Myworld was impressed with how the Padres improved their outfield situation via trade in just one week, filling all the outfield positions. The problem is, they had a pretty good group of outfielders prior to their trades, and they did not trade any of them away. Now they have an excess of outfielders, nine players to play just three positions.
For those sleeping under a rock, the Padres traded for outfielders Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton. As bait for those outfielders, the Padres used younger prospects, most of whom were not on the team’s 40 man roster. The three outfielders also are no longer true centerfielders, with Matt Kemp barely passing a physical because of two arthritic hips. The plan at this time is to use ex-catcher Wil Myers to play centerfield, but his range his better suited for a corner outfield spot.
The Padres were a little disappointed in the production of their previous outfield. Three of those players play a better centerfield than the three outfielders they acquired, but their offensive production was non-existent. There are those who will argue Petco Park will make any bat invisible. Those three outfielders are Abraham Almonte, Cameron Maybin and Will Venable.
Almonte is still young. He came from Seattle hitting just .198, but improved his average with the Padres to .265 to finish the season at .230. His slugging was a meager .333 and his OPS .609. Cameron Maybin has had trouble staying healthy. Last year he only played in 95 games, hitting just .235. In 2013 he only played in 14 games. His offense was invisible as his physical presence. Will Venable showed that the 2013 season may have been an outlier, when he slugged 22 homeruns. Last year, and in the two seasons prior he failed to hit double digit in homeruns. His batting average dipped to .224.
Other players they can put in the outfield is the constantly injured Carlos Quentin. In his last three years he has not played over 86 games and last year plundered along at just .177. Seth Smith is a lefthanded bat that may be their best hitter of the returning outfielders. Last year he hit .266 with 12 homeruns. He is not a strong defensive outfielder, but the Padres were impressed enough with his bat that they re-signed him and promised he would not be traded. Then they fired that general manager and a new general manager has to figure out if he wants to honor that promise.
There is also the promising youngster Rymer Liriano, who did not play at all last year because of injury. He was called up late last year and only hit .220 in a little over 100 at bats. The Padres can stick him in the minor leagues to give him more experience.
They also have infielders Alexi Amarista and Tommy Medica who played a lot of outfield last year. Alexi will be competing with Clint Barmes for the shortstop job and Medica may have to tough it out in the minor leagues until Yonder Alonso shows he can not do the job at first base. At least if Amarista does not win the shortstop job he will be a utility player.
The Padres are limited to a 25 man roster. Normally 11-12 of those are reserved for pitchers. After you account for two catchers and five to six infielders this will give the team 5-7 players for the outfield. Talk about putting a wrench in roster flexibility. Expect the Padres to continue to trade to eliminate some of that outfield depth.