Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres

Next up in our Offseason In Review series, the Padres. Click here to read our comments about the team from September 3rd.

Additions: Cliff Floyd, Henry Blanco, David Eckstein, Emil Brown, Walter Silva, Kevin Correia, Jae Kuk Ryu, Mark Prior, Chris Burke, Everth Cabrera, Mark Worrell, retained Brian Giles, full season of Cha Seung Baek

Subtractions (includes players subtracted during ’08 season): Khalil Greene, Tadahito Iguchi, Josh Bard, Paul McAnulty, Greg Maddux, Randy Wolf, Wil Ledezma, Trevor Hoffman, Shawn Estes, Justin Germano, Clay Hensley, Bryan Corey

For all the talk of the Padres slashing payroll, they kept Jake Peavy and exercised Brian Giles‘ option.  The Giles decision, made November 7th, seemed like a good idea at the time.

I mentioned in September that 2009 provides a nice window for contention for the Padres, since many salaries for current players will increase significantly in 2010.  While the Padres didn’t lose anyone terribly important, they also failed to do much to improve their lousy offense and bullpen or their middling rotation.

The offense could be a touch better, with Floyd plus more Headley and Gerut (and the subtraction of outmakers Greene and Iguchi).  Adrian Gonzalez and Giles will have to maintain their offensive production.  But this team needed a bat, and left fielders were affordable this winter.

Kevin Towers can probably cobble together a decent bullpen, but the rotation needs healthy years from Peavy and Chris Young plus multiple breakthrough/bounceback seasons from others.  Sean Smith’s CHONE projection system suggests the Padres are an 80 win team, mainly because of promising forecasts for hurlers like Kevin Correia, Josh Geer, Wade LeBlanc, Cha Seung Baek, Chad Reineke, and Josh Banks.

Bottom line: After an offseason of bargain bin veteran additions, the Padres’ hopes rest on good health and breakthroughs from young players.

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