How about those first-place Padres? At 6-2, San Diego sits atop the NL West. Of course, 95% of the season remains. What if the Padres can somehow remain in contention this summer? Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to new CEO Jeff Moorad about it:
Whether the Padres can contend for a playoff berth remains to be seen. If they do, the club has the financial flexibility, Moorad said, to increase its payroll should General Manager Kevin Towers find a suitable player. The CEO added that the club also is comfortable with paying the $11 million salary due this year to ace Jake Peavy, who, according to people close to him, expects the Padres to try to trade him if the team falls out of contention. Peavy's salary is to rise to $15 million in 2010, the first year of the three-year, $52 million extension brokered in December 2007.
It's a shame that the Padres didn't bring in any big names during the offseason, as 2009 represents a nice window of opportunity. Keeping the positive vibe going, you may recall that the CHONE projection system predicted 80 wins for the Padres this year. The team is already two wins ahead of that pace.