It’s OK, baseball fans, if you’re a little jealous of the Padres right about now.
You probably should be jealous. The big club is loaded with talent, both veteran and young, and primed for a run at the next several World Series titles. The farm system is stacked with players who will contribute to that parent club — either personally, or as part of trades that land other talented players. And the front office?
That’s the most exciting part. During an offseason where most teams are preaching caution and cutting payroll, the San Diego front office is fully committed to aggressively improving an already outstanding team in search of those World Series titles. For a fan base that’s never experienced the joy of that championship, it’s almost too good to be true.
And for fans watching folks in their favorite team’s front office sitting around waiting for low-hanging fruit to ripen, it has to be a bit frustrating.
TRADE GRADES: Breaking down the Blake Snell deal
On Sunday night, news broke that the Padres were trading for Blake Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young winner who helped lead the Rays to the World Series last year, and was authoring the best game of his career in Game 6 when he was taken out in the sixth inning after allowing just two hits and zero walks, while striking out nine.
On Monday morning, this bit of reporting broke.
It’s not that anyone’s surprised to see the Padres making moves this offseason. They’re a franchise on the rise, with an aggressive decision-maker calling the shots. Wrote this in early November, in a piece looking at teams that should be opportunistic this winter:
“And does pretty much everyone expect general manager A.J. Preller to be aggressive this offseason as he looks to improve that bullpen and also find other ways to potentially upgrade the roster? Absolutely, yes.”
And if they pull off this Darvish trade, that would be pretty incredible for any offseason, not just a strange, delayed offseason like the one we’re currently sitting through.
Think about a rotation that includes Darvish, Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddock and Zack Davies. That’s pretty incredible, assuming everyone stays healthy.
Darvish finished second in the 2020 NL Cy Young race, posting a 2.01 ERA, 2.23 FIP, 11.0 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9. Lamet finished fourth: 2.09 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 12.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9. Davies posted a 2.73 ERA in his dozen starts last summer, and Paddock has a 3.74 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in his 38 career big-league starts.
Oh, and then there’s this:
Kim, who turned 25 in October, is coming off a season with 30 homers, 23 stolen bases, a .397 on-base percentage and a .921 OPS. He was a shortstop in Korea, but Fernando Tatis, Jr. has that spot locked down. Manny Machado’s at third base, so it appears Kim will move to second, with Jake Chenoworth moving to the outfield. He’s not lacking power, it’s safe to say.
The Padres, you’ll remember, finished with the third-best record in baseball in 2020. They beat the Cardinals in the Wild Card series before losing to the Dodgers — the eventual World Series champs — in the NLDS. They haven’t had any significant free-agent departures (unless you count closer Trevor Rosenthal, who was with the club for a month last year), and now they’ve added Snell and Kim, while closing in on Darvish.
Are they as good as the Dodgers? They’re closer now than they were last week, that much we know for sure.
Source: Read Full Article