It seems like a distant memory, the San Diego Padres won back to back National League West division titles in 2005-06. Now one mainstay on this team, Pitcher Jake Peavy, was dealt away in 2009 and we have to believe at some point 1B Adrian Gonzales will be the next victim of new ownership and a new philosophy. This feels like a team about to go through a transition. A rebuilding process, as the front office looks for a core group of players to rebuild around.
The first big question here is, will Gonzales finish the year in a Padres uniform? At the moment he is a very affordable player. He will make just 4.75 million this year, and 5.5 million in 2011, but he is due a monster raise. In every major power category Gonzales is a top ten player in baseball. It is going to cost a team nine figures to get his name on a contract. The Padres have been hinting that they cannot afford it, and it may be time to deal him while they still can.
The next question is how strong is the rotation without Peavy? Well, the answer is not very strong at all. They finished 24th in ERA last year and that was with 13 Peavy starts. The oft-injured Chris Young step n as the ace, while free agent Jon Garland will step in a veteran innings eater. However there are big questions about four of their five starters, and that is not a good thing.
They scored just 638 runs last year, which was only two more than the Pittsburgh Pirates. That is not good especially if they feel the need to trade Gonzales. They play in a huge park, and do not hit a lot of home runs. They are developing some heavy hitters in the minor league system, but minus any significant contribution by them, this might be the worst offensive baseball team.