The San Diego Padres finished strong in the second half of this past season, going 42-32. The encouraging part is that the Padres are young, but fans are asking how long is the organization going to rebuild and sit at the bottom of the major leagues in payroll?
During this offseason and the winter meetings in December the Friars were relatively inactive in the free agent market. They have signed veteran pitcher Jason Marquis, who was their own free agent. Here’s a look at three potential moves the Padres can make to be compete in 2013.
3. Move the fences at Petco.
The organization has planned to move the fences at Petco field in ten feet. With the offense the Padres put up in the second half of last season; this should help the hitters to be more productive and more confident at the plate. While this move may impact the pitching staff with more offense from the opponents, it is believed that this will be the spark that the Padres have needed.
2. Trade for number one starting pitcher.
Free agent Kyle Lohse is still available or the Padres could decide to work a trade with the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello. The Tigers have an abundance of pitching and Porcello would be perfect for the Padres because he is under team control till 2015. Porcello is 23 years old and would fit in with the youthful pitching staff and young talent on the Padre roster.
1. Sign a veteran hitter
There are veterans like Bobby Abreu, Michael Bourne, and Adam Laroche who are still available. If the Padres were to sign either of these players they would get added depth to their lineup and create stability to support Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, and Yonder Alonso. Abreu could possibly be a mentor to players such as Cameron Maybin and Nick Hundley as well as teach the rest of the roster plate discipline which is what helped the Angels a few years ago to get to the playoffs.
Expectations for this coming season do not include the Padres winning the World Series or for that matter, even going to the playoffs. If they add another starting pitcher and a veteran bat, the Friars could certainly compete for the first or second wild card spot in the National League.
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals have shown the past few years that it is not always about paying top dollar for high-priced players, but about finding the right chemistry of talent and investment in veteran leadership.
Robert W. Ekberg is a staff writer for SportsOutWest and Los Angeles Area-based sports journalist. Follow him on twitter @Robek24