Connect with us

San Diego, CA

Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres

Published

on

Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres


It’s rare for the same team to be on opposite ends of blockbuster trades within one offseason. This Padres front office isn’t afraid to break convention. San Diego was the traditional “seller” in the winter’s biggest trade as they shed a lot of money. That didn’t stop them from dealing a trio of well-regarded prospects to upgrade their rotation in a late-spring strike.

Major League Signings

2024 spending: $9.35MM
Total spending: $50MM

Option Decisions

Advertisement

Trades and Claims

Notable Minor League Signings

  • Daniel Camarena, Drew CarltonRyan Carpenter, Austin DavisMatt FestaBryce Johnson, Tim Locastro, Mason McCoy, Óscar Mercado, Brad MillerCal Mitchell, Nate MondouTommy Nance, Kevin Plawecki, Zach ReksChandler SeagleTyler Wade

Extensions

Notable Losses

  • Barlow, Carpenter, Ji Man ChoiGarrett CooperJose Espada (released to pursue NPB opportunity), Luis García, Grisham, Josh Hader, Rich Hill (still unsigned), Tim Hill (non-tendered), Iriarte, Kerr, Taylor Kohlwey (non-tendered), Lugo, Martinez, Austin Nola (non-tendered), Drew PomeranzGary Sánchez, Blake Snell, Soto, Wacha, Wilson

Under A.J. Preller, it’s fair to presume the Padres are in for a headline-grabbing offseason. Yet while the past few years had been defined by major acquisitions, most of this winter was about departures. Late in the 2023 season, it emerged that the Padres were planning to cut spending. That came on the heels of Diamond Sports Group abandoning their local broadcasting contract midseason and amidst reports about the Padres falling out of compliance with MLB’s debt service ratio.

San Diego had key free agents Blake Snell, Josh Hader, and Seth Lugo; option decisions on Nick Martinez and Michael Wacha which they’d decline; and Juan Soto projected for the largest arbitration salary in league history. (Hader and Snell declined qualifying offers, so the Padres landed two draft choices after the fourth round for their departures.) It was clear there’d be a lot of roster turnover. Before they could even address that, the organization needed to settle on its leadership structure. Tension mounted between Preller and manager Bob Melvin towards the end of their underwhelming season. While they made some effort to smooth the relationship going into the winter, everyone decided a break was ultimately in the organization’s best interest.

The Padres allowed Melvin to interview for and accept the managerial role with the Giants without demanding any compensation from their division rivals. They reportedly considered former Angels skipper Phil Nevin and previous Cubs manager David Ross but ultimately stayed in-house. San Diego moved Mike Shildt from an advisory position in the front office back to the dugout, giving him his second managerial opportunity at the big league level. Bench coach Ryan Flaherty also interviewed for the position. When San Diego went with Shildt instead, they let Flaherty depart to serve as Craig Counsell’s top lieutenant with the Cubs. The Padres left the position vacant for 2024.

Advertisement

Of course, one would be remiss to discuss the Padres’ leadership structure without mentioning Peter Seidler. The San Diego owner passed away at age 63 in the middle of November after a battle with illness. Few owners were as widely respected around the league and by their fanbase as Seidler, who consistently approved star acquisitions and ran the organization’s player payroll as high as third in the majors entering last season. This was a franchise that ranked among the league’s bottom-five spenders throughout most of the 2010s. It didn’t always work, but there was little questioning Seidler’s commitment to giving the team a chance to win. Eric Kutsenda took over as the organization’s control person.

It surely wasn’t easy for the front office to step right back into daily operations after Seidler’s death, but the calendar unfortunately didn’t afford them much time. That week, they were faced with a handful of key arbitration decisions. The Padres made the easy call to non-tender Austin Nola after a disappointing tenure in San Diego. Whether they might’ve done the same with reliever Scott Barlow won’t be known, as the Friars found a taker for the righty just before the non-tender deadline.

San Diego flipped Barlow to the Guardians for Enyel De Los Santos. It was a one-for-one bullpen swap that saved the Friars around $6MM. De Los Santos doesn’t have the kind of swing-and-miss potential that Barlow offers and is probably better suited for middle relief, but he was a capable reliever for Cleveland over the past two seasons. Given their payroll restrictions, adding a more affordable reliever whom they control for three years was a tidy bit of business for San Diego.

Once the non-tender deadline passed, much of the league’s attention turned to two players: Shohei Ohtani and Soto. (The Padres were never serious threats for the former.) The chance for a second Soto blockbuster in less than 18 months was one of the offseason’s biggest storylines. It quickly became clear that the Yankees were the favorites. The sides pulled off the massive deal at the Winter Meetings.

San Diego packaged Soto and center fielder Trent Grisham to the Bronx for a pitching-heavy return. They added Michael King, who excelled in a limited stint out of the New York rotation late last season. He stepped into the staff behind Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove. Righties Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez have big league experience and could battle for spots at the back end of the rotation. At the time, it seemed that pitching prospect Drew Thorpe might soon join them at Petco Park. The Friars also landed Kyle Higashioka as a backup to young catcher Luis Campusano, allowing them to let Gary Sánchez depart in free agency.

Advertisement

Any Soto trade was unquestionably going to make the Padres worse. With so many gaps to plug on the roster, they weren’t prepared to carry him on an arbitration salary that eventually landed at $31MM. The volume approach allowed them to backfill some of the rotation depth they lost in free agency, but it subtracted two-thirds of their starting outfield. The Padres were never going to be able to replace Soto with a player of comparable quality. Yet they also opted against the traditional rebuilding return, pursuing a quantity-driven package of major league ready talent whom they control cheaply for multiple years.

Prioritizing pitching meant leaving massive questions in the outfield. The Padres never really answered them. They were linked to star KBO  center fielder Jung Hoo Lee, but it quickly became clear his asking price was going to be well beyond their comfort level. He eventually ended up with the Giants on a $113MM pact. San Diego also showed reported interest in Adam Duvall and Michael A. Taylor but, thus far, their only major league outfield transaction was to bring back Jurickson Profar on a $1MM deal.

Profar will likely be the Opening Day starter in left field. Tommy Pham remains unsigned and has been linked to a San Diego reunion throughout the winter. His camp and the Padres are reportedly discussing a deal in the $3-4MM range. If Pham signs, he’d bump Profar down a peg on the depth chart. That obviously won’t happen before tomorrow’s regular season opener in South Korea, though.

Whoever is in left field will share time with Fernando Tatis Jr. and 20-year-old Jackson Merrill. San Diego is calling the latter directly from Double-A on the heels of a monster Spring Training. He’ll be the team’s starting center fielder despite never playing there in a minor league game. It’s a risky move borne partially out of necessity after the Padres missed on their other center field targets. At the same time, it’s not an uncharacteristic roll of the dice for an organization that hasn’t shied away from aggressively promoting its top prospects. José Azocar is likely to occupy the fourth outfield role, although minor league signee Tyler Wade could also see some time on the grass.

While San Diego’s pursuit of Lee didn’t get far, the Padres remained one of the league’s more active teams in Asia. After successfully pursuing players like Ha-Seong KimRobert Suarez and Martinez in previous offseasons, San Diego made another pair of acquisitions from the Asian pro leagues. They added one player apiece from Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korea Baseball Organization to their bullpen.

Advertisement

Left-hander Yuki Matsui was the bigger signing, as he landed a surprising five-year, $28MM guarantee that allows him to opt out after years three and four. Matsui is coming off three straight sub-2.00 ERA showings with plus strikeout rates in Japan. Evaluators are split on whether his stuff translates to a late-inning role in MLB, but the Padres clearly expect him to find success. While Matsui was a little behind in camp with back tightness, he should be on the Opening Day roster and could compete with Suarez for the closer role.

Woo Suk Go signed a two-year, $4.5MM pact after a seven-year run in the KBO. He’s young and throws hard, but the modest price tag reflects a general agreement that he projects more as a middle reliever than a high-leverage arm. Go was a closer in the KBO but had inconsistent command.

The bullpen overhaul didn’t stop there. The Padres added ground-ball specialist Wandy Peralta to the middle innings. They signed the former Yankee to a four-year, $16.5MM contract that allows him to opt out after each season. The contract length and overall guarantee were above expectations, but that’s a tradeoff San Diego made to keep his annual salaries low. Peralta has been particularly effective against same-handed hitters over the past couple years, providing a matchup option for Shildt in the middle to late innings.

San Diego also made a trio of waiver claims. They snagged Jeremiah Estrada from the Cubs, brought back former top prospect Luis Patiño from the White Sox, and grabbed righty Logan Gillaspie from the Red Sox. The Padres selected Stephen Kolek out of the Mariners system in the Rule 5 draft. They might not be able to keep everyone from that group. Patiño is out of minor league options and seems likely to be designated for assignment, as he wasn’t included on San Diego’s travel group to Seoul. Kolek can’t be sent down because of his Rule 5 status. Pedro Avila is out of options himself.

Even if the Padres move on from Patiño, they could have five or six new faces in the relief corps. Matsui, Go, De Los Santos, Peralta and Estrada all seem ticketed for key roles. In addition to the free agent departures of Hader, Martinez and Luis García, the Padres subtracted a couple relievers in trade. They flipped Ray Kerr to the Braves to get Atlanta to take on $4MM of Matt Carpenter’s underwater deal. Steven Wilson seemed ticketed for a middle relief spot as recently as last week, but he was an ancillary part of a late-offseason stunner.

Advertisement

Trade talk surrounding Dylan Cease had quieted going into Spring Training. That changed last week, as Chicago reengaged with teams like the Rangers and Yankees in an effort to move the righty before Opening Day. The Padres were initially viewed as more of a peripheral team in the Cease market, but Preller and his staff pushed back in for another star player.

Thorpe’s stay in the organization lasted all of a few months. The key prospect received in the Soto trade wound up headlining a Cease package that also included upper minors righty Jairo Iriarte, Low-A outfield prospect Samuel Zavala, and Wilson. Cease steps into the upper half of the rotation and adds a third established arm alongside Darvish and Musgrove. King slides into the fourth spot, leaving one season-opening role available for Brito, Vásquez, Avila or Matt Waldron.

San Diego dealt a trio of quality but not top-tier prospects and a decent reliever with four years of club control. Cease is making an $8MM salary that fit within their reduced budget. He’s eligible for arbitration once more. Even if he doesn’t recapture the form that made him Cy Young runner-up in 2022, Cease has been exceptionally durable over the past few seasons. He owns a 3.58 ERA going back to the start of 2020 and has a power arsenal that misses bats at an above-average rate. Cease should be a fixture in the San Diego rotation for the next two years, although it’d be foolish to count out San Diego pivoting and putting him back on the market this summer or next offseason if the team doesn’t perform up to expectations.

The one area of the roster that was not dramatically overhauled, at least in terms of personnel, was the infield. The Padres floated Jake Cronenworth in talks but didn’t find a trade partner. That’s no surprise, as he’s coming off a down season and entering the first year of the seven-year extension that he signed last spring. Kim was a much more in-demand trade target heading into the final season of his four-year deal.

The Padres decided not to move him, at least not to another team. San Diego is pushing Kim back up the defensive spectrum to shortstop, however. Xander Bogaerts is flipping to the other side of the bag, as he’ll become a second baseman for the first time in his career. It was always expected that Bogaerts would move off shortstop fairly early into his 11-year free agent deal, although few would’ve predicted that to happen after only one season. Manny Machado will eventually slot back in at third base. He’s likely to be limited to DH duty for the first couple weeks as he continues working back from last fall’s elbow surgery.

Advertisement

San Diego has Eguy Rosario and Matthew Batten as short-term options to cover third base, but they may turn to yet another prospect. Former 13th-round pick Graham Pauley has dramatically elevated his stock in pro ball. He’s coming off a .308/.393/.539 batting line between High-A and Double-A. The Duke product continued to rake this spring, turning in a .314/.400/.486 slash over 16 games. The Padres included Pauley in their travel group to Seoul, suggesting they’re considering jumping him directly from Double-A, just as they plan to do with Merrill.

The “offseason” work might not be 100% complete as they try to push a Pham deal across the finish line, but the Padres are a few hours from kicking off the regular season. They’ll do so with a team that looks a lot different than the one that finished 2023. Most outside expectations aren’t as high as they were at this time last year, but the late push for Cease shows that the organization still expects to compete for a playoff spot. Plenty of top-end talent remains. The question is whether the roster is deep enough to hold up over a 162-game stretch.




Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

San Diego, CA

San Diego lifeguard hit by boat while surfing in “freak accident”

Published

on

San Diego lifeguard hit by boat while surfing in “freak accident”


Cute lil joint across the road from Sunset Beach and with tentacles across Oahu valued at an astonishing $22.5 mill.

Eight years back Koa Smith, his bros Alex and Travis, and Koa Rothman, opened up a cute lil coffee and bowls joint called Sunrise Shack amid a plumeria farm and just across the road from world famous Sunset Beach.

The initial offering was pretty basic, coffees, tea, papaya bowls, but the place soon blossomed into the most popular eatery on the North Shore with its zeitgeist-y feel-good menu of wellness shots, smoothie bowls, banana bread and avocado toast.

Now, there’s Sunrise Shacks all over Oahu, Waikiki, Ala Moana Center, Kailua, Shark’s Cove as well as Sunset with predicated revenues set to hit five mill this year.

Advertisement

The four wildly handsome Hawaiian-born surfers and models are ambitious as hell.

And y’ain’t gonna become a billionaire by shucking coconuts across the road from Sunset the rest of your life. And, so, after valuing ‘emselves at $22..5 mill, the gang used the crowdfund portal start engine to offer shares in their biz.

One share was set at $7.50 with a minimum buy-in of $240.

A raft of bonuses were set to lure investors with anyone dropping one hundred gees on their Ohana package getting “one of the founders’ signed surfboards, a flight to Hawaii from the US to surf and have a surf lesson with one of the founders, a custom Ohana shirt, an invitation to an investor’s party on Oahu, and 12% bonus shares.”

At the close of the offering on April 16, $786,620 had been raised.

Advertisement

The surfers plan to use the money to expand onto the US mainland.

Koa Smith, meanwhile, a man who is widely regarded “the world’s sexiest surfer” and who ain’t afraid to bareback the biggest waves in the world, is offering seven-day online courses for anyone who might feel a little off kilter.

Smith became qualified to deliver the course after earning a certificate of completion from the charismatic faith healer Joe Dispenza.

The sell is almost as compelling as the Sunrise Shack’s share offer

“Koa Smith is a professional surfer, thirty-second famed barrel rider, entrepreneur and true showman. While his life looks idyllic from the outside; sunshine, nature, travel & nonstop adventure, he struggles to balance it all just like the rest of us.
“Through a severe head injury that left him with crippling depression, the pressure of competition and the bombardment of business demands, he realized that something needed to change. He wanted to take charge of his mental game. In turn, through extensive research and support, he developed a mental exercise routine, something that he commits to every morning.

Advertisement

“A routine that puts him in the driver seat before the chaos of the world even has a chance to make an impression. His mental game changed everything and now he wants to share his morning routine with you. Are you ready to transform your mental game? $37.”

BeachGrit writer Steve Rees paid his thirty-seven dollars and completed the course a few months back. 

“Koa Smith is a genuinely likeable character who is passionate about helping people get right in the head,” reported Rees. “Maybe a grain of salt is needed to digest Koa’s program, all in good fun, etc.”



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

San Diego, CA

The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres

Published

on

The Juan Soto Trade Has Helped Both The Yankees And The San Diego Padres


The San Diego Padres are a month into life after All-Stars Juan Soto, Blake Snell and Josh Hader. Things are just fine.

The Padres are again in contention in the NL West, and while they lost big bat Soto in the December trade with the New York Yankees, not only are they more balanced after adding starters Dylan Cease and Michael King but also they doing it economically.

Advertisement

It started with general manager A.J. Preller’s decision to move Soto, which while it seemed inevitable on one level was met with some raised eyebrows.

“At the time, you probably see it (trade) the other way, I’m not going to lie, because I didn’t see up close what these guys were capable of doing.” Fernando Tatis Jr. said, alluding to Cease and King.

“But the more I keep seeing them, they bring the team to a whole different level. We are a really good baseball team. We are a team that can do the big things. This year we are proving ourselves we are having success doing the small things. With that balance and that pitching.

“There is a long road to go. It’s a matter of if we can keep doing the small things and keep ourselves in balance.”

The Padres made the smart fiscal play in trading Soto, who a month into his $31 million walk year is bashing his way toward a top-tier free agent deal, perhaps in the $50 million per year range.

Soto, in his age 26 season, will be the prize in a market that is expected to be as robust as it has been with recent young superstars including Shohei Ohtani, whose 10-year $700 million free agent contract signed last winter is the highest in major league history, even at its $461 million adjusted value due to his extensive deferrals.

At the same time, San Diego already had dedicated big money to run producers Manny Machado ($350 million), Fernando Tatis Jr., ($340 million) and Xander Bogaerts ($280 million), all locked up through at least 2033.

Advertisement

The Soto deal enabled them to assemble potentially one of the best rotations in the NL, with Cease and King joining Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish as a foursome capable of cranking out quality start after quality start.

The Padres acquired King and pitching prospects Ian Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez in the seven-player deal with the Yankees. They then flipped Thorpe in a package to acquire Cease from the Chicago White Sox.

The moves also helped them save a boatload of money while replacing Snell. Cease and King will make a combined $11.5 million this season, about a sixth of what Snell will get after signing a two-year, $62 million free agent deal with San Francisco that includes a opt-out provision after this season.

Advertisement

Both Cease and King have one more year of arbitration eligibility, which will make them quite affordable again in 2025. Each is three years younger than Snell, who has two more Cy Young Awards than he has complete games in a nine-year career.

Musgrove is signed through 2027 after agreeing to a five-year, $100 million deal last August. Darvish, signed in 2023, is due $83 million through 2028.

Which means that the Padres are still spending money, but the cost of doing business in the wake of their offseason decisions has decreased drastically.

Their $161 million active payroll is just below the major league average, and it is lower than NL West rivals the Los Angles Dodgers ($228 million), the Giants ($197 million) and defending NL champion Arizona ($167 million).

Completing the makeover, closer Robert Suarez has converted all eight of his save chances while taking over the ninth inning from Hader, whose five-year, $95 million free agent deal with Houston was the largest for a closer. Suarez signed a five-year, $46 million contract last season that includes an opt-out after 2025.

Hader made it clear to the Padres that he preferred only one-inning stints, and he pitched more than one inning only once in his 1 1/2 seasons with them. Suarez had two four-out saves and one five-out save in his first 10 appearances this season.

“He’s embraced his role, and … wow,” Tatis said of Suarez. “He’s blowing doors to everybody. Hitters know his fastball is coming and they still can’t hit it.”

Suarez has thrown his 98 mph fastball 87 percent of the time this season, according to FanGraphs.

Advertisement

Cease, who was second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2022, is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his first five starts this season after winning 3-1 at Colorado on Monday, when he gave up one and struck out eight. He has given up 11 hits in 29 2/3 innings, is averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings and leads major league qualifiers in opponents’ batting average (.113).

King was roughed up in a 7-4 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, dropping to 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA, but took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous start at Milwaukee. He is building on a 2.33 ERA he had in nine nine starts with the Yankees after being moved into the rotation in mid-August.

Tatis had one word to describe the two newcomers.

Advertisement

“Nasty,” he said.

Musgrove, Cease and King were among the top 15 in the NL in innings pitched entering Tuesday, an indication of what they have meant to the team.

“If were are going to go out and grab quality innings and be able to help the team compete, let’s start there,” San Diego manager Mike Shildt said. “That’s a big portion of those guys’ responsibilities that take the ball at the beginning of the game. Both of those guys have done that very, very well.

“They do the things that allow you to get deep in games. They hold runners. They control counts. They have multiple pitches they can throw multiple times for strikes. It’s also clearly helpful to our bullpen to keep those guys fresh as well.”



Source link

Continue Reading

San Diego, CA

FEMA releases snapshot of San Diego flood assistance

Published

on

FEMA releases snapshot of San Diego flood assistance


Three months after the January flooding and two months since the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a snapshot of the help it has provided over 60 days.

Why it matters

FEMA stopped taking applications for assistance on Friday, April 19. Agency spokesman Gerard Hammink said to date, FEMA has received more than 7,000 applications for help after the January 22 floods.

So far this year, there have been 27 federal disasters declared across the country.

“It’s really hard to compare disaster to disaster. But if you just look at that number (for San Diego) … you can just really see the need that was out there,” Hammink said.  

Advertisement

Hammink noted most of the grant money has already been distributed to the victims.

By the numbers

Currently, more than 2,898 households have been approved for FEMA grants, and over $22 million in federal assistance approved.

$18.3 million of that was in housing grants covering home repairs and rental assistance.

“There are about $9 million in grants for those essential critical home repairs and then there’s another about $9 million in temporary rental assistance,” Hammink said.

Almost $3.9 million was also approved for other essential needs, including medical expenses and lost personal possessions. For example, Hammink said, “If someone needed their car to get to work, just to function, we have done grants to help them replace that.”

Advertisement

Closer look

FEMA is still working through applications and the approval process.

Hammick said home inspection requests have risen in the last couple of days, “That’s a good thing, because that means that more home inspections were ordered as more applications were processed,” Hammick said.

He noted grants are not approved until home inspections are done to verify damage.

Looking ahead

While grant applications are closed, homeowners and renters can also apply for Small Business Administration loans. Unlike grants, however, these loans need to be paid back in 30 years.

To help streamline the application process, both FEMA disaster recovery centers in Mountain View and Spring Valley have been converted to SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending