Unless you're one of those cynical and/or foulweather fans who is convinced that the Padres will never change their ways, the 2014 -2015 offseason looks to be a dynamic one. A.J. Preller is already making his mark as the new GM and there have been some huge personnel changes in the organization. If all the activity we've seen thus far is any indication, we should be looking forward to a Winter full of change for our Friars on the field.
One of the big questions marks on the team is the guy who's been with the franchise longer than anyone else. Tim Stauffer was drafted by the Padres in the first round in 2003 and has since had a bit of a roller coaster career that included going back and forth in the minors, being a part of the starting rotation, moving to the bullpen, making spot starts, and of course (he's a Padre, after all) injuries. But throughout his tenure here, he's been resilient and hard-working as anyone, remained a great teammate to those who have come and gone, and kept himself open to different roles on the team.
Let's take a look at Tim Stauffer's career as a professional baseball player, spanning 11 years in the Padres organization:
Preller and co. have a lot to think about this offseason, and hopefully they can find a way to keep Stauffer on the staff. Of course, it's not only up to them, and if another team can give Stauffer an opportunity as a starter, there's a good chance he would take it. But after watching him grow as a player the last 11 years, it would be particularly painful (for me, at least) to see him in another team's uniform. And Buddy Black shares that sentiment. Via Corey Brock:
San Diego manager Bud Black isn't quite ready to close the door on Stauffer's time with the Padres.
"I've seen Tim grow up in a lot of different ways," Black said. "He showed determination through his time here. It's been great to witness him grow up, a guy who fought through shoulder surgery and become a valuable part of our most successful team in 2010 and be unselfish. A great teammate and always could be counted on to do the right thing.
"I've told Tim that I'm so happy he's healthy and that he's throwing the ball well. So we'll see what happens, but let's hope that it happens for him here."
What do you think? Is it time for Stauffer and the Padres to move on and part ways, or should they try to work out a deal to keep the 33-year-old on the team?