General Manager AJ Preller has been calling the shots for the San Diego Padres for just four and a half months. In most jobs, that time would be used to get your legs underneath you and getting a feel for the position. Preller apparently doesn’t work that way – he has traded for Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and has just made yet another move to acquire one more power-hitting outfielder, Justin Upton.
Real quick, let’s just take a look at the moves Preller has made this offseason so far:
After finishing dead last in all of baseball in total offense last season, the Padres are addressing the issue head on. After watching the San Francisco Giants win three championships in five years and the Los Angeles Dodgers continuing to build a potent team, the Padres realized they had quite a bit of ground to make up.
With these moves, the talking point has been “power” coming to the Padres lineup. While that is the case, these hitters are much more than just power-hitters. Upton will bring to San Diego not just power, but downright skillful hitting. For a team that also ranked dead last in the league with a .292 on base percentage, they were in need of much more than just power.
Kemp career OBP – .349
Myers career OBP – .324.
Upton career OBP – .354.
Here is all you need to know, really:
2014 season #Padres outfielders .234/.307/.347 & 29 HR Upton, Kemp, & Myers .265/.333/.458 & 60 HR
— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) December 19, 2014
Those numbers include a 2014 season that saw Myers struggle mightily at the plate, hardly displaying the potential seen while in the Kansas City Royals‘ system. In his rookie season, Myers hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 home runs and 53 runs batted in through just 88 games.
Needless to say, it is evident that Preller and the Padres are sick and tired of watching everyone else take part in the postseason fun as they have won just one playoff game since losing the 1998 World Series. With just one above .500 season since 2007, the Padres are re-tooling their roster to ensure success for 2015 and beyond.
Though Upton has just one year remaining on his contract, the Padres still control Kemp through 2019 and Myers through 2020. There are rumors that the cash that the Padres will receive in the Kemp deal will be between $32-$40 million – money that could also be used to sign Upton to an extension if the 2015 outfield experiment proves fruitful.
Regardless of the outcome, Preller and the Padres are making bold moves this offseason to improve an organization that has been stagnant for the better part of the last eight years.
Any chance the Dodgers revoke that Kemp trade before it’s too late? After all, the NL West is becoming much more difficult and the Dodgers are aiding the San Diego turnaround…
The insane offseason isn’t over yet for the Padres either, as they are reportedly sending one of their newly acquired catchers to Boston:
padres trading hanigan to red sox for middlebrooks, as well. @JeffPassan said close
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 19, 2014
Cover Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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