AJ Preller is at it again, wheeling and dealing his wealth of farm system talent. Having all that wealth and not using it to acquire big league talent on a team that's ready to win is a waste. The Padres have already shown the past few years that they are ready to compete with the big dogs out West. It is impressive that they have done what they've done the past few years, being one of the smallest markets in California sports. I commend Preller and the owner for nutting up and not letting themselves get bulldozed over by the other franchises in their own state. Ever since they shelled out that contract to Hosmer a few years back, it was clear they wanted to build something around the young core that was nearly major league ready. The Manny Machado signing was the tipping point. You don't go out there and give a guy $300 million and not want to compete. Getting a disgruntled Blake Snell out of Tampa Bay was a fantastic move. The former Cy Young is a big game pitcher and an ace, when he's healthy he is one of the best southpaws the game has. Tampa Bay plays the game like it's a neuro science experiment rather than having actual feel for baseball itself. I can assure that if the Padres are in a World Series game and Blake is dealing, he won't be pulled in the fifth inning (Yeah fuck you Kevin Cash).
Preller then capitalized on a Cubs team looking to shed salary. Yu Darvish is definitely a top of the rotation arm and compliments Snell as a solid 1-2 punch. With Clevinger out with Tommy John, this team needed to bolster the rotation and AJ did not disappoint the Padres fans. It is extremely refreshing to see a team go out and make some big moves in American sports' least entertaining offseason. The MLB free agency period has no draw and no lure, guys wait it out and milk teams for every last cent of that guaranteed money. But Preller said fuck the free agents, I'm going out on the trade market and trading my golden coins from the farm system for legit MLB talent. However... we have seen him do this before. The last time Preller was this active on the trade market they set themselves back a few years (Will Myers and Justin Upton trades). While these moves seem a lot less foolproof, Yu Darvish has been known to shit his pants in big spots and he does not come with a cheap price tag. And who knows what their new toy from the KBL has to offer?
There are still a lot of questions about this team. Yeah they have a deep lineup, yeah they have a good mix of young guys and vets, and yes their rotation has taken shape. And quite honestly they have the new face of baseball in my opinion, Fernando Tatis Jr. But what about the bullpen, what about the diminished farm system and roster depth, and shit what about the Dodgers in their own division? Preller wants this team to be contenders and he's doing all he can to make it happen, but the Dodgers are still the kings of the West. Until they're dethroned, the Padres will just be another pretender.