SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Remember last year when Padres general manager A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days for withholding medical information after trading Drew Pomeranz? (And check out that photo. If you didn’t know that was a baseball GM...)
Anyway, Preller has spent the offseason doing... not much. He re-signed Clayton Richard, who had a pretty good year for the Padres after the Cubs let him go. He signed Jered Weaver, whose last good year was 2014 and whose fastball last year was peaking at about 84 miles per hour — and Weaver is listed second on the Padres’ starting pitcher depth chart.
Another ex-Cub, Trevor Cahill, was signed by the Cubs to be part of San Diego’s rotation. Maybe. Look at that depth chart — he’s listed sixth. That’s pretty sad.
Otherwise the Padres look pretty much the same as the team that lost 94 games last year. Wil Myers is a pretty good player. He posted 3.2 bWAR last year and was signed to a ginormous contract extension (six years, $83 million). Maybe he’ll be worth it by the time it’s over.
Hunter Renfroe, a former No. 1 pick of the Padres (13th overall in 2013, 11 picks after Kris Bryant) will take over in right field. He hit a lot of home runs in the minor leagues (77 in 1,716 at-bats) but also struck out a lot (430 times). So the Padres will get some power, but not much as far as on-base skills (they were dead last in the N.L. in OBP last year, .299 as a team).
Carter Capps, formerly of the Marlins and coming off Tommy John surgery, has a chance to be the Padres’ closer, but the recent rule change stating that extra hops before you pitch aren’t legal anymore might hurt his chances of success.
I just can’t figure out what this team is doing. San Diego is one of the smallest markets in baseball (28th TV market, only Kansas City, Milwaukee and Cincinnati are smaller), but the Padres now have the pro sports dollar in town to themselves after the departure of the Chargers. You’d think that might help them in the long run, but they need some baseball management that knows what it’s doing. I’m not convinced Preller and his staff know.
This club should lose 90+ again this year; they might be the worst team in baseball.
The Cubs and Padres will play their entire season series within a four-week span: May 29-30-31 in San Diego, June 19-20-21 at Wrigley.