2011 NL West Offseason Review: San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres had a surprisingly good season last year, before fading down the stretch. They traded their best player this winter, but do they have enough left in the cupboard to contend again?

Five Questions

San Diego Padres
2010 Record: 90-72
Division Finish:
2nd Place, 2 GB
2011 at Dodger Stadium:  
Apr 29-May 1, Jul 8-10, Aug 29-31
2011 Dodgers at SD: Apr 8-10, Aug 1-3, Sep 23-25
SB Nation blog: Gaslamp Ball

1) How will the Padres score runs without Adrian Gonzalez?

Losing Gonzalez was obviously a big blow, but the offense will gain in other areas. San Diego got putrid OBP out of their leadoff (.306) and second-place hitters (.316) last season, and replacing them with Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett will help in that regard. Also, Ryan Ludwick hit just .211/.301/.330 in 59 games as a Padre, but he's better than that. The 2011 Bill James Handbook projects Ludwick to hit .266/.331/.461, which is important for an outfield that had a .678 OPS last season.

2) What if the Gonzalez trade works out as well for the Padres as the Jake Peavy deal?

At the trade deadline in 2009, the Padres traded arguably their best pitcher ever, at age 28, to the White Sox. Since the trade, Peavy has battled injuries in Chicago, and is 10-6 with a 4.11 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and 3.98 xFIP in 20 starts. The main piece in the trade for San DIego was Clayton Richard, who is 19-11 with a 3.83 ERA, 4.01 FIP, and 4.27 xFIP in 45 starts. Factor in the cost savings, and the fact that San Diego got reliever Adam Russell before sending him to Tampa Bay in the Jason Bartlett deal, with Aaron Poreda a potential bullpen piece, and San Diego seems to be well ahead in the post-trade tally. Since the Peavy trade, San Diego is 123-97, a record only bested in the NL during that time by Philadelphia, Atlanta, and San Francisco.

3) Is Aaron Harang the best 18-38 pitcher ever?

I am an unabashed fan of Harang. I wanted the Dodgers to trade for him last winter, and still think there is a good pitcher in there. His xFIP over the last three years, during which he has amassed those 18 wins and 38 losses, was 4.21. With Harang in the ballpark where flyballs go to die, he could be a steal at $4 million.

4) Didn't Brad Hawpe leave the division already?

Hawpe, who has killed the Dodgers in his career to the tune of .351/.420/.607, continued the Pat Burrell career path: fall of a cliff in his early 30s, go to Tampa Bay and not hit (take note, Andre Ethier; this could be your future). The Padres hope Hawpe has a Burrellian turn around with his return to the National League this season, as they signed him to mostly play first base.

5) Ten straight losses? Really? Really?

You couldn't have gone 2-8 or 3-7 during your massive slump from August 26 to September 5, San Diego? You helped give us a world in which the Giants are World Series champions. Bud Black should have politely declined his manager of the year award. See you in hell, Padres fans.

Offseason Moves

Padres Trades This Winter
Team Traded Acquired
Marlins Ryan Webb rhp
Edward Mujica rhp
Cameron Maybin cf
Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez 1b Casey Kelly rhp
Anthony Rizzo 1b
Reymond Fuentes of
Eric Patterson of
Mariners PTBNL Rob Johnson c
Rays Adam Russell rhp
Cesar Ramos lhp
Brandon Gomes rhp
Cole Figueroa rhp
Jason Bartlett ss
PTBNL

San Diego was quite busy on the trade front this winter, with the big deal being the unloading of their best hitter on the Red Sox for four prospects. They also dealt relievers who accounted for 152 2/3 innings last season for a starting shortstop and starting center fielder.

Padres Contracts Signed This Winter
Pos Player Type Total Contract 2011 Salary
2B Orlando Hudson FA 2 years, $11.5 million (+ option) $4,000,000
SP Aaron Harang FA 1 year, $4 million (+ option) $3,500,000
1B/OF Brad Hawpe FA 1 year, $3 million (+ option) $2,000,000
RP Chad Qualls FA 1 year, $2.55 million (+ option) $1,500,000
P Dustin Moseley FA 1 year, $900,000 $900,000
1B/3B Jorge Cantu FA 1 year, $850,000 $850,000
CL Heath Bell Arb 1 year, $7.5 million $7,500,000
OF Ryan Ludwick Arb 1 year, $6.775 million $6,775,000
SS Jason Bartlett Arb 2 years, $11 million (+ option) $4,000,000
RP Mike Adams Arb 1 year, $2.535 million $2,535,000
3B Chase Headley Arb 1 year, $2.325 million (Super Two) $2,325,000
SP Tim Stauffer Arb 1 year, $1.075 million $1,075,000
OF Chris Denorfia Arb 1 year, $800,000 $800,000
P Samuel Deduno claimed off waivers from Colorado

The Padres also signed Gregg Zaun to a minor league deal. Zaun figures to compete with Rob Johnson for the backup catcher role during the spring.

 

Padres Free Agents Lost
Pos Player New Team
SP Kevin Correia Pirates
OF Tony Gwynn Jr. Dodgers
IF Jerry Hairston Jr. Nationals
OF Scott Hairston Mets
PH/OF Matt Stairs Nationals*
SS Miguel Tejada Giants
C Yorvit Torrealba Rangers
SP Jon Garland Dodgers
SP Chris Young Mets
2B Matt Antonelli Nationals*
2B David Eckstein still out there
*Minor league deal

 

Here's my guess as to the Padres' 25-man roster, give or take a few bench players and/or relievers:

2011 Padres Under Contract
Pos Player 2011 Age* 2011 Salary
C Nick Hundley 27 team control
1B Brad Hawpe 32 $2,000,000
2B Orlando Hudson 33 $4,000,000
3B Chase Headley 27 $2,325,000
SS Jason Bartlett 31 $4,000,000
LF Ryan Ludwick 32 $6,775,000
CF Cameron Maybin 24 team control
RF Will Venable 28 team control
OF Chris Denorfia 30 $800,000
OF/1B Kyle Blanks 24 team control
IF Everth Cabrera 24 team control
1B/3B Jorge Cantu
29 $850,000
C Rob Johnson 27 team control
SP Mat Latos 23 team control
SP Clayton Richard 27 team control
SP Aaron Harang 33 $3,500,000
SP Tim Stauffer 29 $1,075,000
SP Wade LeBlanc 26 team control
CL Heath Bell 33 $7,500,000
RHP Chad Qualls 32 $1,500,000
RHP Mike Adams 32 $2,535,000
RHP Dustin Moseley 29 $900,000
LHP Joe Thatcher 29 team control
RHP Luke Gregerson 27 team control
RHP Ernesto Frieri 25 team control
Totals (13 players)
$37,760,000
*Age as of June 30, 2011

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com and Cot's Baseball Contracts.

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