The San Diego Padres went all-in as buyers during the 2014 offseason. It was supposed to be a vastly altered scenario at the trading deadline with the team slipping further in the standings. According to several reports, just about every Padre had been made available for trade. Leading up to the deadline there was significant chatter that the team was involved in several discussions, and throughout the day on Friday, it seemed as if the Padres were poised for several moves.
Then, nothing. Or at least, close to it.
San Diego made one trade. Marc Rzepczynski was traded to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Abraham Almonte.
For the most part, the Padres decided to stand pat. Why? Because the team's general manager, A.J. Preller "believes the team can reach the postseason," according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Currently San Diego is in fourth place in the National League West Division with a 49-53 record. For comparison, the Detroit Tigers, who are in third place with a 50-52 record, were sellers and in a big way. The Padres are also 7½ games out of the second National League wild card slot.
Sure, an organization can go for it. Teams have bounced back from worse deficits. And there is one other key point to remember here: The Padres can still decide to sell the house this offseason, there was no reason they had to move a lot of players at the deadline if teams weren't willing to pay the prices they hoped to receive. Given their commitments to competing after 2014, that may have been more important.
San Diego was a big story this offseason with all its deals. Key additions to the lineup including Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton. The pitching staff was bolstered with the signing of starter James Shields and a trade for closer Craig Kimbrel. After big expectations entering 2015 though, the Padres' offense has struggled, ranking 10th in the National League in runs scored. The pitching staff hasn't been any better. The bullpen ranks 11th in the National League with a 3.99 ERA, 19th in the majors. The starting rotation is 10th in the NL as well with a 3.71 ERA.
The Padres have three starters who may get better as the season progresses, but the bullpen is not in good shape by any means. Even with two solid starters -- namely James Shields (No. 1 starter, 3.77 ERA) and Tyson Ross (No. 2 starter, 3.38 ERA), the Padres' starting rotation is limited.
Shields' 4.12 FIP, though, suggests a downward trend as opposed to Ross, whose FIP is 2.89. Ross also limits home runs while Shields has been rather susceptible to the long ball. Between the two, Ross is the better long-term option, both for control and his age (28 versus Shields, who is 33). However, both would be able to help a team hoping to compete in the postseason.
If the offense turns around and the pitching somehow progresses back above the mean, there's a chance they might sneak through -- but a lot of things would have to go right for the organization, and a lot would have to go wrong for opposing teams within the division.
Seeing as they have to compete with the Dodgers -- who just overhauled their weaknesses, the Giants -- who doubled down in spots, as well, and an NL league that is filled with powerhouses, it might take a relative miracle for the Padres to bounce back. Their one chance might be the waiver wire later in the season. Until then, it'll be status quo for San Diego and hope for the best.