This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s 2017-18 Offseason In Review series. Click here to read the other completed reviews from around the league.
The early-offseason buzz on the Padres’ possible interest in adding an impact player came to fruition when Eric Hosmer inked the biggest contract in franchise history. They had also reportedly shown some interest in top free agent pitchers Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. While the addition of Hosmer isn’t expected to turn the Padres into an immediate contender — nor would’ve the signing of Arrieta or Cobb, for that matter — it’s another step towards building the organization’s next playoff-caliber roster.
Major League Signings
- Eric Hosmer, 1B: Eight years, $144MM (opt-out clause after 2022)
- Jordan Lyles, RHP: One year, $1MM (includes a $3.5MM club option in 2019 with a $250K buyout)
- Craig Stammen, RHP: Two years, $4.5MM
- Kazuhisa Makita, RHP: Two years, $3.8MM ($500K posting fee)
- Colten Brewer, RHP: Contract details unknown
- Total spend: $153.8MM
Trades and Claims
- Acquired 3B Chase Headley and SP Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees in exchange for OF Jabari Blash.
- Acquired SS Freddy Galvis from the Phillies in exchange for RHP Enyel De Los Santos.
- Traded INF Yangervis Solarte to the Blue Jays for OF Edward Olivares and RHP Jared Carkuff.
- Traded INF Ryan Schimpf to the Rays for INF Deion Tansel.
- Brad Hand, LHP: Three years, $19.75MM (includes a $10MM club option in 2021 with a $1MM buyout)
Notable Minor League Signings
- Erick Aybar, Jhoulys Chacin, Solarte, Schimpf, Travis Wood
Padres 25-Man Roster & Minor League Depth Chart; Padres Payroll Overview
The Padres still believe that Wil Myers can take a step forward and live up to the $83MM contract he signed last offseason. And it’s not a stretch, either. He’s averaged 29 homers and 24 stolen bases over the past two seasons and he’s only 27 years old. But he wasn’t comfortable in the role of clubhouse leader, which is partly why the team decided to pursue Hosmer, who filled that role on a Royals team that had a successful three-year run that included back-to-back World Series appearances and a championship.
Valuing Hosmer was a topic of ample debate as his trip onto the open market drew near. Ultimately, the Pads and Royals decided he was worthy of a significant investment despite the fact that he’s not an overwhelming offensive force for a first baseman. Age (he’s just 28) plainly played a big role along with Hosmer’s oft-lauded makeup. Nobody questions that Hosmer is a quality big leaguer, and the hefty guarantee is spread over a lengthy term, but this type of signing always represents a notable risk for a lower-budget team.
In addition to Hosmer, the team solidified the left side of its infield by trading for Galvis and Headley. Neither is likely to deliver huge output over the full course of the season, but they’re both steady veterans who will raise the overall standard and provide a benchmark for the team’s youthful assets to measure themselves again. It’s certainly possible that either player could end up on the move over the summer.
The core of the bullpen — a unit compiled smartly from some unlikely places — remains intact. Craig Stammen, a successful reclamation project in 2017, was re-signed to a two-year deal over the winter. He’ll be joined by veteran Japanese hurler Kazuhisa Makita, who also signed an affordable multi-year pact.
Most notably, though, the Padres decided to keep closer Brad Hand off of the trade block. It had long seemed he’d be moved — it was rather shocking it didn’t happen last summer — after coming out of nowhere to become one of the game’s better high-leverage relievers over the past two seasons. While the potential to plug more young talent into the system was surely tantalizing, the team smartly took advantage of an opportunity to achieve value by investing further in Hand. The extension gives the organization control through the 2021 season at what looks to be quite an appealing rate for a high-quality closer that had already reached arbitration.
Filling out the rotation remained a need even after a late-season move to extend Clayton Richard. The Headley swap was designed primarily to bring in Bryan Mitchell, who has a big arm and will be given a chance to sink or swim in the majors. Veteran Chris Young lost a spring battle to make the staff, but old friend Tyson Ross opened some eyes in camp and has continued to show well early in the season. While the loss of intriguing youngster Dinelson Lamet has put a damper on things, the impressive arrival of 2016 fourth-rounder Joey Lucchesi has created some excitement in the early going. Robbie Erlin’s return after two seasons mostly lost to injury is also worth watching. He opened with some success in the pen and has now moved into the rotation, though his first start (just this evening) did not go as hoped.
Along with Hosmer and Myers, catcher Austin Hedges and center fielder Manuel Margot are all but locked in at their respective positions for the next several seasons. The team’s future double-play combination is expected to be made up of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias. Two of the best prospects in the game, both are on the fast track to San Diego, though they’ll have to earn their way up before being anointed. A lot can happen in one season, but it’s easy to imagine that group of players in the same lineup at some point in 2019. That would leave just two future lineup spots, third base and corner outfield, unsettled.
In all likelihood, the corner outfield spot opposite Myers will likely be filled internally by one or more of Franchy Cordero, Jose Pirela and Hunter Renfroe. All three will have a chance to make their case in 2018. Cordero, who dazzled at Triple-A in 2017 with his speed-power combination, did not join the competition right away after opening the year on the DL. But with Margot hitting the shelf with an early injury, Cordero has received a chance and is off to a nice start.
While the return of Headley gives the Padres some stability at the hot corner for at least the next few months, the team’s third baseman during their next window of contention is probably not in the organization at this time. A reunion between Hosmer and Moustakas, who could reach free agency once again next offseason, is intriguing. Filling the spot in-house is a slight possibility, although it would probably take a breakout season from second baseman Carlos Asuaje to convince the team to alter their plans for where Urias and Tatis end up on the diamond. A strong performance from Galvis, who the team could look to re-sign after the season, could also shake things up.
With an abundance of talented pitching prospects who could reach the Majors sometime over the next 2-3 seasons, the Padres are in great shape to fill out their pitching staff without having to add significantly to their payroll. Left-hander Eric Lauer should join Lucchesi at some point in 2018, while the next wave should be ready to make an impact next season. In the meantime, Erlin, Bryan Mitchell and Luis Perdomo will have every opportunity to prove that they can be a part of the rotation for years to come. Lamet will be counted on to reenter the picture at some point in 2019.
Hosmer is entering a situation that should seem like very familiar territory. As a highly-touted Royals prospect, he made his MLB debut in 2011. He was surrounded by talented young players, including Danny Duffy, Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. There was a lot of hype surrounding this group, which only made it more frustrating for the fan base when the team suffered its eighth consecutive losing season. And then a ninth. That this group of players would help lead the team to 86 wins by 2013, their first post-season appearance in 19 years in 2014, and a World Series title in 2015, made it all the more special.
This Padres team is in the midst of — you guessed it — seven consecutive losing seasons. The streak is almost certain to reach eight. But they have the resources to turn things around quickly. Their farm system was ranked third in baseball by both Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law, while Baseball Prospectus ranked it first. General manager A.J. Preller has done a terrific job stockpiling young talent and still has payroll flexibility even after committing to Myers and Hosmer.
Signing Hosmer was not a pure win-now move, as he’s young enough to contribute for years to come. But it did represent a strong signal of the organization’s near-term aspirations. The organization’s first major outside acquisition since its failed gambit at producing a contender in Preller’s first year in town, Hosmer is evidently a believer. As I wrote in the Padres’ Offseason Outlook back in November, “If he’s convinced that the Padres are a team on the rise and on a road to contend by 2019, he could be willing to sign on.”
He signed on. I guess that means he thinks they can contend next season. But there’s still plenty of work to be done to fully establish a new winning core in San Diego.
How do you grade the Padres’ offseason efforts? (Link for app users.)
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Pitches Love Velocity
D. Wasted money on hosmer. Because of that myers is hurt, hurt playing of.
Should of saved it for pitching or extensions.
Should have gone cordero pirela margot renfroe platooning of
Also they should of chased Lynn and Garcia harder for 1 year deals. Both could of been flipped if they pitched well.
I really don’t understand how these offseason reviews are coming out 3 weeks into the new season when we had one of the slowest offseasons ever.
Don’t worry. They’ll be done by the allstar break.
This is a free website. If something that petty bothers you then leave. MLBTR updates this site like ten times a day, so There’s plenty of content.
I’m because teams didn’t finish their off season until well into spring training. You just said the same thing.
So if the signings were slow, that means they were late into the spring and the offseason reviews couldn’t be finished in the middle of spring training? Or the beginning of Spring training? And really what’s wrong with it off season in review in the first 30 days of the season anyway?
Bryan Mitchell wasn’t worth $13 million…. surprise.
Pitches Love Velocity
No matter how bad he is let’s not forget we traded blash for him. Idc how bad he is or taking on 13 mill this year. I would have paid 13 mill for blash to go away finally.
Why would you have paid $13m for Blash to go away? Nothing was stopping the Padres from just cutting him (like the Yankees did).
Pitches Love Velocity
Nothing was stopping them except prellers infatuation with blashs raw power potential and minor league numbers.
He should of been gone long before preller traded him.
My point is getting rid of him wasn’t a plus for the Padres with that trade because they could have simply DFA’d him. I think they were going to anyway but they just included him in the trade because the rules say the Yankees had to get something back in the trade. They couldn’t just trade MItchell and Headley for nothing.
13 mil over one season isn’t much to a team that’s going nowhere this year and likely wasn’t going to spend it anyway. It isnt that big of a loss. It was just a head scratcher from the start for me. Didn’t think Bryan Mitchell was worth it then, think even less of him now.
Well, I’m assuming he Padres took on the 13 million so they didn’t run afoul of the Commissioner’s office for having a low payroll, as four other teams have. Mitchell has a good arm but isn’t really much of a pitcher. Even if he just turned into a good reliever that’s worth 13 million over a few years.
Plus his arb salary’s which would start after next season. Don’t think it was a good move anyway you slice it. They could’ve went out and signed any number of guys this offseason for that price tag.
He’s like this year’s version of Weaver. It’s like an automatic loss every time he pitches. Though to be fair, he did alright last night.
You’re looking at the 13 mil wrong.
We’re getting 2 players for under 4 mil this year. Essentially 2 for Headley 2for Mitchell and 3 more years of controll for mitchell for yr2-3.3 mil, yr3- 3.4 mil, yr4- 3.5mil.
It’s Mitchell’s 1st year, and yes he’s no Lucchesi…. he is still developing and working on his craft. He’s young with upside. That aint worthless, its valuable.
I went with D. Mitchell was not worth taking Headley and his contract, the Galvis trade was stupid and although Hosmer has played well thus far (minus the missed catch against the Astros) they already had a good first baseman and forcing him into the outfield makes what was already somewhat of a logjam even worse. Once Myers and Margot come back Renfroe and Cordero will have nowhere to play. I understand having depth but those two need to get everyday AB’s. The saving grace was the Hand extension. If he is able to show that those two bad outings at the start of the year were flukes and anyone trusts Preller enough to make a real trade with him, Hand should net a king’s ransom at the deadline.
MYers had a good first season at 1st base and was robbed of thr gold glove. His second year, he looked awful. Its a simpld problem to fix. Myers margot coredo in the outfield
VILLian glavis hosmer and pierla in the infield
spang or asuaje to triple a and dfa szzuer
Pirela is a horrible defender at 2B (although he isn’t much better in the outfield) and where does Renfroe play in your scenario?
No sh* t
So was solarte. He is solarte 2.0
Triple a to get at bats
They are platooning him. He will never adjust unless he gets daily at bats
I don’t honestly think Jose Pirela is a guy you block real prospects for. He’s 28 his defense is bad everywhere, and while he has shown some contact skills with San Diego, he doesn’t walk and last year’s power spike looks like a huge fluke. That’s a utility guy, not someone you invest in for the future on a rebuilding club.
The only real problem with the Hosmer signing is that it moved Myers back to the outfield, where he immediately got hurt, and it means the Padres have nowhere to put a less-optimal defender who can really hit. Hosmer is a first-baseman in the wally Joyner mode – decent averages and gets on base, but not a ton of power, especially for the position. He is supposed to be a great clubhouse guy so there’s that, but Joyner didn’t age well and, because Hosmer hits everything on the ground, I don’t imagine he will either.
The Galvis trade didn’t bother me. Somebody had to play shortstop, as the team hasn’t had one in years, and Galvis’ defense is good enough that he will make enough extra plays to save some wear-and-tear on the pitching staff.
The reality of this situation, in my opinion, is that the Padres do not attract top tier players. I don’t like the Hosmer trade. I didn’t like the Myers addition. We lack good pitching. We have not been successful because we cannot afford good players. Our farm club is producing and we are on a better track; the only track we can afford.
Galvis and Pirela are productive players in our line up; Renfore is not. He may hit a long ball every once in a while ala Mark Reynolds but he is a DH on a NL team. His defense is horrendous. I’ve said this before, Jankowski and Szczur are wasted roster spots. Frenchy is in our future.
Bright spots include Tyson Ross’s resurgence. Galvis’ performance and offensive contributions. Spangenburgs improvements on offense.
Our farm club stars are not guaranteed success’s in the MLB. We have to be better.
I don’t quite agree with the Pirela assessment.. as long as he hits he should play and if anything could be nice trade bait to an AL club looking for a DH/Utility Player who hits. Many saw his hitting as a fluke last year, so repeating numbers this year will get peoples attention.
“Somebody had to play shortstop”
Why not Aybar or Escobar? Or even Rondon or Guerra? Obviously Galvis is better but unless they make the playoffs it’s not gonna matter.
I think the Padres wanted an upgrade defensively; with a lot of groundball pitchers on the roster it will actually help limit the innings a bit to have a decent defensive infield. Aybar was dreadful last season defensively., as was most of the Padres infield; I’m assuming this was also part of the calculus that went into the Hosmer signing. Besides the obvious advantage of turning more balls into play into outs, there is a real advantage to not wearing out your young pitchers because innings get extended by bad defense, as you may have noticed if watching the loss to the Dodgers last night.
Hosmer 1 homer 3 RBI’s off the charts
Johnny Superscout to the rescue!
Major League Signing: Dave Cameron.
As a die hard Padres fan.. gave them a B. I was skeptical about the Hosmer signing, but do feel his presence could help a young core. This year will be another learning year for the new players, but I think they are on track.
I gave them a C solely because of the Hand extension. Otherwise it would’ve been a D at best (likely a F).
Why yall mad that the Padres actually spent money and made moves for a change? Yall are giving them Ds and Fs nah its a b bud. They got a top notch mlb firstbaseman and showed they care for once. SHUTTTT UPPP FOR ONCEEE!!!!
Take your own advice…
The problem with the “highly rated” Padres farm system…. is that a good majority of the talent… is in the low minors still. There is no guarantee they all work out. In fact, the odds are that only a couple of them actually do pan out to be good major league players. There are WAAAAY too many holes on this roster and in the rotation to think that this team will be competitive in 2019-2020.
You can say the same for any team doing a full-scale rebuild and the Padres aren’t the ones doing the worst job of it. That would be the Cincinnati Reds.
It’s always kind of puzzled me that they have this mindset of contending in such a quick time frame. I’ve always thought they’ll need until 2020 at the least before they can start thinking about contention. And yet the owners think they can play .500 ball this year and make a wildcard push by next year. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
all in ad
Cordero and Pirela are better than Myers. Myers is always hurt and makes dumb plays repeatedly. Myers has to be traded before that huge salary kicks in. Renfroe has upside power. Manager says Pirela is team’s best hitter…he will stay.
This comment aged well. Pirela now hitting 265/300/380, no home runs, terrible defense. Yes, but let’s keep playing him.
Teams are looking to take on absurd backloaded contract on loser like Myers