This might be a little too early for some of you, especially when the real playoffs haven't even started yet, but since I love the trading/free agency/draft aspects of the offseason, talking about it really helps me forget about certain things that happen on certain 163rd games of certain winning seasons.
To start, let's look at the roster and point out any holes that need filling:
C: Josh Bard, Michael Barrett
Bardo had a decent offensive year, and Barrett will be a free agent. I don't think I'd feel too bad with having Bard back next year, but Barrett really scuffled as a Padre. Are we willing to take the chance that he'll return to '05-'06 form? I say yes. But all of it depends on how we approach the free-agent market for catchers which is surprisingly deep. Posada, Kendall, Lo Duca, and Ausmus could be solid options. It also wouldn't hurt to have a catcher that can throw out base-runners.
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
I think we're set here.
2B: Geoff Blum, Marcus Giles
Second base and left field are the two main positions to be looked at this year. Marcus Giles has an option for '08, and Geoff Blum did pretty good for us down the stretch. However, I will not feel comfortable at all with him starting on Opening Day. Do we pick up Miles' option? Or do we pursue another second baseman? As much as I love having the Giles brothers together, I wouldn't cry too much if we let Giles go. He's on a slow decline right now and I don't see him coming out of it.
In free agency, guys like Tadahito Iguchi, Luis Castillo, Marlon Anderson, and Mark Loretta make up for some interesting options. MLB4U predicts that the Padres will sign both Iguchi and Anderson, and also re-sign Giles. This scenario makes no sense. If I'm KT, I go out and sign Iguchi or Loretta, and let Giles go. He had his audition, and he dropped the ball. Iguchi did well for the Phillies after being traded and the Padres have had interest in him in the past. I think he's my favorite choice.
3B: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Morgan Ensberg
Isn't it nice to finally feel confident about the third base position in the offseason? We haven't had that in a while. Kouz will be our third baseman next year. As for Ensberg, he seems pretty happy to be a Padre and is willing to be a bench player next year I believe. He didn't do a whole lot for us beyond his 2-homer game, but I'd be fine with keeping him around.
SS: Khalil Greene
No problems here.
LF: Milton Bradley, Scott Hairston, Terrmel Sledge
This position will mostly depend on whether or not Bradley will be able to play on Opening Day. From what I've heard, he won't. It'll also depend on how much KT wants to gamble on an injury-prone/short-tempered/offensive beast like Milton. Is he worth it? Only time will tell. Hairston obviously was a key player after coming over here, so I expect him to stick around and become the greatest 4th outfielder the game has ever seen. Also, the Sledge experiment didn't work out. I say we send him down to AAA and let some real back-up outfielders come in.
Potential free-agent left-fielders include: Luis Gonzalez, Shannon Stewart, Brad Wilkerson, Moises Alou (has option), Geoff Jenkins (has option), and Adum Dunn (has option as well). Not a great list. Dunn won't help our strikeout problem, Wilkerson had a bad year, Gonzalez is getting old, and so is Alou. Makes you kinda want us to keep Bradley around.
CF: Mike Cameron, Brady Clark
As many know, Cameron will be a free agent. Also entering free agency as a CF will be the likes of Aaron Rowand, Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, and Kenny Lofton. Now, you've got a problem here. You could try to re-sign Cameron and get back a great glove and 20-20 potential, or you could point out his high strikeout numbers and decide to look elsewhere. Jones will NOT accept a 1-year deal according to Borass, so he's out unless the Padres want to spend big time money to get him. Rowand to me seems like a solid guy at CF or even LF if it comes down to it. Hunter might be out of the Padres' price range unless he takes an SD discount. This will be one of the more interesting positions to watch this off-season. Stay tuned!
RF: Brian Giles
The Naked Giles will return
- Jake Peavy
- Chris Young
- Greg Maddux (optioned picked up)
- Bret Tomko?
- Jack Cassel?
Tony Armas (30) - $5MM mutual option for '08
Kris Benson (33) - $7.5MM club option for '08
Paul Byrd (37) - $8MM club option for '08
Shawn Chacon (30)
Roger Clemens (46)
Matt Clement (33)
Bartolo Colon (35)
Josh Fogg (31)
Casey Fossum (30)
Freddy Garcia (32)
Tom Glavine (42) - $9MM player option for '08
Livan Hernandez (33)*
Jason Jennings (29)
Joe Kennedy (29)
Byung-Hyun Kim (29)
Brian Lawrence (32)
Jon Lieber (38)
Kyle Lohse (29)
Rodrigo Lopez (32)
Eric Milton (32)
Tomo Ohka (32)
Russ Ortiz (34)
Odalis Perez (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Andy Pettitte (36) - $16MM player option for '08
Joel Pineiro (29)
Kenny Rogers (43)
Curt Schilling (41)
Carlos Silva (29)
Julian Tavarez (35) - $3.85MM club option for '08
John Thomson (34)
Brett Tomko (35) - $4.5MM mutual option for '08
Steve Trachsel (37) - $4.75MM club option for '08
Koji Uehara (33)
Jeff Weaver (31)
Kip Wells (31)
Randy Wolf (31) - $9MM club option for '08
Jamey Wright (34)
Jaret Wright (32)
The only ones I'd give a contract to are Livan Hernandez (Padre killer), Jason Jennings, Freddy Garcia, Randy Wolf, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia. Bu the pitcher market will be expensive again, so I'm not sure how the Padres would approach it. If I'm KT, I try to get Livan Hernandez and then re-sign Tomko.
Not much to say here. I know some of you want Hoffman's head on a stick but he'll likely return next year. Brocail will be a free agent, but the Padres can easily re-sign him. Other than that, most of the guys will be back. Meredith, Hampson, Thatcher, Cameron, Bell, etc. will make for a great bullpen next year. But that shouldn't stop Towers from working his bullpen magic and getting more guys for nothing.
I hope I'm not stepping on the toes of GLB's brass by posting this, cause maybe you guys were going to do something similar. I just wanted to occupy myself to get my mind off of Monday night. This definitely helped.
So feel free to discuss the offseason and such. As an added bonus, here are some things I'd like to see the Padres improve for next year:
- LESS STOLEN BASES AGAINST US
- Less strikeouts from the offense.
- More speed
- Better end of the rotation
- Get another big bat
- An in-depth list of potential free agents as well as predictions for where they'll go
- Another list of rumors (better than first link)
- A simpler look at free agents listed by position