Don’t get me wrong. Tony Gwynn is Mr. Padre. I don’t mean to imply anything different.
But who is the current face of the franchise? I think most would agree that honor belongs to either Jacob Peavy or Trevor Hoffman, depending on how you look at it.
I propose the team gear up to answer that question years into the future. Don’t sign Jake now, his value will probably never be higher. But be ready.
That means sacrifices are needed, namely with contracts the team hands out or acquires via trade this offseason. That probably rules out dreams of Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, and any other phonetically spelled free agent center fielder.
Ray would say that re-signing Peavy at free agency isn’t very moneyball. I agree, to a certain extent. His value on the field probably isn’t worth the money he’ll see in a true free market, but every so often you have to make a ‘soft’ type move. The value to the team brand is important as well. Just plan for it, and make sure it doesn’t happen often. (I’m looking at you Khalil!)
Ray edit: Mr. Padre shouldn’t live in another state
Melvin edit: I put some of these thoughts down before Torii Hunter signed.