The month of December in the year 2014 will go down as one of the most active in San Diego Padres team history. The team went on to make eight different transactions in that month in an attempt to improve the mostly stale team. The addition of relevant players was a sign to fans that the ownership had indeed finally committed to fielding a competitive team.
For much of the past 10 years the Padres have been more about saving pennies than spending money on their players. Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy were both shipped out because the team refused to pay them fair market value. The team’s philosophy has changed regarding player’s pay, and with that the team has increased its payroll to an all-time high.
However, spending the money doesn’t necessarily produce wins, and the Padres have learned this cold hard fact. The team will finish with a worse record than last year’s team and that in and of itself is a shame for a team that had such high hopes. The inconsistencies of this team have doomed them and there must be changes in some degree to the makeup of the team. The changes are not going to be easy as this team has many issues that need to be resolved. Padres ownership has their work cut out for them in evaluating the team and moving forward.
This article will review all 11 major off-season trades/free agent signings, and utilize an old fashion grade scale of A through F. The grade will be given based on how well the trade benefited the Padres. There were many young players dealt so naturally they can sway the trade either way.
The true idea of whether a trade helped a team or not will not be completely known for years, but In good fun we will review the trades as of now. It all started rather quietly with a usual Padres free agent pickup. Who would have known this minor free agent signing would be the first of eight in the month of December.
The Padres team is now motivated to compete and with this new found motivation they are learning a very hard lesson. Baseball is not an exact science. You can add a team full of legit players, but their addition alone does not translate to victories on the standings page. Look at the Dodgers, they have been throwing money at their problems for years. Their payroll is over $310 million dollars and they are no guarantee to advance in the National League playoffs.