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Have you looked at the Padres' depth chart, lately? It's not great! Wil Myers and Matt Kemp are still there, as is Derek Norris, and that's all to the good. Cory Spangenberg could be a useful player at second base now that he has the gig full-time, but that's no sure thing. Alexei Ramirez isn't the greatest shortstop around, but he's actually a shortstop, so there is that. Yangervis Solarte can hit a bit, but he's not much with the glove, and thanks to an outfield that features the light-hitting Melvin Upton Jr. and Jon Jay after Kemp, Solarte is going to be leaned on pretty heavily in the middle of the lineup. That's a frightening thought.
There's potential there, sure, but it seems like the Padres got stuck halfway between rebuilding and contending in a division where a lot of the latter is going to occur. They dealt Craig Kimbrel for prospects -- good ones, too -- then sent Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko packing in deals that looked like they were for rebuilding purposes, with Alonso bringing back Drew Pomeranz and prospect Jose Torres, and Gyorko's move shedding cash while netting them Jay. They also signed Fernando Rodney to replace Kimbrel and designated Rymer Liriano to make room for him, though -- Liriano, who is just a couple years removed from being a top-50 prospect, hit well at Triple-A in 2015, and was in an organization planning to start Jay and Upton -- so who knows what their plan actually is.
The rotation could be good, with Tyson Ross, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Brandon Maurer and Robbie Erlin. It could also be awful, with Maurer converting from relief, Cashner's and Erlin's injury histories, and Shields' age. It feels like the Padres should have picked one direction or the other, and gone with a hardcore rebuild or tried to add, but instead, they seem to be doing neither. They can still get a lot accomplished in 2016, between the draft and international signings, and they can always make deadline deals, but for now, wondering what their strategy is seems fair.
- Would you like to watch video of Ruben Amaro dancing during a lip sync rendition of "Uptown Girl"?
- MLB has asked the US Anti-Doping Agency for help investigating the Al Jazeera PED report. This is a much better plan than the one they had for A-Rod, which was "impede the government and work alongside criminals to get what Bud Selig wants."
- Are you tired of unsigned free agents? So was Grant Brisbee, who assigned the best of the rest to teams.
- The details of Ian Kennedy's deal with the Royals are out, and this contract sure is backloaded.
- The Giants have more homegrown players on their 40-man roster than any other team, and that's even more impressive when you consider they've succeeded in spite of supposedly weak farm systems.
- How committed are the Reds to manager Bryan Price? This is the last season of his current deal, so now's the time to wonder.
- Cord-cutting could be a real problem for MLB in the future, especially with their recent love of long-term regional television deals.
- Bronson Arroyo might not be done just yet, as the Nationals signed him to an incentive-laden deal.