Padres bloggin' since 2007

Holsterball

December 30th, 2009 by Ray

I’ve been seeing, or maybe just feeling, a lot of people wondering when the Padres are going to start the offseason. While the team has resigned Kevin Correia and brought in Dusty Ryan for catching depth, it’s a fair question. Many of the big names are off the table (this article is written on the heels of former Padre Jason Bay signing with the Mets), but the Padres were never going to be players in that game. Smaller names have also gone, including Mike Cameron, and that is more of an area of concern. Just not a big one.

Picking up Brian Giles’ extension last offseason was a mistake. Which isn’t to say that it was a bad call, because it wasn’t. Giles had a great 2008, and he looked like a steal at $6 million (his option was for $9 million, but he had a $3 million buyout), but we now know that Giles was a detriment to the team. For just as much money, the team could’ve signed Bobby Abreu*. The Angels gave $5 million to Abreu to play right field, and he rewarded them with 2.5 wins. And while the Padres locked their right fielder up in early November, the Angels waited until February to get theirs.

(*There are a lot of factors that go into a player signing in a certain city, and just because a veteran All-Star signed at a price to play for a team with a serious shot at the World Series doesn’t mean he would with a team that just cut ties with it’s franchise player over money.)

Jed Hoyer, it would seem, is in no hurry. Which isn’t to say that nothing’s happened, because players the Padres have shown interest in have signed somewhere (Coco Crisp, Henry Blanco). It’s just that none have signed with us. And that’s not a bad thing.

It’s not just about free agents with question marks that saw their prices go down, though Orlando Hudson would be a nice little upgrade. In the past couple of weeks, the Oakland A’s have added two more outfielders (Crisp, Michael Taylor) to go with the ones they already have (Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Hairston). While it’s not a given, I wonder if the A’s are looking/willing to move one of them. Maybe the right-handed center fielder who’s shown that he can handle Petco Park. The Padres have shown an interest in a right-handed hitting center fielder and, with Tony Gwynn, Jr. already on the team, he doesn’t even have to hit right-handed pitching. A platoon partner for AJ could be a very economical acquisition for the team and one option that didn’t present itself until recently.

I don’t know what Hoyer’s thinking. Maybe he’s still busy assembling his front office team. Maybe he’s not done familiarizing himself with the Padres and what he has to work with. Or maybe he’s found himself caught up in the hardcore world of carne asada and is in need of an intervention. These are all reasonable explanations for why this team has been so inactive this postseason, and to be fair, it could all be a matter of Hoyer having no idea what he’s doing. Just remember that the season hasn’t started.

I invite you to think back on the offseason prior to the 2006 season. In an attempt to make room for Josh Barfield, and following the acquisition of Cameron and Vinny Castilla to fill two other holes, Kevin Towers sent Mark Loretta to Boston for Doug Mirabelli. The team would later sign Todd Greene to serve as his backup, giving the team a veteran backstop duo. And then, on February 3rd, the team released Greene to make way for Mike Piazza, who was coming off an injury-plagued and down (by his standards) year. For a million and a quarter, Towers brought in a legitimate cleanup hitter who slugged over .500. And he waited till February to do it.

R. Update:

This article names Reed Johnson as AJ’s potential platoon partner. His is an intriguing name, as he has a career OPS against left-handed pitching of .841, in over a thousand plate appearances. And he’s a free agent.

Posted in hot stove | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Holsterball”

  1. william says:

    it could all be a matter of Hoyer having no idea what he’s doing

    way to early for that, no?

    • Ray Lankford says:

      Absolutely, but with the sample size we have, it’s still a possibility.

      Dayton Moore went to Kansas City having worked under John Schuerholz and turned out to be a total nutbar.

  2. william says:

    i should add though, solid read and great, great title. I love it.

  3. The Pad Father says:

    Not so sure Odog would be much of an upgrade with the bat. With the adjustment for park factors he’s about a .260 hitter playing here. He would be a big upgrade in the field though. How much do you think it would take to sign him?

    Reed Johnson has great splits against RHP. I like him in a platoon with JR. How much do you think it will take to sign him?

    • Ray Lankford says:

      Actually, it’s the other way around: Hudson wouldn’t be much of an upgrade with the glove but he would be a tremendous upgrade with the bat. Last season, Hudson was +9 runs offensively; Eckstein was -9 runs. That’s almost a two win difference.

      It’s hard to say how much it would take to sign him. The Dodgers got him last year for $3.4 million, but it seems as if too many teams with bigger payrolls are interested in him for us to have a chance.

      And while I don’t think Johnson would get as much money, as less teams are in on him, one of the few teams who are is the Yankees, and that does not bode well.

Leave a Reply

Search Posts


The Sacrifice Bunt on Facebook The Sacrifice Bunt on Twitter

Categories


Sacrifice Bunt Shop

Sacrifice Bunt Shop

Translate