Padsworthy: This General Manager’s Winter Meetings Will Break Your Heart And Touch Your Soul

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin today in Orlando, Florida. Traditionally, this is where Business Picks Up and general managers start Wheeling AND Dealing. However, things have kicked off a bit early this year. Robinson Cano is a Mariner, Jacoby Ellsbury is a Yankee, and the Padres have acquired The Final Piece, Seth Smith. Clearly, most of the air has been let out of the balloon…but there is still work to be done in Orlando. Surely rejuvenated by #PadsChat, Josh Byrnes has a couple of moves he still needs to make.

According to Bill Center of the U-T, the Padres would like to add a bullpen arm (preferably a LOOGY). A Twins reporter threw out the idea of  Burch Smith going for said lefty arm, which really doesn’t make much sense. Given the logjam in the rotation, as well as what he has to offer, Smith looks like he could be a valuable asset in the bullpen. With the Padres suddenly low on late inning arms, it makes sense to hold on to a pitcher like Smith.

A specific lefty Center reports the Padres to be interested in is Oliver Perez, who has moved into a relief role over the last few seasons. If you haven’t been paying attention, you might think this is a terrible idea. The reality is, Ollie has gotten his shit together in the bullpen. Jeff Sullivan talked about him over at Fangraphs around the trade deadline, and what he said is still relevant today. In 2013, Ollie put up very good 3.26 FIP, 3.36 xFIP, and a ridiculous 12.57 K/9. Though, walks are still a bit of an issue. For a reasonable price, it makes absolute sense to bring Perez back to San Diego. And since he’s a free agent, we could use our surplus outfielders to perhaps address other areas of need. Speaking of which…

AREAS OF NEED!

I asked Twitter what they wanted the Padres to focus on at the Winter Meetings, and here are some answers I received!

No-brainer, really.

No, these are the right moves.

Yeah, agree with these. Norf’s probably at his peak value right now, and might help bring back a fairly solid player. On the other hand, I see Byrnes keeping him to maintain the platoons he’s all jazzed about. If you have to trade one of Kyle Blanks or Jesus Guzman, it has to be Guzman. Of course, Blanks likely has more value…

Genius.

Personally, I like the Oliver Perez rumors. We could take care of the LHP issue with a free agent, and use our outfield surplus to address other needs (like, say, putting anyone but Alexi Amarista on the field.). Center also talks about John Axford (who becomes “Axelrod” randomly in the middle of the above linked article, and also had a strange tweet about flying to San Diego a few days ago. At this point, the tweet seems unrelated to the Padres?) and Andrew Bailey, but I’m really intrigued by Perez. And those guys, unlike Perez, are moving in the wrong direction. Our bullpen could look something like (in no particular order) Huston Street, Ramona’s Own™ Nick Vincent, Ollie, Smith, Dale Thayer, Tim Stauffer, whoever falls out of the rotation. I don’t think that looks too bad. Would look better with Luke Gregerson, alas…

As always, we’ll talk, we’ll wait, and Byrnes will do something none of us were expecting. Good or bad, that’s how he rolls. The Padres reportedly have around $2M left in the budget, and consider themselves to be pretty much set. So, Nate’s not going to get what he wants. You need to temper your expectations financially, and expect something wacky otherwise.

This Is How You Lose Her

I wanted to take a part of my post here to give some attention to an article written by author and Padres fan Nathan Huffstutter for The Classical. It was posted back in September, but I completely missed it despite being a fan of both the subject and the site on which it was posted. It’s a long-form essay entitled “This Is How You Lose Her”, which takes a look at the Padres starting with the John Moores era. I couldn’t encourage you more strongly to go read it right now. Again; it’s long, so settle in. I’d post an excerpt, but I feel that it’s important not to miss the forest for the trees on this one.

 

Speaking of Winter Meetings, they’re being held in San Diego next year! December 8-11 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. We should totally have a Padres Public Winter Meetings Pub Crawl where nobody will end up in the pokey.

The Vocal Minority hates clickbait headlines and posts on Mondays. Really! Follow me on Twitter. Really!

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  • Michelle Rose

    If we bring back Ollie, can we ban his dad from attending games at Petco when Ollie is likely to pitch?

  • Sean Dreusike

    I will definitely make myself some sort of nuisance at the baseball winter meetings next year. The Exploding Hotel, I mean the Hilton Bayfront, is stumbling distance from home.

  • I say we all get tuned-up at Mission Brewery and then stumble across the Bridge To Nowhere over to the Hilton, where we can all chant horrible things at Brian Sabean.

  • USMC53

    Agree; sign a free agent to address the LHP issue. Don’t overpay with a stud prospect, please!