clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Know your enemy: San Diego Padres

After rebuilding their way to the title, the Padres seek to repeat as champions in 2016. Oh, hang on: that appears to be in some alternate universe. My mistake.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2015 record: 75-88 (4th)
Major arrivals (with 2015 bWAR):
Jon Jay (-0.2), Drew Pomeranz (0.4), Alexei Ramirez (1.0), Fernando Rodney (-0.6)
Major departures (with 2015 bWAR):
Yonder Alonso (1.8), Joaquin Benoit (1.8), Jedd Gyorko (0.6), Ian Kennedy (-0.4), Craig Kimbrel (1.3), Justin Upton (4.4)
Probable lineup and rotation

  1. 2B Cory Spangenberg
  2. 1B Wil Myers
  3. RF Matt Kemp
  4. 3B Yangervis Solarte
  5. C Derek Norris
  6. LF Jon Jay
  7. SS Alexei Ramirez
  8. CF Travis Jankowski
  1. James Shields
  2. Tyson Ross
  3. Andrew Cashner
  4. Robbie Erlin
  5. Brandon Maurer

Ah, what a difference a year makes. At this point in 2015, the sleek, retooled Padres were primed to break out and challenge the Dodgers and Giants in their recent domination of the league. So where did it all go wrong? Pretty much all over the place. Big-ticket acquisitions Shields and Kemp flopped, being worth 1.9 and 0.6 bWAR respectively. And it looks like moving the fences in at Petco hurt more than it helped, as the team allowed 81 more runs than they scored, resulting in the firing of Bud Black before the All-Star break, as the team struggled to stay above..500, finally going down for the last time on June 9.

With the loss of easily their most valuable player in J-Up, it doesn't look like things will be much easier for San Diego in 2016. They still have Melvin Upton, who figures to share time in the outfield, and actually had his best season since 2012 - not that it's saying much. They did kinda retool, shipping Kimbrel off to Boston and Benoit to the Mariners for a decent haul of prospects that may help them down the road. But Kemp, Shields and Upton will be paid close to $55 million between them this year, which is an awful lot on a team projected to win only 74 and 76 wins by Fangraphs and PECOTA respectively.

So it doesn't look as if the Padres' extended post-season drought - the Marlins are the only NL team to have been out of the playoffs for longer - will be coming to an end in 2016. Despite the return for Kimbrel, their farm system is still no great shakes either: Baseball America recently ranked San Diego #25, three spots below Arizona, so there may not be much help coming from there in the immediate future. This gives our former third-base coach and manager in Missoula, Andy Green, a tough task in his first season as a major-league manager, although at least expectations should be a great deal more restrained for this year.

To an outsider, this lack of any apparent direction is most bemusing. Alleged "rock star GM" A.J. Preller has turned more into bald Britney, apparently unwilling to admit the failure of 2015, and go all Florida Marlins on the roster. From a Diamondbacks' point of view, that's perfectly fine, because it largely removes them from the NL West race for the foreseeable future ( currently has them as 12-1 to win it this season, which frankly, seems a bit on the low side). If they fail again this year, perhaps Arizona can relieve them of some players around the trade deadline, for our own playoff push, because it's difficult to imagine a scenario where San Diego are other than sellers.