What else do the Padres need?
As some of you know, I sent one of my entries (Why Trevor?) about Trevor Hoffman to the Padres’ front office last week. Well, I got a reply on Saturday. I was actually pretty impressed because it got there on Thursday, and a reply was written that day. I got it by Saturday. Basically, the reply said that we are all going to miss Trevor, but with him only signing a one-year deal with the Brewers, maybe a deal could be reached next year so Trevor could finish his career here. The letter also said that they hope to see me at PETCO several times this year (you want me out there? How ’bout you send me some tickets!). I don’t know if my letter got into the hands of a guy working in the front office, but I did the best I could. I expressed my opinion to my team.
OK, moving on to the other business I would like to discuss: what else do the Padres need for the team next year? We have at least five starting pitchers, with a few open spots and enough guys to compete for it. Do we need another starting pitcher? I think not. Not unless he’s a minor league guy who would be in the minors for a while.
How ’bout catching? This is one of our biggest needs right now, I think. We have Nick Hundley, who will be doing the majority of the time behind the plate, but I still think we need a veteran who’s been around the majors a bit. Say, a Brad Ausmus. We did pick up a catcher a few weeks back, but I think we should keep him in the minors as a backup.
Infield? Well, we have a lot of guys in the middle infield right now. I think some guys that really proved themselves last season aren’t going to get much of a chance this year. Yeah, I’m thinking about Edgar Gonzalez. With David Eckstein moving into second, Edgar is out of a job. Luis Rodriguez and Chris Burke are supposed to take over shortstop. That leaves quite a few guys without a job. I hope Edgar doesn’t have to go back down, but it looks likely. On our corners though, we’re covered. Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff. Wow, I haven’t heard much about Kouz lately. But I did hear that his shoulder isn’t doing the best. He’s been struggling with back problems for a long time, but hopefully he will be ready for Spring Training with that shoulder. Get better, Kooooooz!!! But if Kouz is injured, we could move Chase Headley to third and make more room in the outfield.
Which brings us to…the outfield! We have the guys who are pretty much guaranteed a job-Jody Gerut, Brian Giles, and Chase Headley. We also have a guy who is going to get $1 million this year-Scott Hairston. We have a few rookies who want to be on the team and deserve to be-Will Venable and Drew Macias. We have enough guys, but the question is where they will go. I don’t think we need any more outfielders.
And now, the bullpen. We have a lot of pitchers. We have a LOT. We have a closer (Heath Bell), and set-up guy (Chris Britton), a 7th-inning guy (Cla Meredith), and 15 other pitchers who have a chance for the bullpen. But the Padres’ front office lives on pitching, so I wouldn’t be too suprised if we got a few MORE pitchers this offseason.
Bench, maybe. We have guys who could play from the bench. But the Padres might want to get a few guys who are proved to hit well late in the game. Say, a Tony Clark. I don’t know if the Padres would be able to find one, but that would be a great asset for manager Bud Black.
So, in review, I think the Padres need another catcher, and some bench players. We really do have a lot of players who can do well for us, and hopefully they can help over the course of the season. Let’s see how this goes…