Padres' Boring Offseason Is Byrnes' Burden

Some recent quotes in the local paper could lead some to believe that the Padres' sleepy offseason is due to the way General Manager Josh Byrnes chose to approach it and not how much the new ownership was willing to spend.

Anybody out there still reading the San Diego Union Tribune? Did you catch ex-North County Times columnist Jay Paris' most recent article about the Padres: Padres’ new brass definitely on hot seat? The overall tone of the article is a healthy amount of skepticism that can be summed up with: "The owners are new, but they are not showing us that they are anything special." However, that is not what I want to talk about. What I found interesting were some of the quotes about how the offseason was handled.

General Manager Josh Byrnes had the green light to improve the Padres this offseason. He kicked the tires on a few models, and when popping open the players’ hoods, the Padres’ owners didn’t balk.

...

"Josh was calling agents; he was setting parameters on deals," manager Bud Black stressed. "We were in on a couple of guys and ownership was OK with the numbers Josh was talking about.

"It takes two sides to get a deal done, but it wasn’t from any lack of commitment from ownership."

This tells me that if the offseason is a failure (as it would seem on paper, even though the season isn't played on paper), Josh Byrnes is the one who failed. Ownership was ready to allow him to spend more on this club and he chose not to. He even asked for the money to be able to upgrade the club, got it, but didn't ask for the right amount to get any of the free agents or trade targets he wanted.

I am sure that some out there will want to point to this season as the first referendum on the new ownership's commitment to the team and the fans. However, if you believe what is being said it seems that it will be more of a referendum on Josh Byrnes' effectiveness as a General Manager. The new ownership did not hire Byrnes, but they did choose to keep him. So maybe one of their big tests will be how they handle Josh Byrnes if the team doesn't produce on the field.

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