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Well, it finally happened.  The path has been made clear for Austin Hedges to begin the year as the Padres starting catcher with the trade of veteran Derek Norris.  Most would argue that Norris’ horrific year at the plate in 2016 (.186/.255/.328, 56 OPS+) all but guaranteed that Hedges would get the lion’s share of the playing time anyways, but with Norris being shipped off to the Washington Nationals, San Diego will avoid even a shred of catching controversy.

While Norris is a good buy-low/rebound candidate (he had the highest “hard contact” rate and “line drive” rate of his career last year, at 34.4% and 21.9%, respectively), he obviously doesn’t fit in the competitive window the Padres are shooting for.  Hedges doesn’t have much left to learn at Triple-A El Paso (.326/.353/.597 with a career high 21 dingers and 82 RBI), so this afternoon, the time was right for AJ Preller’s first post-suspension trade.

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On November 18th, the Padres added four new players to the 40-man roster: shortstop Javier Guerra, pitcher Walker Lockett, converted pitcher Jose Ruíz, and outfielder Franchy Cordero. While Lockett has the greatest chance of making the big club this year (Ruiz and Guerra ended 2016 in High A Lake Elsinore), Cordero has a lot of potential and ended the year in Triple-A El Paso.

A little background on the newest member of the Padres 40-man: In 2012, the Padres signed 17-year-old Franchy Cordero out of the Dominican Republic for $175,000. Though he was 6’3”, San Diego figured him to play primarily at shortstop, though some scouts saw him as a third base candidate. After spending time with the Dominican Academy and in extended spring training, he broke into A-ball as a 19-year-old. His debut, however, failed to live up to the high praise bestowed upon him by numerous scouts who watched him in the Spring Training backfields in 2014 (notably Jason Parks, formerly of Baseball Prospectus and currently with the Chicago Cubs).

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Thanksgiving, still my favorite holiday of the year.

Also, the time of year where everyone’s “[XX] Reasons For [insert team name] Fans To Be Thankful” pieces come out. And I do mean EVERYONE’S.

Two years ago I wrote about the things I was thankful for as it relates to the Padres. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at how those things worked out then give a new reason to be thankful.

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Mike Dee was fired today, which was equal parts surprising and inevitable. But this isn’t about Mike Dee, business man—this isn’t even really about Mike Dee at all.

The question now becomes (at least for people, like me, who geek out on baseball stuff more than the business side): how does this effect baseball operations for the Padres? There’s a decent argument that the Padres need some figurehead in baseball ops, someone like Theo Epstein or Chris Antonetti. Dee was sort of playing that role for the Padres, although not in the overarching way Epstein and Antonetti are in Chicago and Cleveland, respectively. A.J. Preller’s (and staff) been driving decision-making on a micro level, but ultimately he reported to Dee, and it’s possible that Dee played a significant role in the team’s long-term approach to the baseball side. Preller’s made a number of good moves over the last year, but he’s young, inexperienced (as a general manager), and still serving the final days of a month long league-mandated suspension for keeping shady medical records.

Someone like Alex Anthopolous (Craig Elsten mentioned him) might make sense, or Ben Cherington, or Jed Hoyer (also via Craig, and a long shot), or Tony La Russa (wait, no). Surely, there are numerous other names that would work, names that would provide a stabilizing presence in baseball ops while adding knowledge and experience to the organization. Names that would work as a sort of guiding force to Preller, keeping him out of trouble in Latin America while assisting in trade negotiations with skeptical rival GMs.

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what's brewing on the padres farm system

After starting our What’s Brewing On The Farm series, we thought we would put it all together by publishing our own top Padres prospects list. It’s important to note that while we’ve seen a few of these players in person, we aren’t scouts or experts. We follow the Padres farm and collect as much info as we can from a variety of real experts.

What follows is a list based on mixing those opinions, and our own preferences of the importance of a player’s qualities. It’s also a mixture of each contributor’s thoughts into one final result. So throw on your AJ Preller approved bucket hat, it’s about to get real prospecty in here.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy during a Sunday afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-94) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93), 3-2, in yesterday afternoon season finale at Chase Field.

Paul Clemens (4-5, 4.04) pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Brandon Drury scored on a second inning Chris Owings groundout. Drury hit a solo home run in the eighth inning. In the ninth inning, Philip Gosselin‘s single drove in Socrates Brito to win the game for the Diamondbacks.

Matt Koch (1-1, 2.00) gave up one run in six innings on five hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Hunter Renfroe hit an RBI double to score Wil Myers in the fourth inning. Back-to-back doubles by Austin Hedges and Luis Sardinas in the seventh inning resulted in the Padres’ last run scored.

The Padres are off for the next 182 days as they travel to Los Angeles for four games against the Dodgers (0-0) at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2017.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy during an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-93) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (68-93) last night in the second of three games at Chase Field, 9-5.

Clayton Richard (3-4, 3.33) gave up seven runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks in four and a third innings while striking out one batter. With the bases loaded and no outs in the first inning, Jean Segura scored on a passed ball, Brandon Drury hit an RBI single, and Yasmany Tomas hit a three-run home run. In the fifth inning, Segura scored again on a Chris Owings sacrifice fly and Paul Goldschmidt stole third base and scored on an error by Yangervis Solarte. Segura scored yet again in the seventh inning on another Owings sacrifice fly. Mitch Haniger hit a solo home run in the eighth inning.

Archie Bradley (8-9, 5.02) pitched seven innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits and no walks with eleven strikeouts. Solarte scored the Padres’ first run on a single by Carlos Asuaje in the second inning. In the third inning, Solarte’s double drove in Wil Myers. Jon Jay led off the eighth inning with a triple and scored on Myers single, Myers scored on a Hunter Renfroe double, and Renfroe scored on Derek Norris‘ single.

The final game of 2016 is this afternoon starting at 12:10pm PDT. Paul Clemens (4-5, 4.27) gets the start against Matt Koch (1-1, 2.25).

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy during an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-92) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (67-93), 5-3, last night in the first of three games at Chase Field.

Edwin Jackson (5-6, 5.77) gave up all five runs in his six innings on six hits and two walks while striking out five. Jean Segura scored on a Welington Castillo single in the first inning. In the third inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run. Chris Owings hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning.

Braden Shipley (4-5. 5.26) allowed three runs on seven hits and two walk in five innings with three strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run home run with no outs and two outs later Manuel Margot drove in Luis Sardinas with a double.

The penultimate game of 2016 tonight will have Clayton Richard (3-3, 2.98) taking the mound against Archie Bradley (7-9, 5.15) starting at 5:10pm PDT.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy during an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-91) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-68), 9-4, in the Padres’ final game of 2016 at Petco Park. The Padres ended with a losing record at home in 2016 at 39-42.

Christian Friedrich (5-12, 4.66) gave up five runs in five and two-thirds innings on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Joc Pederson‘s double in the fifth inning drove in Rob Segedin and put the Dodgers on the board. A single by Justin Turner in the sixth inning scored Charlie Culberson, Turner scored on a wild pitch by Jose Torres, and Yasiel Puig and Segedin scored on a Pederson double. Carlos Ruiz‘ two-run double in the seventh inning scored Turner and Puig. Andrew Toles scored on a Andre Ethier single in the eighth inning. And Toles’ single in the ninth inning drove in Micah Johnson

Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39) was pulled after three innings — to help keep him fresh for the postseason — while giving up one hit and three walks and striking out five. Jesse Chavez pitched the fourth inning and gave up two runs. Carlos Asuaje drove in Hunter Renfroe with a single and Derek Norris scored on Luis Sardinas single. Three Dodger pitchers shutout the Padres until the ninth inning, when Jon Jay‘s single scored Manuel Margot and a Yangervis Solarte double drove Jay in.

The Padres wrap up the season with three games at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks (66-93). Edwin Jackson (5-6, 5.77) gets the start tonight at 6:40pm PDT against Braden Shipley (4-5. 5.26).

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy during an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-90) scored more runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (90-68) in the second game of three at Petco Park, 6-5.

Luis Perdomo (9-10, 5.71) surrendered all five runs in five innings on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Chase Utley led off the game with a solo home run and Adrian Gonzalez added another solo home run two outs later. Gonzalez hit an RBI double to score Corey Seager in the third inning. Joc Pederson hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning.

Jose De Leon (2-0, 6.35) lasted just two and a third innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks with a strikeout. Hunter Renfroe had four RBI, the first two coming on a bases loaded single in the first inning to drive in Manuel Margot and Yangervis Solarte and Ryan Schimpf drove in Renfroe with a double. In the third inning, Renfroe hit a two-run home run onto the roof of the Western Metal Supply Company building, the first player to ever do so in a game. Margot scored the Padres’ final run in the fourth inning on a groundout by Wil Myers.

Tonight’s 2016 Petco Park season finale will have Christian Friedrich (5-10, 4.66) taking the mound against Julio Urias (5-2, 3.53) starting at 6:10pm PDT.

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