Every year the Royals Review site lead by Max Rieper runs an amazing simulation with 30 fans representing 30 GMs in a three day madhouse of trades and signings known as the offseason simulator. I've had the pleasure of representing the Padres for every year its been in operation and I was back at it to help the Padres get over the hump.
If you want to see what happened throughout the league the link is here - and if you want to see all the moves everyone made here they are
So what are the rules?
- We rewind to the end of the regular season. The assumption is your GM has resigned and been replaced. The new GM is free to set their own organizational philosophy. (This meant that any moves that had been made prior to Sunday were null and void)
- We’re not concerned with the 40-man roster.
- Players with no-trade clauses cannot be traded (this includes players with 10-5 rights). Players with limited no-trade clauses can be traded.
- Minor leaguers can be traded, but must be specified. No Players to be Named Later. Cash may be dealt, but the amount must be specified.
- You are free to frontload or backload contracts, although player preferences are for contracts not to be backloaded. Anything ridiculous will not be accepted. You can offer player, club, mutual, and vesting options.
- Top offer will typically be taken, although there may be exceptions if a player has a preference on where he wants to play (big market over small market; older vet may want to play for a "winner.")
- I am not going to negotiate long-term deals for players that are not free agents.
So what did I do and how did I do it? Let's find out
- Padres buy out Wil Myers' option
- Jurickson Profar, Nick Martinez and Robert Suarez opt out
- Padres sign RP Robert Suarez to a 5 year $42 million contract & SP/RP Nick Martinez to a 3 year $21 million deal
- Padres decline arbitration on Austin Adams and Jorge Alfaro, kept everyone else
I don't think any of this is particularly surprising given the situation. It sucks I had to let go of Alfaro, but that seems the most likely course of action given the circumstances and Adams was no surprise. Profar ended up moving to the Braves at 2years $20m which was too rich for my blood anyway. I offered Suarez what he got in real life and all was good, but Martinez I actually got for less than in real life. Still I kept the two people who meant the most to the pitching staff and can only build from there.
- Padres announce Fernando Tatis Jr. is shifting to RF and Juan Soto moves to LF
- Padres trade INF Eguy Rosario to the Brewers for OF Tyrone Taylor
- Padres trade Ps Reiss Knehr & Ryan Weathers to the Diamondbacks for CF Ketel Marte
- Padres trade CF Trent Grisham to the Marlins for RHP Sixto Sanchez & 2B/SS Khalil Watson
Going forward this was one of only two big positional issues I had to solve. The Padres had to get this part figured out and in a hurry. First was sorting out the obvious to me and since in the sim Tatis doesn't get a say, I made it easy. Soto moves back to his original position and Tatis can use his cannon in RF. From there I needed to get a better 4th outfielder and I needed to solve centerfield. For the former, I have been a fan of Taylor for a long time and I haven't been a fan of Rosario so while its pricey the Padres get a true 4th OF who can actually play CF and spell everyone. Azocar is a better fifth outfielder and know becomes even better in his role. From there it was about sorting out centerfield; Grisham is amazing defensively but he's a massive offensive liability except in very short bursts. Granted one of those bursts was perfectly timed for the first two playoff rounds but he came back to earth in a big way against the Phillies. In exchange I received a pitcher with a ton of talent still in Sanchez and an intriguing middle infielder who has the ability to play either position. Then I went and got a guy who gives me somewhat less defensively but alot more offensively in Marte. Equally as important he's a switch hitter and can give me good speed and base stealing at the bottom of the order. I'm not asking him to be an amazing defensive guy but I'll trade some defense for more offense. Most importantly the price was pretty low when you consider what a bad year Marte had.
- Padres send Ps Charlis Aquino, Daniel Camarena & Matt Waldron to the Nationals for 1B/DH Luke Voit & INF Ildemaro Vargas
- Padres sign 1B Josh Bell to a 3 year $39 million deal
- Padres trade LHP Ray Kerr to the Mets for OF/1B Dominic Smith
This was the only other issue to solve and ironically it ended up getting solved in triplicate. Initially I wanted to get Jose Abreu but right out of the gate the price was around $17m/year. In the end he got 4 years $90m and those were resources I was husbanding for something else. I'm a big fan of Voit who I think was better than his short numbers with the Padres and who got a raw deal because of Eric bleeping Hosmer. Plus after leaving at the trade deadline he was still among the Padre leaders in home runs. As such I brought him back for three pitchers that weren't long term fits and added the first of a few utility options. Prior to that I had brought in Dominic Smith who has two major advantages; he's a left handed hitter and he can also play LF. He could start but more importantly he gives me a good left handed bench piece at a time when the Padres had none almost all year. And then I received the email about the final offer on Josh Bell - I had originally offered him 2 years $20m but the prices jumped from there and I went to focus on other trades. In the end I gave a slight increase and signed him at 3 years $39m. I do now have an overabundance of options at 1B and while none are truly amazing defensively there's enough options to mix and match and ALL can hit.
- Padres sign Isiah Kiner Falefa to a 2 year $8 million deal
- Padres trade P Nick Burdi and INF Connor Holli to Oakland for INFs Brad Miller, Scott Kingery & P Luis Medina
I had already acquired Ildemaro Vargas, Dominic Smith and Tyrone Taylor as options for the bench but I figured you could never have enough depth everywhere. And so I kept going. IKF was surprisingly released early (I didn't know what the Yankees were cooking at the time) and thought he'd be a great buy low candidate. As such 2 years $8m gives me a guaranteed defensive option at SS who could learn to play other positions. The second trade was a pure buy; I bought $12m of additional utility options strictly to acquire a wildcard arm I've liked for a long time in Luis Medina. As far as I'm concerned I have four players who can compete for 1-2 spots and that's the best possible scenario.
PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING
Padres sign Kodai Senga to a 5 year, $100 million deal
Padres sign Pierce Johnson to a 3 year, $21 million deal
Padres sign Shintaro Fujinami to a 3 year, $21 million deal with an opt out after the second year
Padres sign Jose Quintana to a 2 year, $16 million deal
Padres trade LHP Blake Snell to the Angels for LHP Ky Parris
Cubs trade RHP Clarke Schmidt to Padres for RHPs Garrett Hawkins and Jackson Wolf
This was priority 1, it had to be addressed and I had to get more pitchers who could both provide depth and provide starting options especially in a playoff situation. I would not have a Manea/Clevinger repeat. The first was the guy I know AJP is targeting along with 90% of the league. I went to the Musgrove level knowing I would have alot of pitching off the books next year and gives me two top guys to anchor it into the future. From there I added depth in Schmidt (talented but with injury issues) and Quintana who is a steady vet. Then there was the Snell trade; I don't think this is something AJP would or should do, and if I had to do it over I wouldn't make this trade. While Snell is very erratic and you don't know if/when you'll get the best of him, he's still a good #3 in this rotation and provided some variation as a lefty. Parris is an excellent long term Blake replacement but that doesn't mean it's a good move now. In fact it is what lead to the Quintana move as I panicked with my starting rotation. Even with the Snell trade I brought back Martinez and brought in a great Japanese arm and an steady vet. There's plenty of options from there.
Finally I brought back Pierce Johnson and added Shintaro Fujinami on reasonably priced deals to strengthen the pen. I'm a big PJ can and he has done marvelously since he was brought in from Korea, if he keeps it up he remains one of my best options in the pen. Fujinami has wildcard potential as a starter or reliever but he's a very big arm with two great pitches and a triple digit fastball. If he can put it together I've got an amazing arm for at least one year.
MINOR LEAGUE DEALS
OFs Travis Jankowski & Stephen Piscotty
INFs Yairo Munoz & Cesar Hernandez
C: Austin Romine
SP: Ryan Borucki
RP: Austin Adams
Fun Stories from Negotiations
- Please take note this is an insane sim where money gets thrown around like crazy so prices are always insanely high.
- Never checked in on Judge or Nimmo - I just knew the deals would be insane. And as for the Shortstop insanity, imagine not having two awesome potential options on your roster. I can't.
- What took up a lot of initial time was Jacob DeGrom. Right out of the gate I offered him 2 years $100m with a player opt-out but other teams were matching it. I tried jumping to 3 years $110m with the player opt out the first year and a mutual option for the second. It was a small thing but he got $110m guaranteed versus mine.
- Around the same time I was inquiring into Carlos Rondon (by the time I was in the negotiations had 6/160 on the table and I was way behind the 8 ball) and also inquired about short term deals with both Manea (who had 1 year $11m on the table - too much) and Verlander (who went back to the astros for 4 years $117m - waaay too much)
- Once I had IKF and Vargas in hand I never bothered really pursuing Profar and both corner spots were taken anyway. Plus I eventually did learn why the Yankees dropped IKF; Judge and Turner.
- Spoke with the Rockies about 1B CJ Cron but again couldn't find a good fit.
- I did take inquiries on Kim from a number of teams. I did reach out to the Marlins for pitching centered around Kim but couldn't find a good match and in the end pivoted to Grisham.
- At the very end I tried to negotiate a trade for Ohtani but in the end the price was just too high with it requiring 3 of my last top prospects and Cronenworth to start.
- The final sim trade was Miami sending Victor Victor Mesa to the Padres for Henry Henry in a name trade for the ages.
SO WHAT DO THE 2023 PADRES LOOK LIKE?
Payroll: $267,180,000 (3rd highest in the league)
RF: Fernando Tatis Jr.
LF: Juan Soto
3B: Manny Machado
2B: Jake Cronenworth
DH: Luke Voit
1B: Josh Bell
C: Austin Nola
SS: Ha Seong Kim
CF: Ketel Marte
C: Luis Campusano
INF: Isaiah Kiner Falefa
1B/LF: Dominic Smith
OF: Tyrone Taylor
SP: Yu Darvish
SP: Joe Musgrove
SP: Kodai Senga
SP: Jose Quintana
SP: Nick Martinez
RP: Drew Pomeranz
RP: Luis Garcia
RP: Tim Hill
RP: Adrian Morejon
RP: Shintaro Fujinami
RP: Pierce Johnson
SU: Robert Suarez
CL: Josh Hader
What i think is most important with this group is that there is depth aplenty. Even adding Morejon to the bullpen I have the following arms waiting if needed:
SPs: Clarke Schmidt, Jay Groome, Luis Medina
SP/RPs: Michel Baez, Sixto Sanchez
RPs: Kevin Kopps, Steven Wilson, Jose Castillo
In the end I threw just about every chip I had because this is the year you either make it or break it. With one final year of Darvish/Machado/Soto/Hader and a returning FTJ, I created the most expensive roster in Padres history and I think I crafted a legitimate world series contender.
What did you think?
This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball staff or SB Nation.