in free agency:
|Team Rank||MLB Rank||Name||Age||Pos.||Ovr.||Level||Pot.|
|1||2||Fernando Tatis Jr.||20||SS||79||MLB||A|
Even after all of the big trades that were made – we still have the best farm system in baseball. The Padres have SEVEN top 50 prospects and FOUR of the top 25 prospects.
- Luis Urias was traded to the Mets. He is the #10 prospect in baseball.
- Michael Baez was traded to the Rays. He is the #44 prospect in baseball.
This is an unbelievable lineup. It is hard to find a weak spot in the order, and the power in the middle will be impossible to pitch around.
I did not observe much of spring training, but what I did witness could only be a good sign of things to come. Machado and Yelich hit back-to-back homeruns in their first AB with a Padres uniform on. This is going to be a good baseball season in San Diego.
I will take an in depth look at the Major League roster prior to Opening Day. We will also play through Opening Day at each level of the organization so I can get a feel for the prospects in our system.