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Padres offseason: 5 most pivotal players

Denis Poroy

Well, it's tradin' season and that means it's time to take inventory. Not just time for general managers to do that, but also time for us baseball-starved fans to, just for lack of any actual games to pay attention to.

Guys on a baseball roster generally fall into one of the five following categories:

  • Must Keep -- this player should not be discussed in any trade scenario.
  • Should Keep -- this player should only be discussed at the highest premium.
  • Neutral -- this player is valuable to your team as-is but could also bring a nice return.
  • Should Trade -- your team should trade this player while there's still value.
  • Must Get Rid Of -- Do whatever it takes.

Being tasked to find one Padre that best represents each category was quite a chore for me because (A.) I'm notoriously indecisive, and (B.) I love them all and don't want to think about losing them *sniffle*. But I'll give it a shot. These are just my personal thoughts; I speak for no one else and look forward to reading your respectfully differing opinions in the comments. Your not-so-respectfully differing opinions, too. Those are always fun.

  • Must Keep -- Oh, Alexi Amarista most definitely. "But, he looks lost in center... his numbers..." LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU. It took me five minutes to start this sentence because I got lost just thinking about his eyes. I hate it when people say I have a "man crush" on him. That just isn't true. It makes it sound like I want to drink beer and go fishing with him. Far from it; I want to drink red wine and put parts of myself inside parts of him watch a movie or something with him. But crushes aside, I'd say Andrew Cashner fits this category best seeing as how he's a genuine ace in the making.
  • Should Keep -- I want to say "Um, just about everybody" but I'll go with the catching tandem of Nick Hundley and Yasmani Grandal. Grandal's value is at an all-time low, as his 2013 was wrecked by suspension and injury.
  • Neutral -- Chase Headley could fit into any one of these categories depending on who you ask and when you ask them. I'm sick of hearing about the whole thing and was leaning toward "Should Trade" but the Josh Johnson signing got me all optimistic about 2014. Let's see how it goes and worry about 2015 in 2015. Or maybe in July if the whole season goes up in flames.
  • Should Trade -- A young pitcher or two and some prospects. Lemme see dat lefty bat.
  • Must Get Rid Of -- Cody Decker. Send him to Detroit for whatever, just so he can play for Brad Ausmus.

Not to sound like a phone commercial, but who's in your five?

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