Last week the Chicago White Sox gave shortstop Tim Anderson a six-year, $25 million extension, with two club option years that would double that amount. It was the largest amount given to a player with less than a year of service time.

On its face this looks like a relatively low-risk, high upside deal for Chicago. Anderson’s been one of their best prospects since being drafted and was ranked 45th on ESPN’s Keith Law’s 2016 top-100 list. If Anderson reaches his ceiling, or comes close, this is a major win for Chicago. If he sucks, well, $25 million over six years isn’t going to wreck your payroll.

The Padres have more than a few guys on the roster with exciting ceilings, some even more highly rated than Anderson was. It’s smart for any organization to try and lock up young talent as early possible, but it should be even more of an emphasis for the Padres, who are never going to rank in the top half of MLB payroll.

The Padres have been burned in the past with this strategy (RIP Corey Luebke), but bad results shouldn’t discourage good process. Fortunately for us, AJ Preller is an extremely smart dude, and I doubt any previous organizational failings in this area would prevent him from pursuing an extension for his one of his young players.

Here are a few guys I think the Padres should look to extend:

Manuel Margot

Maybe the best prospect the Padres have had since Anthony Rizzo (I’M SORRY), Margot’s been ranked consistently high the last two years on every prospect list that matters. Plus hit, defense, and speed tools also make him a fairly safe prospect, giving him a rare combination of high ceiling and high floor.

Travis Jankowski is a nice player, and I think an outfield with him in left and Margot in center would be tremendous defense porn. Using Anderson’s contract as a barometer, I think something like a five-year, $20 million deal with three club option years at $15 million, $20 million, and $25 million, respectively. The full value of the deal could potentially be eight-years, $80 million.

Austin Hedges

Remember when Hedges was drafted and everyone said he if learned to hit he’d be reeeeeeeeally good? Well, Hedges learned to hit. Don’t talk to me about inflated Triple-A stats or how El Paso is a great place to hit and blah blah blah. I don’t care. There’s more than enough evidence that Hedges’ power potential is very real. An 80 defender at catcher with 25-30 HR ceiling? That’s a Famer, y’all.

One other thing working in Hedges’ favor is the lack of catching prospects behind him. Austin Allen was very good last year (.320/.364/.425) at Fort Wayne last year, but he was old for the level and isn’t a sure thing to stay at catcher. Luis Torrens is a Rule 5 pick and may not last the year. Christian Bethancourt isn’t a catcher anymore. Locking up Hedges makes too much sense.

I’d go six-years, $30 million, with two club option years at $12.5 million and $15 million, respectively. That’s eight-years, $57.5 million at full value.

Cory Spangenberg

Spang has always been one of my favorites for reasons I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s the combination of speed, defense, and athleticism. Maybe it’s because he’s a Jed Hoyer draft pick (I’M SORRY, AGAIN). I don’t know. But I know I dig the skill-set and pedigree.

At first glance, Spang doesn’t seem like an ideal extension candidate; far from it. He’s never healthy; he’s played in just 142 games the last three years. The Padres have second basemen coming out of their ears. Say what you will about Ryan Schimpf and Carlos Asuaje, but at least those guys have stayed healthy and performed when given the opportunity. And I haven’t even mentioned the team’s best hitting prospect, Luis Urias.

So, why extend Spang? He’s easily got the highest ceiling of all the MLB-ready options. He’s the best defender and baserunner of the group, and he’s got a long enough track record going back to minors that shows he can hit and get on base. He’s also defensively versatile. Not Alexi Amarista versatile, like, actually versatile. He’s got the range and arm for third base, and I could see him settling into a super utility role once Urias is ready.

So, what could a deal look like for Spang? His injury history would make significantly cheaper than the previous two. I’d give him a four-year, $15 million with a pair of club option year at $10 million each.

The Padres have been really bad through two games. Like, historically bad. We literally haven’t seen a baseball team suck this bad through two games in almost a hundred fucking years. Let’s break down all the bad stuff and how much worse it’s going to get!

Quick note: If you’ve never read Ramblings (lucky bastard), I’m too lazy to write a well-constructed blog post, so I just spit out all my opinions via bullet points. If you read something you disagree with, you’re probably wrong.

  • It’s two games (TWO GAMES), so we shouldn’t overreact to anything, no matter how humiliatingly painful it’s been to watch. They faced the best pitcher on the planet and another really good one in Scott Kazmir. The Padres could win their next eight games (don’t laugh) and nobody would even remember the shit heap we just watched, except for those assholes who think great uniforms (more on those later!) were to blame. Let’s relax and see how they perform in a larger sample size.
  • Ok now that that bullshit’s out of the way, holy fucking shit this team sucks. I think the anger from the fans is justified. It feels more like a boiling point after a dormant offseason that saw the best player leave and no one was acquired to replace him. No upgrades were made to the rotation or the everyday lineup. They got a new manager who says the right things all the time, but that’s pretty much it.
  • And you know what? That would’ve been totally fine! At least with me. I get it, you’re gonna suck for a while, but the farm system’s gonna be great and we’re gonna zero in on Latin America and Asia like crazy. Instead ownership boasted all offseason like 16 year olds who just had their cherries popped. There’s no definitive plan in place, at least not one they want to tell us. And now after months and months of talking about how they’re going to over-perform and build and whatever the fuck else, we see the first glimpse of a team they think could surprise people get its teeth kicked in by an actual baseball team. It’s the worst possible start they could have had considering how angry fans already were, confirmation that all our concerns and criticism was justified.
  • Now, are they going to be this bad all season? Of course not! They’re going to eventually score some runs. Shit, they even win a few games. I’ll go as far and say they’ll get to double-digit wins; maybe this month! I hope everybody’s horribly wrong about this team and they win 90 games and make the playoffs. I just wish that wasn’t also ownership’s strategy.
  • Fox Sports San Diego is as insufferable as ever. Fuck whoever decided it was a good idea to have Mark Sweeney randomly pop in during the broadcast. Dick Enberg sounds bored and exhausted; I showed more interest in class the week before Spring Break. Mark Grant is just trying to survive, man; there’s only so many times you can describe a routine double-play or an infield single or oh god where’s the morphine. I look forward to Don Orsillo taking over in July.
  • Said this already on Twitter (follow me!), but if Jabari Blash isn’t going to start against lefties, might as well send him back to Seattle. He’s basically worthless as an extra outfielder because he brings no defensive value. Give 500 at-bats and see what happens. They literally have nothing to lose. We already know what Jon Jay and Melvin Upton are (mehhhhhhhhh).
  • Speaking of Jay, what the fuck. He’s looked like trash in center field, but at least he has a hit! Manuel Margot can’t get here soon enough.
  • Alexei Ramirez has the arm strength of an amputee.
  • Those brown uniforms were GORGEOUS. Perfect cap, too. I can’t wait until they go brown full-time next year, although I do hope they keep a blue/yellow/white alternant. I love this year’s home jersey.
  • Oh, and where are the yellow sleeves? Like 90 percent of why I was excited for the yellow was for the sleeve. God these dudes are boring. Kudos to Derek Norris for the awesome catching gear, though. He looked fantastic.
  • I have no opinion of Andy Green other than I hope he’s got some strong weed.

 

There’s been a lot of anger and rightfully fucking so about some of the comments made by sock puppet Mike Dee and Padres ownership, particularly from Cooper Manning wannabe Pete Seidler. Last Friday Seidler went on the team’s flagship radio station to let us know how fucking stupid he thinks fans are to exclaim that the Padres aren’t rebuilding because they’re fucking morons, that they’re in fact above that notion altogether.

Instead of smashing my neighbor’s car windows rushing to judgement on Seidler’s comments, I slashed their tires took a moment to break down what he was actually saying, and lemme tell ya, the guy cannot possibly be this delusional I mean come the fuck on ain’t wrong. Let’s use the comments Seidler and Dee used yesterday and see where their fucked up logic is coming from.

  • Dee on not wanting to rebuild: “The term we use is ‘building.’ And we’ve been building since Peter and Ron(Fowler) and the group purchased the team three years ago. There’s nobody in that clubhouse that believes that there’s rebuilding or taking a step back. This is about the here and now. 2016. There are guys in there that believe in what we’re doing and believe in where we’re going this year.”

Gotta say, I’m sold. At first I was weary because these guys talk a big game despite never having accomplished anything since they’ve been in charge unless you count whoring themselves out for a fucking midsummer exhibition game, but BAM, right there, Dee said perfectly: “This is about here and now.” Fuck me that is good. Give him a raise and some fresh Molly. He’s earned it.

  • Seidler on his excitement for 2016: “If you go back to a year ago, what AJ Preller thought was we had a chance to make some trades where we got good baseball value back. And the core of that group –Matt KempJames ShieldsWil MyersDerek Norris – they’re still here. They’re not as exciting because they’re not as new, I suppose. But they’re exciting to me. I’m more excited this year than I was last year, frankly, because we’re one more year into Preller’s reign of building a great organization at all levels.”

I can’t find a flaw in his reasoning. The Padres brought back the CORE GROUP of guys that won 74 games last year, all a year older, and have major injury and/or performance concerns someone please direct this motherfucker to FanGraphs. The real problem isn’t bringing back these Famers, it’s that fans don’t get that they’re really good. Fans want NEW Famers every year, and that’s unreasonable. Again, Seidler gets it KILL ME.

  • Dee on potentially being buyers during the season: “I think it’s fair to say we’re keeping some dry powder as we move into the season. See how the major league season unfolds and we could be a participant in an additive way in July if the team performs as we hope.”

Cocaine. That’s pretty much all I got out of that quote.

  • Dee on the 2016 season: “Are we in a competitive division? Absolutely. Is it gonna be tough? For sure. But under Andy’s leadership, we believe this is a roster that can compete. We believe our top 3 starters are as good as any in the National League. …We feel this will be a team that will compete and compete hard in 2016.”

You can tell Dee’s confident the team’s going to improve by citing a manager’s influence as the biggest reason why even though there’s absolutely no way of proving it but whatever. I don’t know about you guys but I’m out of Vicodin please help stoked for the season.

 

The Tony Gwynn Museum at AleSmith has an update.

The 5,000 square foot museum will be the home to more than 300 items from the baseball Hall of Famers career, spanning from his early days in Little League, his time playing and coaching at SDSU and, of course, his entire Padres career, and will be occasionally rotated out to keep things fresh and new.

They are planning to complete the project by the 2016 MLB All-Star game, that will be hosted right here in San Diego at Petco Park on July 12th. To accomplish their goal, they are going to attempt to raise some funds.

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Come here, take a seat next to me. It’s OK, it’s not your fault. The Padres have wasted an entire fucking offseason are you kidding me haven’t had the type of offseason we were expecting after having another miserable fucking season these guys are literally trash a disappointing 2015 season, a year many thought they would contend for the playoffs after the flurry of high-profile acquisitions. Obviously those moves didn’t translate to success because we are terrible people who don’t deserve nice things like we were hoping for, but I want to be optimistic and look at a few players on the roster who I’m legitimately excited to watch because I’m a fucking idiot abandon all hope.

First, there’s Wil Myers, he of former prospect glory and form-fitting uniforms. The man fills out pants like Jim Irsay fills out a prescription for Oxy. He can also hit. I’m not talking about Yonder Alonso’s Better Suited for Petco Than Anthony Rizzo hit. I’m talking Make You Get off Your Couch and Vine That Swing hit. I’m a firm believer that Myers will be a legit all-star this year if he stays healthy which he definitely won’t because we can never catch a fucking break. I’m all in on Wil Myers.

The best thing about Spangin’ is there is no set definition for it. It is many things, and you should not hesitate to use it. The Padres traded Jedd Gyorko to St. Louis where he’ll definitely become an all-star and hit 40 home runs oh god I hate everything for Jon Jay seriously just Jon Jay like not even a young pitcher fucking hell, clearing the way for Cory Spangenberg to take over second base. There’s a lot to like about Spang: good feel for hitting, great speed, solid on-base skills, and very good defense. If he puts it all together HE WON’T FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP you’ve got a really good young building block, and possibly an extension candidate *wanking motion*.

For some reason Melvin Upton Jr. gets a lot of shit from fans. David from Vocal Minority pointed it out Twitter; Upton Jr. was really solid in limited playing time (1.6 fWAR in 87 games). Can he sustain that over an entire season, or at least in an extended role? I don’t know, but at the very least there’s hope LOL that he can be a valuable contributor.

Let’s see, oh right the prospects that everyone thinks are garbage. Austin Hedges is probably a narc predictably struggled offensively when he was called up. But, my god, he plays defense like a honey badger on Adderall. He’s almost surely starting at Triple-A, where he’ll play every day and raise our expectations to an unreasonable levels only to kill us in our sleep continue developing offensively kind of like what should have happened last year had the Padres not been so fucking incompetent.

A few others: Travis Jankowski has less power than Peter Seidler was whatever last year, but people who I respect like him quite a bit. Hunter Renfroe is definitely a narc could be up by mid-season fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Josh Byrnes  and could take over left field permanently. I won’t discuss Javy Guerra and Manuel Margot until 2017 when they’ll be fully realized busts.

You see, it’s not that hard to look at the bright side.

The last time I attempted to write a blog post was just after the end of the Padres season. I wanted to write a recap of another shitty season, but couldn’t stop typing “fuck” so I scrapped it and decided to wait for the trades. It’s mid-December now, and the Padres have made plenty of moves, kind of.

  • The Padres started the offseason as clearly the fourth best team in the division, but the gap now between us and the Diamondbacks is bigger than [insert your porn joke here]. Holy fuck, we are screwed. Like, majorly fucking screwed. I get not wanting to be reactionary and staying with the plan but Jesus Christ make a move, Arthur John.
  • What is the plan, anyway? And don’t fucking say “rebuilding while contending.” That’s replaced “spending just to spend” as my way of knowing you’re an asshole. I get that the Padres were never going to get the top guys (even though they probably could because they totes have the money). Missing out on the best free agents is one thing; them signing with a division rival is another, the latter firmly placing the Padres in the “fucked” column for who knows how long.
  • Fine, let’s say they are rebuilding while contending, or contending while rebuilding or whatever the fuck they want to call it. If they’re going to trade high-priced players, like they’ve done with Kimbrel and Gyorko (lol), they have to get high-upside players in return, like they did with Manual Margot and Javy Guerra. If you’re going to go this route, you better be ready to spend money, and they haven’t.
  • I really wouldn’t have had a problem with anything they’ve done so far if they hadn’t insisted on pushing the “contending” narrative. Why this organization is so terrified of the word “rebuild” I’ll never know. And I’m not talking about doing what the Astros did. I would’ve been fine restocking the farm with Preller’s guys. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the young guys, whatever ones they still have, play a full season. They probably would’ve sucked, but who cares! They always suck, and it’s fine so long as there is a plan in place and they follow through with it.
  • I keep going back to the plan and thinking of Jed Hoyer and all he’s accomplished with the Cubs. What I loved about Jed, besides his cheekbones, was that he had a clear plan to help turn the Padres into a sustainable, consistent contender. AND IT WAS FUCKING WORKING. Lemme give you a list of guys acquired by Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod: Anthony Rizzo, Joe Ross, Austin Hedges, Cam Maybin, Jedd Gyorko, Cory Spangenberg, Matt Wisler. Not bad for two years of work. The Padres were on the right path, finally. Then it all went to hell, and here we are again.
  • Maybe the Padres are planning on spending on free agents. There are still plenty of guys still available, and, again, the Padres have money. One of the most annoying things of the offseason is this sense that we should just trust them. They know what they’re doing, according to them. That’s great. I’m glad they’re confident in themselves. But the Giants signed Cueto, the DBacks got Shelby Miller, and the Dodgers have the money and prospects to land an ace (or two). Three other teams in the division are set up for playoff runs for the next several years. YEARS. Either accept reality, and take rebuilding seriously, or throw your fucking hat in the ring and make a move.
  • Lemme just say that I’m big fan of the new unis, especially the new home whites. It’s too bad they’re only going to be used for one year. Hopefully they find a way to keep it in circulation. It’s dope.

It is hard to argue that, through the month of May (and a bit of June) the Padres season has been disappointing. We can argue over the severity of that disappointment (put me in the mild category so far). But below .500 at this stage isn’t what many people had in mind. Despite the mediocre play of the team, however, the Padres remain 3 back of the wild card and 4.5 back in the West. One need only look as far back as one year ago to see a team below .500 at this same stage of the season that went on to make the playoffs. The Kansas City Royals, them of 90 ft from tying Game 7 fame, were 4 games below .500 on June 1 (26-30) and didn’t get back to .500 until June 10th thanks to a 10-game winning streak during that time frame. Even after that the Royals still dipped below .500 on July 20th before saying good-bye to mediocrity forever en route to a World Series appearance.

Are the Padres the Kansas City Royals? No. They are not.

Can the Padres put together a 19-10 month like the 2014 Royals did in August? Yes. Yes they can.

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By Lance Richardson

I was three months old when Dick Selma pitched the San Diego Padres to their first National League victory on April 8, 1969. Jerry Coleman would not join the Padre broadcasting team for another three years, and I would not become an ardent fan of baseball, and of the San Diego Padres, until four years after that.

In the ensuing decades, I conservatively estimate that I have attended, watched, or listened to four thousand major-league baseball games. The bulk of those have been Padre radio and television broadcasts involving Jerry Coleman. So I figure I’ve shared about three thousand afternoons and evenings with him.

For six months each year, for as long as I can remember, Coleman narrated spring and summer. He’d have been the voice of each fall, too, if only he and I had the fortune of attaching ourselves to a ballclub that was worth a damn.  Now that he’s gone, it’s little wonder that his passing devastates me. Read More…

It was reported on September 15th that Cory Luebke was shut down for the season after his fourth bullpen session due to soreness in his throwing elbow. It is the third time Luebke’s throwing sessions have been halted and comes only two weeks after reports of a 70 pitch bullpen session that “went well” according to the Padres. Per Rotoworld, Luebke is now scheduled to be examined again by Dr. Tim Kremchek in Cincinnati.

Dr. Kremchek studied under Dr. James Andrews and has been an orthopedic surgeon for more than 18 years. He is also the Cincinnati Reds medical examiner. Needless to say, there are few doctors in this country, if any, that are better suited to deal with Luebke’s injury. So once again, we are in a wait-and-see period with Luebke. Rumblings of potential second surgeries have begun and the worry and fear amongst those inside the Padres is becoming too great to conceal.

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