After a slow start to the offseason, rookie general manager A.J. Preller has finally kicked things into gear. In just a few days, the list of Padres he's sent packing is staggering. Two catchers, six pitchers, a first baseman, and a shortstop have been scattered between the Dodgers, Nationals, Rays, and A's. In return, he's picked up three catchers, a pair of corner outfielders, three pitchers, and an international signing slot. Those pickups also have a pair of Gold Gloves (meaningless), three All-Star appearances (also meaningless), and one Rookie of the Year award (okay, that one is pretty cool). So what does it all mean?
Well, while Preller still has two months of wheeling and dealing before spring training, right now there's some pretty obvious problems. The Friars now have a lot of outfielders. Even assuming that Carlos Quentin is released (or someone is actually desperate enough to send Preller a bucket of balls for him), you've got at least five outfielders, three of whom are stuck in the corners. Then you've got three catchers, and carrying three catchers is crazy talk. The 2014 Padres did that, and look how they turned out.
So what does Preller need now? A first baseman. After two years of injuries and lousy hitting, any shine Yonder Alonso had is gone, and Tommy Medica hasn't shown anything better (well, except for some tantalizing glimpses of his chest). Maybe one of these new power hitters can give it a go. Seth Smith or Derek Norris seem like prime candidates. And it's not that hard, right, Ron Washington?
There's also the matter of third base, but things are less dire there. Yangervis Solarte did a yeoman's job at the hot corner last season, and Jedd Gyorko and Cory Spangenberg could both feasibly handle the position. If Preller's just got one move left, first base seems to be the spot to focus.
But what do I know? Our new general manager has shown himself to be completely unpredictable this week, and the rest of us look like we're just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. There are two months left until spring training, and it looks like they're going to be incredibly entertaining.