You can’t blame Jake Peavy for his surprise at still being a San Diego Padre. All signs were pointing to Atlanta or Chicago as probable (not possible) destinations; and yet, with one week of spring training in the books, Peavy remains.
Back in December, I, like many of the people watching the Padres, thought Peavy would get dealt, and I based my “analysis” of their needs then on the premise that they would be able to land a few good prospects in return. Well, you can forget about it all.
Except, of course, that their other pressing needs remain relevant, Peavy trade or not. The Friars had an atrocious offense in 2008, and while the team made some moves, let’s not be hasty and say they’ve improved. They traded Khalil Green, their starting shortstop to St. Louis for a minor league pitcher, and though they signed David “GRIT” Eckstein, they’ll let him take over second base (vacated by the departure of Tadahito Iguchi) and either move Luis Rodriguez to short or give prospect Matt Antonelli a shot to start.
They signed veteran Cliff Floyd and traded Matt “F’n” Bush to Toronto for cash and a player to be named later (which apparently, has yet to be named). They also signed veteran catcher Henry Blanco to back up Nick Hundley, who’ll get the majority of starts behind the plate, and added outfielder Emil Brown as a spring training invitee.
These moves don’t exactly blow you out of the water, or even blow you anywhere near the surface of the water, but the reason for the lack of offseason action, for those who may not have been paying attention, is that the San Diego Padres are drastic cost-cutting mode. Their budget was slashed in half from 2008, which is a direct result of their ownership dilemma between John and Becky Moors.
Because of their on-going divorce and its financial ramifications, Moors was forced to sell the team. He finally reached a deal with former Diamondbacks CEO, Jeff Moorad, who’ll have five years to complete the transaction. Though the Padres will have new ownership, it’ll take a while before it takes over the actual running of the team. What that means for the on-field and front-office operations remains to be seen.
As far as pitching goes, their rotation retains their front-line starter in Peavy (now they just need to score him some runs). They’ll give Mark Prior another shot at pitching on the major league level and they reached a deal with Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican league for right hander Walter Silva, hoping he’ll earn a spot in the rotation. Even with these moves (or non-moves in Peavy’s case), pitching is still a work in progress, with several spots open in both the rotation and bullpen.
Notable acquisitions: Cliff Floyd, Henry Blanco, Walter Silva, David Eckstein
Notable losses: Trevor Hoffman, Tadahito Iguchi, Shawn Estes
Projected lineup, rotation, and closer:
C Nick Hundley
1B Adrian Gonzalez
2B David Eckstein
SS Matt Antonelli / Luis Rodriguez
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
LF Chase Headley
CF Jody Gerut / Scott Hariston
RF Brian Giles
SP Jake Peavy
SP Chris Young
SP Cha Seung Baek
SP Josh Geer?
SP Wade LeBlanc?
CL Heath Bell
Offseason Grade: D
With a pool of young players, 2009 is shaping up to be the first of a 5-year plan for when new ownership takes over. It’ll be painful, but at least they’ve managed to be proactive in trying to field a team capable of winning more than 63 games. Right?