FriarBall: Padres shopping list for free agency

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Padres shopping list for free agency

I'm currently reading "Moneyball" (yes, I am really late to the party) and every time I put the book down I am suddenly in the move to play GM so with free agency officially open (it's just past 12:15 on the East Coast), I thought I would finally give my thoughts on some free agents the Padres should target.

Before I go on to new additions I first want to ID the areas of need. Obviously most of the talk has been on CF but with the release of Marcus Giles, 2B is also a need (it kind of was before the move) along with LF and Nos. 4 and 5 starters.

Let's deal with the big question first, who do the Padres target in a market full of CF's? The biggest attractions are Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter and even Aaron Rowand. Obviously if the price is right, Jones or Rowand are more attractive based simply on age. While Mike Cameron could also return, I think Jones is the intriguing choice here based simply on the fact he had a terrible '07, possibly putting him in the Padres range.

If the market prices are too high, expect Towers to pull off a trade. My suggestion is that we sign Doug Mirabelli again and trade him back to the Red Sox either Coco Crisp or a couple of minor leaguers on the verge of breaking out this season.

In left, I think the Padres should focus on resigning Milton Bradley. When he played he provided the lone offensive spark and except for the incident where he needed to be tackled by Bud Black, he has behaved himself.

To fill the hole at 2B, it is being rumored that SD is toying with moving reserve OF Scott Hairston there. While this would get his bat in the lineup every day, I think Hairston has more value as the guy who backs up Bradley. One move I think needs to be made is bring Geoff Blum back - he filled in admirably for Giles when the latter was benched - to be the utility guy off the bench. What would be great is if Blum could help Matt Antonelli get adjusted to the big leagues. Another option here could be Kaz Matsui, who had a resurgence with the Rockies and would bring speed and stolen bases to a team that didn't have much of either last year.

As for pitchers, one name that intrigues me is Jason Jennings. This guy could actually pitch at Coors but with no run support in Houston he had a pretty lousy year. With the help of Black, Jennings could regain his form and actually see his numbers improve quite a bit by pitching at Petco. Matt Clement and Kerry Wood have also been rumored to be on there way but I think Jennings has more upside.

Regardless of what happens the next few weeks and months, I think the biggest thing I want to see as a fan is some proof that the team is dedicated to winning and will make smart moves in trying to do so. Even if a couple of these holes are filled by minor leaguers, as long as we get someone to man CF I will be pleased. So let's hope Kevin Towers can make another one of those moves he is famous for.

1 comment:

Geoff Young said...

I will be stunned if Hairston sees time at 2B in anything other than an emergency capacity. Love the Mirabelli idea...