Thursday, December 26, 2013

Excerpt: "Offseason Catchup, NL West"

"Other than that, the Padres look a lot like they did when I picked them to win the division last year. No projected starting position player is older than 31, with most in that 25-27 sweet spot that allows you to project collective growth. It's going to again come down to the rotation. Cashner and Tyson Ross established themselves at the end of last year, but they're mid-rotation starters, as is Eric Stults -- at best. This is where the Padres can really help themselves, and by using only money. There are still three starting pitchers out there (plus Masahiro Tanaka) who would make this team better. While it would be nice to see the Padres make a run at Tanaka, they can use the focus on him to go hard after Matt Garza instead. Garza isn't a true #1, but he is a #2, he doesn't require sacrificing a draft pick and he'd be this team's best starter. I'm not going to get into the issue of "afford" in detail again, except to say that the Padres will piss away $16.5 million next year on a homer-prone closer and a DH -- and Garza will actually help them win."