It's been a pretty lame offseason for Padres fans so far.
To be fair, the Friars did lock up a few of their key guys before the season ended, with contract extensions to two of their biggest names and talents (Carlos Quentin and Huston Street). They also didn't trade Chase Headley - which just about everyone thought they would do - but still haven't extended his contract. He is under team control until 2015, but is arbitration eligible this year and next year.
The Padres may be hesitant to extend his contract due to their most recent extensions doing miserably in the 2012 season. Cameron Maybin batted .243 and got off to horrible start offensively, but made improvements the second half of the year. Nick Hundley, who was thought to be the catcher of the future, batted .157 and lost the starting job to Josh Baker, who eventually lost it to rookie Yasmani Grandal. Cory Luebke, who was slated to be the opening day starter and "ace" of the staff, threw 31 innings (good for a 3-1 record, 2.61 ERA) before landing on the DL for a year due to Tommy John surgery.
Padres fans have been waiting for the new ownership to make a splash. While I'm not sure that they'll be changing the Padres uniforms to the brown and yellow that I was hoping they would, they did decide to move the fences in to make Petco a slightly less pitching friendly park. However, the real question has been: Will they spend money to get a top-line starting pitcher?
Well, here are the highlights of the Padres offseason thus far...
Andrew Cashner, the only player we got in the Anthony Rizzo deal that will ever be on the big club, was injured in a hunting accident when he sliced open his pitching hand with a knife. The only thing more embarrassing would have been a Thanksgiving turkey carving injury. Dude will miss a few months of the regular season
Yasmani Grandal, a spark plug who ignited the Padre offense when he was called up from AAA Tucson, tested positive for PEDs, and was suspended for the first 50 games of the season. I really liked this guy and thought he had a great future. Now not so sure.
The Padres made a big signing for... a pitcher they had last year. Jason Marquis, who went 6-7 with a 4.04 ERA, was signed to a one year deal during the season after going 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA in Minnesota and getting dropped by the club. Apparently, they thought he was good enough to bring back for another one year contract, this time for $3 million. Seems a little steep to me, especially since I'm not sure there was really a market for him, but I guess he wasn't horrible last year.
The Padres lost Nate Freiman, a 6'7" first baseman with tons of power in the Rule V draft to the Astros. This was a bummer for me, even though I think Yonder Alonso has the talent to be at first for the Padres for a long time. You can never have too much depth, and the Padres haven't had a big power threat at first base since Adrian Gonzalez left.
They've also made a few under-the-radar trades for people who I have never heard of, one named Tyson Ross (who's brother, Joe, is currently in the Padres minor league system), and another minor leaguer from the Rays named Chris Rearick.
Not quite the "splash" that some teams made.
If you had told me during the 2011 World Series that these two guys would be on the Angels together in 2013, I wouldn't have believed it.
I don't think the Padres are going to open up their wallets and go out to get one of the top starting pitchers on the market, but it'd be nice to get somebody worth getting excited about. If Marquis is our most high-profile acquisition, I think this offseason was a waste. Too many other teams in California adding too many good players to sit there and do nothing at all.