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Fixing The Franchise: The San Diego Padres – The 2019-2020 Offseason

The 2019 season has come and gone – and a young Padres team has put the league on notice. We went from pretender to contender in just a season and are looking to build on that momentum. Will we stick with the current roster – allowing our players to build on their minor postseason success – or will we make the necessary moves to become the World Series favorite?

Retriements

  • Padres – 3B Greg Garcia – Injury
  • Yankees – SP J.A. Happ – Ability
  • Yankees – SP C.C. Sabathia – Age
  • Angels – 1B Albert Pujols – Age
  • Cardinals – CF Dexter Fowler – Ability
  • Cardinals – SP Adam Wainwright – Ability
  • Dodgers – SP Rich Hill – Age
  • FA – SP Bartolo Colon – Age
  • FA – RF Jacoby Ellsbury – Poor Free Agent Market
  • FA – RF Ichiro Suzuki – Age

Hall of Fame

No arguments here. Both players are well deserving of their place in Cooperstown.

Coaching Staff

We decided to let Andy Green go as manager with two years left on his contract. I expected him to go further in the playoffs after putting together the best roster in the league. I extended an offer to former World Series champion manager A.J. Hinch – he took the Royals job. I also offered Luis Rivera the 3rd base coach job – he accepted. After being turned down by Hinch, I offered Terry Francona the job next – he accepted. With his experience, I am hoping he can take our talent to the next level.

Exclusive Free Agent Window

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Hector Rondon32RP84C1$3.2M$3.2M
Stephen Vogt35C70C1$1.7M$1.7M

Hector Rondon put up great numbers for me from the bullpen. I also love getting Stephen Vogt back – for me he is one of the best pinch hitters in the game – he also gives us some more time to develop Adley Rutschman in the minors.

Around The League

PlayerTeamPos.YrsContract
Madison BumgarnerGiantsSP5$75.48M
Anthony RendonNationals3B6$180.6M
Gerrit ColeAstrosSP6$137.4M
Marcell OzunaCardinalsLF4$52.06M
Jameson TaillonPiratesSP6$9.6M
Jonathan SchoopTwins2B2$17.4M
Rick PorcelloRed SoxSP3$19.2M

Nothing too shocking here. Anthony Rendon got a huge deal with the Nationals – but they are in a better place than I am with Machado – as their deal is only for six seasons. I still have Machado for nine more years.

November 7th

Target: Get Rid of Manny Machado

I know that Manny Machado is one of the best talents in baseball, but I refuse to be locked in to a player that put up 1.9 WAR in 2019 for $30M a year. I am going to go for a big move here. I am pretty limited by what I can move Machado for, I have to find a player that has an equivalent salary. My options are Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Sale, Zach Greinke, and…

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Manny Machado2794AAngelsMike Trout28CF99A
Ender Inciarte2983B

Mike Freaking Trout. Wow. I am shocked that I was able to put together a package the Angles would consider – let alone accept. From a purely financial perspective – I trade away $35.6M for $35.8M. From a baseball perspective – I trade away what I viewed as a flawed talent with a crippling contract for the best player in the game. Inciarte become expendable because I no longer need him in center field.

Arbitration and Re-Sign Controllable Players

  • Arbitration Offered: LF Joc Pederson (signed at $4M), RP Adam Conley (signed at $1.5M), SS Tim Beckham (signed at $1.4M)

Contracts offered: (all but two were accepted)

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Matt Duffy293B75B2$3.4M$6.8M
Jonathan Holder26RP79B5$1.3M$6.5M
Robert Stock30RP80C2$550K$1.1M
Joey Lucchesi26SP77B5$2.4M$12M
*Andrew Toles27LF73B3$1.0M$3M
*Adley Rutschman22C72A6$3.2M$19M
Wander Franco19SS72A5$3.2M$16M
Jose Pirela301B71C1$530K$530K
Matt Wisler27RP70B1$530K$530K
Alexander Palma23RF69A3$530K$1.5M
Ryan Weathers20SP69A3$530K$1.5M
Luis Pedromo26SP68B4$400K$2M
Brendan McKay24SP68A3$466K$1.4M
Luis Patino20SP68A3$333K$1M
Mackenzie Gore21SP68A3$333K$1M
Freicer Perez24SP65B3$100K$300K
Mason Englert20SP61B3$100K$300K

*Did not accept – contract renewed at league minimum.

Free Agency: Offers

After trading away Machado for Trout I now had a hole in my infield at 3rd base. Matt Duffy was coming back – and had a solid year last year. He did play a limited role and I am unsure if he can handle full time duties at 3rd base. I prefer to have Duffy as infield depth.

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Josh Donaldson343B79B1$600K$600K
Ben Zobrist383B79A2$4.6M$9.2M
Nelson Cruz39RF72A1$600K$600K
*Kevin Pillar31CF75C1$600K$600K
Gio Urshela283B78C1$1.5M$1.5M
Danny Santana29SS73C1$600K$600K
Nick Markakis36RF75B1$600K$600K
Zach Plesac24SP70C1$100K$100K
Stephen Yang19SP67D1$70K$70K
Lewis Roe20RP67D1$60K$60K
Matthew Beam19RP66C1$70K$70K
Joel Cabrera19RP62D1$60K$60K
Otis McClendon20RP 62D1$60K$60K
Kevin Canales20RP61D1$60K$60K
Orlando Gonzalez18RP60D1$60K$60K
James Travis20C73C1$80K$80K
Jason Delay24C63C1$60K$60K
Santiago Chavez24C61C1$60K$60K
Aderlin Rodriguez281B60C1$60K$60K
Andres Cabrera182B68C1$70K$70K
Kyle Overstreet261B58C1$60K$60K
Jeter Downs212B64C1$60K$60K
Joel Ramirez183B62C1$60K$60K
Alan Meeks21SS70C1$60K$60K
Paul Hu18LF49C1$60K$60K
Devlin Granberg24LF51B1$60K$60K
Bernardo Rodriguez21CF70D1$60K$60K
Estevan Melendez19RF70D1$60K$60K
Jose Acevedo20RF64C1$60K$60K
Oliver Molina18RP60D1$60K$60K
Rickey Dubois20RP58D1$60K$60K
Seungwhan Oh37RP79A1$600K$600K
  • I initially offered Donaldson $9M over two years. Zobrist accepted his offer first, so I pulled the offer from Donaldson. I was able to get both players when Donaldson was still sitting there towards the end of free agency and took a discounted deal.
  • Kevin Pillar signed with the White Sox.
  • Everyone else on that list signed with us.

Free Agents Around The League

PlayerTeamPos.YrsContract
Will SmithCubsCP6$33.3M
Yasmani GrandalPiratesC6$57.7M
Steve CishekBravesRP2$16.1M
Dallas KeuchelCubsSP1$6.1M
Corey DickersonDodgersLF3$18.9M
Mike MoustakasPirates2B4$25.2M
Nicholas CastellanosBravesRF1$7M
Avisail GarciaBrewersLF3$14.7M
  • The Cubs grab one of the best relievers on the market in Will Smith. They also add to their rotation with Dallas Keuchel.
  • The Pirates are making moves – signing the best catcher and 2B available in free agency.

Removed from 40 man

  • Mason Englert
  • Freicer Perez
  • Luis Pedromo – Claimed by the Orioles
  • Tim Beckham
  • Jose Pirela

Novermber 27th

  • The Yankees acquired Justin Upton from the Angels for Brandon Belt.

December 3rd

Target: Blake Snell

I want to get another top of the rotation starter – Blake Snell is one of the best in the game. He also has a team friendly deal that won’t hurt my budget.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Lorne Reyna1961ARaysBlake Snell27SP97A
Kenta Maeda3184CLucious Fox22SS62C
Hunter Renfroe2883A
Ryan Heath1969C
Ken Greer1973B

*This took place over two trades in which I moved Josh Hader then got him back.

I had to give up some pretty good pieces in order to make this trade happen. The game does not allow trades of more than 3 players – so I had to do this over two trades. I give up two players from my playoff roster in Kenta Maeda and Hunter Renfroe. I also trade away two of my top prospects – Lorne Reyna – and 2019 3rd round pick – Ken Greer. I have plenty of minor league depth, I view this as a solid trade to acquire one of the best starters in the game.

December 6th

  • The Cubs acquired Kirby Yates from the Yankees for Pedro Strop, Esteury Ruiz and Brendon Little.

December 11th

  • The Braves acquired Whit Merrifield from the Athletics for Max Fried and Chad Sobotka.

December 12th

Rule 5 Draft

I do not intend to keep any of the players I draft today. You can trade Rule 5 picks, so my intention is to move a few for prospects.

PlayerTeamPos.Ovr.AgePot.
Round 1Derek FisherAstrosCF6526A
Round 2Hunter HarveyOriolesSP6725A
Round 3Edgar SantanaAngelsRP7828C

Corresponding Trade

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Derek Fisher2664ARaysBrent Honeywell24SP70B
Hunter Harvey2565AMatthew Liberatore20SP69A
Lucious Fox2262C

At this point, I feel bad for the Rays. I have depleted their organization of future talent. I trade away two Rule 5 picks and grab two top tier pitching prospects. Matthew Liberatore has the highest ceiling, already at a 69 overall at just 20 years old.

December 14th

  • The Dodgers acquired Jesse Winker from the Reds for Drew Jackson.

December 27th

  • The Giants acquired Randall Grichuk from the Blue Jays for Evan Longoria and Jonah Tracy.

January 18th

  • The White Sox acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees for Steele Walker and Frank Forrest

February 26th

I decided that it was time to flip my final Rule 5 pick for another prospect.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Edgar Santana2878BAngelsJeremiah Jackson20SS64B

I am able to acquire a decent middle infield prospect from the Angels in Jeremiah Jackson. He provides me some depth at the minor league level.

February 28th

Joc Pederson is entering his final year of control. He is seeking a 5 year deal worth $55M. I am unwilling to pay that for a platoon outfielder. I will go ahead and move on from him. Andrew Toles is seeking a 5 year deal for $16M – no thanks buddy. It is time to get rid of these guys for some prospects.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Joc Pederson2785BAstrosYordan Alvarez22RF72A
Andrew Toles2773BSeth Beer23LF63B
Mason Englert2059B

The rich get richer. I flip two guys that I no longer want to pay – for one of the best pure hitting prospects in the game. Yordan Alvarez had unbelievable power – I just need to find a place for him on my Major League roster. Seth Beer isn’t too shabby of a prospect either.

Prospects

The best minor league system in the game somehow got better in the offseason. We now boast five of the top 25 prospects in the game, and nine of the top 45 prospects in the game.

Team RankPrevious MLB RankCurrent MLB RankNameAgePos.Ovr.LevelPot.
1146Wander Samuel Franco19SS70AAAA
2NR7Yordan Alvarez22RF73AAAA
3218Brenden McKay24SP70AAAA
4810Adley Rutschman22C70AAAA
52525Mackenzie Gore21SP66AAA
63334Alexander Palma23RF67AAAA
7NR41Matthew Liberatore20SP69AAAA
83143Ryan Weathers20SP67AAAA
93045Luis Patino20SP68AAA
10NRNRBrent Honeywell24SP70AAAB

Financial Situation

Things are looking pretty good for the Padres from a financial perspective. Our nine most talented players are locked into team friendly deals through the 2021 season.

Roster, Lineup, and Rotation

As the offseason comes to a close – I have managed to put together the best talent in the game. Terry Francona has a lot of pressure on him this season to go deep into the playoffs.

On paper, this may be one of the best offenses in the history of the game. Aside from the superstars in this lineup – some veteran leadership was also brought to the squad in the form of Nick Markakis and Ben Zobrist.

The rotation looks pretty similar to last season – except we added Blake Snell to the top. Josh Hader anchors a strong bullpen – with the addition of veteran Seunghwan Oh.

Coming Up

We will head into the 2020 season. The Padres have the best combination of talent in baseball – the question is – can Terry Francona get this group of stars to buy-in and be successful in the playoffs?

– Buzz

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