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San Diego Padres 2016 offseason review

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General manager A.J. Preller and new manager Andy Green will have quite a different Padres team in 2016.
General manager A.J. Preller and new manager Andy Green will have quite a different Padres team in 2016.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This season wasn't nearly as active as last year for the Padres, but general manager A.J. Preller was still busy making moves heading into 2016, and ones seemingly more with a long-term look ahead rather than immediate gain.

Snapshot

2015 record: 74-88, fourth place NL West

2016 Padres games in LA: Apr. 29-May 1, July 7-10, September 2-4
2016 Dodgers games in SD: April 4-6, May 20-22, Sept. 27-29

More info: Gaslamp Ball

Beat writers to follow: @followthepadres@sdutdennislin@padrescentral@berniewilson

Free agents

The Padres received two supplemental picks in between the first and second rounds of the 2016 draft for the loss of Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton.

Trades/waivers

Nov. 11: Traded pitcher Ronald Herrera to the Yankees for infielder Jose Pirela.

Nov. 12: Traded relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit to Seattle in exchange for pitcher Enyel De Los Santos and shortstop Nelson Ward.

Nov. 13: Traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox in exchange for infielders Carlos Asuaje and Javier Guerra, pitcher Logan Allen and outfielder Manuel Margot.

Nov. 20: San Diego claimed catcher Josmil Pinto off waivers from the Twins.

Dec. 2: Acquired pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres and outfielder Jabari Blash from Oakland in exchange for first baseman Yonder Alonso and pitcher Mark Rzepczynski.

Dec. 8: Traded second baseman Jedd Gyorko and $7.5 million to the Cardinals for outfielder Jon Jay.

Dec. 10: Acquired catcher Christian Bethancourt from Atlanta for pitcher Casey Kelly and catcher Ricardo Rodriguez.

Dec. 10: San Diego acquired right-handed pitcher and Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo from the Rockies for future considerations.

Dec. 10: Selected pitcher Josh Martin from the Indians in the Rule 5 draft.

Dec. 10: Selected pitcher Blake Smith from the White Sox in the Rule 5 draft.

Dec. 23: Milwaukee claimed catcher Josmil Pinto off waivers from the Padres.

Jan. 28: San Diego traded outfielder Rymer Liriano to the Brewers for left-handed pitcher Terry Seidenberger.

Feb. 4: Sent swing man Odrisamer Despaigner to the Orioles in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jean Cosme.

Preller was still a busy man in his second offseason, with nine trades this offseason. The big one was trading closer Kimbrel for an attractive package of four players, including two players ranked in the top 56 prospects by Baseball America (Guerra 52nd, Margot 56th).

Notable NRIs

Old friend Skip Schumaker will fight for a utility role after two years in Cincinnati.

New staff

The Dodgers aren't the only team in the division with a new coaching staff. San Diego has a new manager in Andy Green, and is surrounded by several new faces on the staff. Replacing new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as San Diego's bench coach is Mark McGwire, who was hitting coach in Los Angeles the last three years.

Rule 5 mania

The Padres enter spring training with a whopping four Rule 5 draft picks, who must remain on the active roster or be offered back to their old team. Included among them is old friend Blake Smith, who converted from hitting to pitching in 2013.

San Diego selected Smith from the White Sox. He was drafted in the second round in 2009 by the Dodgers and Logan White, who is now the pro scouting director and special advisor to the GM in San Diego.

The Rule 5 pick with the best chances to stick with the Padres are probably outfielder Jabari Blash and pitcher Luis Perdomo.

The competition to join right fielder and old friend Matt Kemp in the outfield is robust, with newcomer Jon Jay competing with the rejuvenated Melvin Upton Jr. in center field. Blash and rookies Alex Dickerson and Travis Jankowski will compete for playing time as well.

Hedging their bets

San Diego relied on 22-year-old top prospect Austin Hedges for a stretch behind the plate in 2015, and he struggled in his first stint in the major leagues, hitting just .168/.215/.243 in 56 games. Though known more for his defense, that's a tough offensive burden to carry, and during the winter the Padres acquired a defensively-minded catcher to potentially pair with starter Derek Norris in 2016.

Christian Bethancourt was acquired via trade from the Braves, is out of options, and could push Hedges to Triple-A for some more seasoning this season.

"I think what this move does is allow us to have that conversation," Preller said in December, per Corey Brock of MLB.com.

Flannery unloads

Longtime Padres player and coach Tim Flannery seemed fed up with San Diego in a tweet he since deleted.

After he deleted his rant, Flannery had a funny retort. Want some cheese with that whine?

Outlook

The Padres will find themselves behind the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks in the NL West. Look for them to build more for the long term, trying to unload James Shields' contract and/or free-agent-to-be Andrew Cashner at some point in 2016.