The San Diego Padres sure made themselves known as movers during the offseason. Newly appointed general manager A.J. Preller wasted little time addressing the major league roster. Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin and Melvin Upton, Craig Kimbrel and James Shields were all brought in to help the worst offensive team in the majors.
While not the start they probably hoped for, the Padres sit at 20-20 and five games back of the Dodgers in the National League West. Their .249 team batting average is 17th best in the league, surely not what was expected of the lineup that Preller put together.
One of their weak spots, shortstop, could be due for an upgrade according to Ken Rosenthal. Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes, the two guys seeing time as short, have a combined .603 OPS as shortstop. That mark is 23rd in the majors, and something that almost certainly needs to improve for the Padres to claw their way into the playoffs.
Well here's a shortstop
Rosenthal reports that many people 'with the industry' (which is code for Agents and Front Office types) believe that Preller will end up acquire a shortstop.
That could mean Preller has already been digging around, or it could mean these types want it to happen, or it could just be guessing on their part. We're hearing this from Rosenthal because he's heard it from more than a couple sources and as they say: Where there's smoke...
Which shortstops make sense for the Padres?
Which shortstop Preller might target is anyone's guess. They could target Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado. They could target Elvis Andrus from Texas. Preller could even call up the Cubs and grab Javier Baez for the right price.
The first two names have a ton of money tied into them going forward. Andrus is signed through 2022, with opt-outs after the 2018 and 2019 season and a vesting option for 2023 totaling $118 million. Tulowitzki is locked up through 2021, owed another $109 million that includes a team option for the 2021 season. Not to mention both of these guys will also require some top prospects.
Baez is the cheapest of the three options here, but also will cost more in terms of prospects. And with a system that was tapped a lot during the offseason, it's hard to see how the Padres can get a deal done for one of these three. They may have to look for a second-tier shortstop to fix their hole at shortstop.
With Preller, anything is possible and he will make the upgrade if the right opportunity presents itself. There is a lot of pressure on this team to succeed this year, especially in light of the big moves he's already made and that which he gave up to make them happen. If Preller feels that one move is all they need to compete and beat the Dodgers, expect them to bring in an All-Star shortstop.