After a splashy — and ultimately unsuccessful — offseason in 2014-2015, A.J. Preller’s lack of big moves this offseason has been puzzling, FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron writes. The Padres did make what Cameron believes was an excellent trade to send Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox, and they’ve also made a number of smaller moves to send Joaquin Benoit, Yonder Alonso, Marc Rzepczynski and Jedd Gyorko elsewhere while adding Drew Pomeranz, Jon Jay and Christian Bethancourt via trades and Alexei Ramirez, Fernando Rodney and Carlos Villanueva via the free agent market. They have, however, kept two of their most valuable trade assets in Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, even though teams paid heavily for pitching in the free agent market this offseason and the Padres don’t project to contend in 2016. That they haven’t yet dealt Cashner is especially vexing, since he’s eligible for free agency next winter and since his new team won’t be able to extend him a qualifying offer if the Padres wait until after the start of the season to deal him. Here’s more from San Diego.
- Rymer Liriano was once a highly regarded prospect in the Padres’ system, but the team’s recent decision to designate him for assignment is, in some ways, unsurprising, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. Liriano is merely the latest in a long line of pre-Preller prospects to depart from the organization, a line that also includes Joe Ross, Trea Turner, Max Fried, Matt Wisler, and many others. Also, the Padres’ string of outfield acquisitions before the 2015 season buried Liriano on their depth chart, and Liriano, though he’s generally hit well in the minors, has had problems with strikeouts. Finally, the team has a number of young outfielders it seemingly likes better, including Hunter Renfroe, Alex Dickerson and Rule 5 newcomer Jabari Blash.
- The Padres are currently loaded with top 2016 draft picks, Dennis Lin of the Union-Tribune writes. They already had the eighth overall pick, and they’ll also get compensatory picks for the departures of Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy, giving them three of the first 27 selections. They also have a selection (No. 71 overall) in Comp Round B, which means they’ll have made six picks by the time they’ve named their third-rounder at No. 85 overall. All those picks should help them restock after the departures of a number of top prospects last winter.