This should be a transition year for the Padres, who have the wrong personnel for their park, are a mix of pretty old and pretty young guys, and are nowhere near the Diamondbacks and Dodgers at this point. The trick—and I have no doubt that Kevin Towers knows this—is to not worry so much about an individual season, and keep the focus on the years in which you can win. It’s no crime to not compete for a season, and the Padres will still be respectable in a down year.
Not much to argue with there, though, I personally believe the Padres will at least “compete,” though likely fall short.
Get extra draft picks: This is done by offering salary arbitration to a free agent who played for your club the previous season. If the player declines and signs with another team, the original club gets one or two high-end picks in the next June amateur draft. Under Alderson, the Padres have obtained 12 extra picks, including seven in 2007 and another three for the upcoming June draft. From 2000-2005, they had two extra picks. “The farm system has improved,” Alderson said. “That’s partly because of more draft picks. But it’s also partly more effective use of draft picks.”
The club’s focus on acquiring additional draft picks really has been a boon to the farm system which had previously been nothing short of terrible. Now, the Padres have guys like Chase Headley, Matt Antonelli and others on their way to the big leagues. Sandy Alderson, the most important signing under John Moores, is the biggest reason that I am perpetually optimistic about the San Diego Padres. Krasovic’s article details some of the reasons why. Krasovic has also written a nice piece on Paul DePodesta.
The most extreme pitcher’s park in the major leagues can make Marisa Miller look like a Crystal Meth addict. It can make Rosie O’Donnell look like the “after” shot on “Extreme Makeover.”
Yes, it’s that extreme.
Kevin’s focus is primarily on the park effects of PetCo Park, but I think we’re all due for a reminder of just how extreme those effects are. Thanks to Kevin for not letting us get lazy in our analysis of the Padres.