This is where we gather from time to time to talk about something big in the Padres world or just the Padres or just baseball. It’s a roundtable discussion. Except, you know, no round tables. This is a Public House . . . so we’re at the bar.

Old-Fashioned-Bar

Hey there. Long time no drink. I, for one, missed when we all get together to do this.

So…

It’s been an extraordinary offseason for the Padres. Thanks to “Rockstar GM” A.J. Preller’s trades and free agent signings, the Padres roster has been revamped. Their latest — some would say biggest — acquisition, starting pitcher James Shields, adds a — *COUGH* — final piece to their already impressive rotation.

What do you think of the Shields signing?

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Why is this happening? Is this gonna be forever?

After being snubbed by both Pablo Sandoval (BOS) and Yasmany Tomas (ARI) the Padres offseason looked to be just more of the same — overpromising and under-delivering — by the time the Winter Meetings started.

It was even reported that the new GM A.J. Preller’s laptop was broken right before the meetings started.  Out came the “Padres are too cheap to even replace a computer” jokes.

Padres’ fans started to show their frustration.  We all knew what this team needed to do, but it seemed that Preller was just like the old GM.  Refusing to drink the iced coffee instead of trying to upgrade the roster with quality players.

It was beginning to look like an almost exact repeat of the previous two offseasons, with only Brandon Morrow and Clint Barmes added as free agents for “roster depth.”

Clint Barmes

Padres sign IF Clint Barmes to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with a club option ($2 million or $200k buyout) for 2016

C’mon.  After Everth Cabrera was DFA, you didn’t really think the Padres were going to put all their faith in Alexi Amarista at shortstop, did you?  Although. Barmes is basically Amarista without the outfield experience.  He was basically signed for infield backup and as a veteran presence.

Why Clint Barmes?

Brandon Morrow

Padres sign RHP Brandon Morrow to a one-year, $2.5 million deal (with incentives)

Tim Stauffer Part Deaux, is what it boils down to.  Doesn’t cost much and if he doesn’t crack the rotation he’ll be the long reliever, most likely.

Brandon Morrow looking to make comeback with Padres

Then, the last day of the Winter Meetings happened.  And that all changed.  Big time.

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In case you weren’t paying attention…

Always enjoy responsibly. Don’t read and drive.

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What is the most realistic method for the Padres to add talent this winter? While there exists a good number of attractive free agents on the market, is it even feasible for a team like the Padres to add talent in such a way? The Padres may be adding approximately 20% to their payroll this off-season but that still doesn’t leave much to make a big splash. I apologize for having more questions than answers.

Last week, the Angels’ Mark Trumbo was named as a possible player suited for the Padres in 2014. The prospect of adding a first baseman who finished 2013 with 34 HRs, excited a lot of power starved fans here in San Diego. Others however, were nonplussed. The fans in the latter category cited Trumbo’s OBP (.294) and high strikeout rates (184 in 2013) as a reason not to consider giving up any young pitching for his corner infield bat. Maybe there’s something to that argument – despite the HR totals (34), Trumbo’s WAR (2.2) was only 1 better than that of current Padre, Yonder Alonso (1.2).

Truth be told . . . aside from scrolling through Baseball-Reference.com to scan numbers, I don’t know too much about Mark Trumbo. So I decided to ask someone who knows: Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus.

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Padres fans’ disappointment in the Padres 2012-13 off-season, when they did nothing to upgrade anything about the roster, has been well documented.

But, that was last year. What does this off-season hold in terms of potential free agent signings?

We’ve already seen changes, as Clayton Richard was shown the door (but there is always the chance that he comes back) last week. Colt Hynes was traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash. Mark Kotsay has retired.

Josh Byrnes has already given us this off-season’s “big believer in belief” moment, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN:

“General up-grades.” Yeah, that’s definitely a priority.

I used Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan‘s Ultimate Free Agent Tracker to help me break down some of the 2013-14 free agent class and the likelihood of the Padres interest. Or disinterest, in most cases.

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