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Restoring the rosters: No. 28 – San Diego

Aug 10, 2009, 4:41 PM EST

This is part of a series articles examining what every team’s roster would look like if given only the players it originally signed. I’m compiling the rosters, ranking them and presenting them in a countdown from Nos. 30 to 1.
No. 30 – Cincinnati
No. 29 – Kansas City
While most of the other teams at the bottom of these rankings would also find themselves rankings among baseball’s worst franchises of the last five years, the Padres had a pair of first-place finishes in 2005 and ’06, flanked by an 87-win season in 2004 and an 89-win season in 2007. That they’ve collapsed since shouldn’t be a huge surprise given the team’s track record when it comes to developing players.
Rotation
Jake Peavy
Oliver Perez
Mat Latos
Rodrigo Lopez
Tim Stauffer
Bullpen
Doug Brocail
Greg Burke
Clay Condrey
Shawn Camp
Justin Germano
Leo Rosales
Wade LeBlanc
One elite pitcher, one guy who is being paid like a pretty elite pitcher and not much else. At least Latos is providing hope for the future, and Stauffer’s sudden reemergence makes the end of the rotation look a little less disastrous.
The bullpen is a problem. The Padres’ ability to turn scrap-heap relievers into legitimate setup men has prevented them from developing many bullpen guys themselves. Joakim Soria would make things look a whole lot better, but he was actually a Dodger originally before being released, catching on with the Padres and later being plucked in the Rule 5 draft by the Royals.
Lineup
SS Jason Bartlett
CF Will Venable
1B Derrek Lee
RF Xavier Nady
LF Chase Headley
3B Khalil Greene
2B Josh Barfield
C Nick Hundley
Bench
1B-OF Kyle Blanks
OF Gary Matthews Jr.
C George Kottaras
3B David Freese
1B/OF Paul McAnulty
The Padres do have some depth on offense. Instead of going with this configuration, they could also put Headley at third and Blanks in left field. When the bullpen needs help holding a late-inning lead, Matthews can go play center, with Venable moving to left. Greene’s ability to play shortstop should lessen the need for a true utilityman — and there aren’t any good choices anyway — so Freese and McAnulty are kept to provide additional firepower off the bench.
Barfield may be a problem at second base, but it’s hard to know for sure given the way the Indians have used him. He’s worthy of one more chance in another organization. Ideally, Matt Antonelli would have overtaken him by now, but the 2006 first-round pick followed up a disastrous 2008 with an injury-ruined 2009.
Summary
Besides their decent track record, the other thing that differentiates the Padres from the other teams at the bottom of the rankings is that they’ve had the same general manager for 14 years. Kevin Towers has put together some quality teams with shrewd pickups, but he’s made more bad trades than good ones and he’s presided over one of the game’s weakest farm systems for several seasons. With the Padres having a new CEO in place in Jeff Moorad and another last-place finish likely on the way, Towers’ days may well be numbered.

  1. jon - Aug 10, 2009 at 10:25 PM

    Padres don’t have the money/support to make a team worthy od playing in the majors. your truly, jon

  2. Bill - Aug 15, 2009 at 8:15 PM

    A team constructed of only original signees looking this terrible, compared to the competitive teams the Padres fielded from ’04-’07 just shows how good Kevin Towers was at bringing in players via trade, not to mention that their payroll was always toward the bottom of MLB. I’d say it makes him look good at being a GM, not looking like he’s on his way out. Moorad would be making a huge mistake if he canned KT.

  3. Justin - Aug 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    I completely agree that the Padres draft and development history has been pathetic, however your assertion that Towers has not been good in the trade market is frankly ridiculous. If, as you point out, the Padres have been largely successful in recent years without a real contribution from the draft; how do you suppose the Padres acquired any talent if not through trade? It sure has not been through the free agent market, they have not made a major signing in the last 7 or 8 years. Towers is the guy who got Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka! How about finding Heath Bell for a bag of balls from the Mets. Tony Gwynn Jr. for Jody Gerut. Even the Brian Giles for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez deal was not that bad considering the important part that Giles played in our playoff years. Please name another trade that Towers got wrong, in fact he is known around the game as being incredibly adept in the trade market. You should have stuck to your original assertion, which is correct, and left it at that.

  4. Thom - Aug 21, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Your methodology is suspect. Towers is working with a penny-pinching group of management who appears to be more interested in Community Property division than in putting out a good team. I finally figured out why this dysfunctional franchise NEVER fires their managers (while most competitive teams would have gotten rid of their skippers quickly after some of the miserable streaks of Bochy, Black et al); management KNOWS that they don’t give the poor manager enough talent to really WIN on a consistent basis. That, coupled with the anemic salaries, make it impossible to blame the manager for the team’s poor performance. Jake Peavy said it best (on finally being traded to Chicago, after 2+ attempts to let him go): “At least I know I’m going to a place where they WANT TO WIN.” They haven’t cared about winning in SD for awhile, and this awkward, tax-driven ownership arrangement they’ve concocted (the oddest thing I’ve EVER seen in MLB) is guaranteed to keep the Padres in the cellar, at least for the next 4 years or so, when some of the interim owners get cleared out.
    What a shame! Great fans! Great baseball town! Greedy, selfish owners who treat their stars and fans like trash.
    Thom

  5. RDoigs - Aug 23, 2009 at 9:06 PM

    I agree the Padres have drafted poorly and developed few, but to say Towers makes ‘more bade trades than good’ is just wrong Matt. Head on over to Fanball and I’ll help you out with this one.

  6. Dave S - Sep 3, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    It shows how good a GM Towers is at making deals, but also shows how terrible their drafts are. Burroughs absolutely kills the upper management right to the heart.

  7. Websoulsurfer - Sep 10, 2009 at 1:47 AM

    Guess you really blew it with the last place talk didn’t you?
    Maybe you should have waited until the end of the season before pronouncing the Padres the last place team in the West.
    Still might happen, but as well as they are playing recently, it is not likely.
    And what kind of logic are you using to say that Towers has made more bad trades than good?
    If the team would have been the 28th best team in MLB if they kept all the players they signed and instead won the division twice and sandwiched that with an 87 win and an 89 win season for 4 straight winning seasons and the Padres signed few free agents during that time, then obviously his trades have been pretty damn good on a consistent basis.
    Right now there are 9 teams with a worse records than the Padres and with his team playing well in August and September after being widely expected to be the worst team in the NL if not baseball, Towers will undoubtedly be retained.

  8. websoulsurfer - Sep 10, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    I guess that is why the Padres had 4 straight winning seasons from 2004-2007 as well as 2 playoff appearances and missed another playoff only in a tie breaker game to the eventual NL pennant winner?
    Nope, they have no commitment to winning.
    Oh and since you posted, the Padres have moved out of the cellar.
    Its not likely they will end up there either, even though they traded away Jake Peavy after he spent a good portion of the season on the DL and Chris Young has spent most of the season on the DL.

  9. digital scale - Feb 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Whether you love him or hate him, you should consider if putting these kinds of opinionated people on a media station is absolutely doing good for America and democracy in general. I’d love to see the news stations go back to reporting news, not opinion.

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