It's been a depressing offseason if you root for the San Diego Padres. It's that way every year for the fan base that watches an inactive team sit idly by while the rest of the contestants furiously claim the prizes available on the shelf. This offseason, much of that activity has taken place in the National League West, while the Friars have flirted with a few low-level pitchers that elicit a "meh" at best.
There are two views to take at this point, and it's impossible to tell at this point which is accurate. It's either:
1. "The best things come to those who wait."
2. "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."
It's easy to believe that the second one is the right answer. After all, it's not easy or fun to watch the Dodgers sign every free agent with one blank check after another. It's not pleasant to watch the Giants hoist another World Series trophy. At the very least, the Diamondbacks are restless after not living up to expectations and are making moves to get better.
As for the Padres, at least the team has re-signed Jason Marquis. Perhaps another shrug-inducing pitcher will follow.
Yet to focus on the (in)activity of the Padres this offseason is to miss the greater point in the team's process. The offseason is only part of the overall process, and the Padres have a vision for the year-round development of the team. That's important to remember in the flurry of trades and signings of the last month or more.
Remember it wasn't that long ago when the Pads were making waves on the transaction wire of their own, signing Carlos Quentin to a three-year extension in late July. One week later, closer Huston Street had his own two-year extension. Suddenly the Padres were keeping their own players for the near future. Not only this, but the non-trade of Chase Headley kept the team's best hitter in place indefinitely.
The reason for this? A stretch run as the season progressed that gave the Padres reason for hope. The farm system has been celebrated for some time, and those players are beginning to emerge. After a disastrous first three months of the season, including a terrible 3-12 start to the year, the Padres turned things around in midseason. The team had a winning record after July 1, including an 18-10 mark in August. The end result was a 43-33 second half record.
Given the youth on the team, the recent signings and the lack of funds/resources compared to other teams, it's understandable why the Padres are taking the patient route this offseason. There's no way of knowing how things will turn out, but at the very least, there's an optimistic view to take despite the lack of news this offseason.