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Discussion: How much will the Padres get out of their offseason strategy?

Chris wonders how good the Padres can be this upcoming season, with all the headline making moves they've made in recent weeks.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Editors Note: This is a discussion topic that was presented in our listserv and in the comment section of David's post on Friday. I thought it was an interesting topic for discussion and thus forced Chris to post this as an article for further discussion. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle came out with an article today comparing the Astros to the Padres and how it fits in with this discussion topic in regards to what the Padres are going to get out of their way of rebuilding. which this post is focused on.

Via Drellich's article, Ken Rosenthal suggested that other organizations should be embarrassed by their rebuild in comparison to the Padres current method. Drellich also made a comparable Astros prospect package to what the Padres gave up for one year of Justin Upton. I behoove you to go read the article then join the discussion here. -Tim

Am I the only person in the world that still doesn't think the Padres will be very good? They've upgraded their offense, I guess, but their outfield defense is going to STINK. But:

  • Myers was a disaster last season, and it does make one wonder why he's been traded twice so far.
  • Kemp has arthritic hips. That's not a condition that suggests he won't regress, and quickly, from his peak, which may very well have been a couple years ago.
  • The Padres still field Alonso, Gyorko, Barmes, and Solarte in their lineup. Not exactly murderer's row. If Myers continues to struggle, opposing pitchers really only have to worry about Kemp and Upton in that lineup, then they can coast. Maybe Norris...if he can sustain that high BABIP from 2014.
  • The pitching rotation is good, but can it compare to the Giants or the Dodgers? Shoot, I'd put 'em up against the Dbacks rotation and call it a push.
  • Last I checked, that division still has the reigning World Series champs and the richest team in baseball. Have the Dodgers and Giants suddenly been pushed back as favorites in favor of the Padres? I bet Vegas thinks not.
  • Speaking of the rotation, by dealing Yasmani Grandal and acquiring Derek Norris, the Padres traded away the 8th-best pitch framer in baseball in 2014 in favor of the 75th-best. Per Stat Corner, that amounts to a 16-run drop off in defensive value, or 2 wins, rounding up. Is Norris' offense 2 wins better than Grandal's? In 2014 it wasn't. To me, looks like Billy Beane recognized Norris' deficiency - presumptive replacement Stephen Vogt isn't the framer that Grandal is, but he's at least worth positive RAA.

So my take is that this is the case of a new GM making a splash - he seems to be treating the Padres the way I have treated my Fantasy keeper league team this off-season. Remember when Jack Zduriencik traded for Kendry Morales, Mike Morse, extended Felix (duh), and signed Raul Ibanez, Aaron Harang, and Joe Saunders all in one off-season and everybody talked about what a freaking genius he was? They ended up going 71-91 that season and all the shine rubbed off by the end and people questioned if he knew what he was doing. I don't see this situation as much different.

To me, it looks like the Padres took on an ocean-liner-full of short-term risk for a very dubious chance at even making the playoffs, and have mortgaged their depth to do so. Basically, it's the opposite of the Astros' strategy, and I wish every other non-Astros club would adopt it, because I don't think it will work.