There seems to be a lot of speculation of late, and some interesting articles. This is like a combo of friday links and some notes, whatever the hell that makes. I’m going to get working on the prospect list and I’ll start that by next week at the latest, or possibly this weekend.
Padres Cautious Entering Winter Meetings – Corey Brock on the Padres off season plans. Here’s Towers:
“I would say outfield is probably No. 1 [priority], and we probably need two starting pitchers, a [backup] catcher and if the right seventh-inning arm is out there, we will look at that,” Towers said. “So in that order is what we’re looking at.”
It’s nice to hear right from KT what they are going after, although who knows when GM’s talk. That sounds about right, though. It looks to me like they’re going to go with Antonelli at second. This is a good team, but they have quite a few holes to fill, and second base just isn’t one of them — at least it’s not a priority. I wouldn’t waste much money there. To tell you the truth, with guys like Cort Morton sitting around, I’m not sure backup catcher is much of a priority either. When a guy like Kendall is getting 4.25m on this market, I’d stay away from free agency for a backup catcher. But maybe they’re looking at the trade route here.
Agent: Cameron wants multi year deal – No surprise here, really. If Cammy declines arbitration the Padres will pick up another sandwich round pick. They already have one after Doug Brocail signed with Houston. So, they are stacking up the draft picks again this year.
Padres, Towers talk contract – Dan Hayes from the NC Times on Towers’ contract situation. Alderson:
“He’s utilized all of the resources we have available in the front office,” Alderson said. “We have a traditional component and a more contemporary component of analysis, and Kevin’s been able to synthesize those two elements and make some good decisions.
“I like our decision-making process.”
Boy, you couldn’t say it much better than that, could ya? From an outsiders perspective, it’s tough to tell how much of the moves are Towers and how much involve Alderson, Depo, Chris Long, Fuson, Gayton, etc. Since I’ve been following the team, they’ve consistently made good moves, at least relative to the competition. Whether it’s Towers himself, or his staff (or Sandy), it seems to be working. I hope he sticks around as the leader of a diverse, intelligent staff.
The article also mentions Geoff Jenkins. Jenkins is a guy I really like, as he’s both good offensively and defensively. For his career, Jenkins has hit .288/.358/.525, so he’d make a nice compliment to Hairston in one of the corners (preferably, right). He looks like a guy who could get 7-8m over 2-3 years on the free agent market. If the Padres can bring him in for less than that, I think it’d be an ideal move.
Petco’s dimensions won’t get friendlier for hitters – I think this is always an interesting topic. Does an extreme ball park help the home team? The Padres have the advantage of being able to pick up guys with skill sets that fit Petco. They also will always have underrated hitters and overrated pitchers, at least to some degree. You can probably benefit with this on the free agent or trade market, if you know a guy is a product of the park. If you play in a neutral park, let’s say Atlanta, you’re pretty much just building a team without as much thoughts on park effects. Since Petco opened in 04, here are the Padres home and away records:
Home: 177-146 (.548)
Road: 168-157 (.517)
Historic trends indicate a +.082 winning percentage for home teams (over their road record), although the margin seems to be decreasing in recent times. Take another extreme park team like Colorado. Since 04, the Rockies have a ~.532 winning percentage at home and a ~.402 wp on the road. It seems like they’ve leveraged their home park much better than San Diego, but they have had far less success overall. I think an extreme park is beneficial in both on field play and in fooling the competition in player moves. If I were the Padres, I’d worry less about changing the park dimensions and more about how to find players who can leverage their skills in Petco.
At the same time, fans apparently like high scoring games, so that becomes yet another issue to consider.
Couple of other links:
Long-term forecasts – Tango and co. on long term pitching forecasts. My Peavy innings prediction (actually, PECOTA’s), may not be as off base as I originally thought. You can never underestimate the chances of injury for a pitcher in a given year.
Player Value, Part 5: Pitchers – Justin continues his great player value series, this time looking at pitchers.