Here we are. The day when hearts flutter and excitment fills the air. No, not Valentine's Day, it's Pitchers and Catchers day. Yes, the official start to Spring Training for the Padres begins this Thursday February 14th as pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, AZ. So, with Spring right around the corner, where do the Padres stand? Let's take a look:
- The most notable move recently has been the 2-year deal reached with Khalil Greene. The deal is worth $11 million and avoids arbitration. What it didn't do was lock him down for a long-term deal. Ultimately, Greene took less than he was asking and if his production continues to increase one can only assume that this is the final two years of Greene as a Padre. Some scoffed at the idea of giving Greene even that much, considering is below average On Base Percentage and Batting Average. What those people forget is that on a Padre team somewhat void of a true power threat, Greene provides one of the few run producing options. And I don't think there is a price tag for the defense he provides for the Padres.
- The Padres likely made Chris Young very happy by coming to an agreement with Arizona Diamondback pinch-hitter/1B Tony Clark. A 1 - year deal worth $900K will bring Clark to San Diego to spell Adrian at first. The past two years we've watched Clark KILL the Padres, especially Young. It'll be nice to have him on our side finally.
- Left Field...There is no great answer to this. The Padres this year went after Geoff Jenkins, Jason Bay and Milton Bradley in attempts to find a replacement. Nothing worked out. Currently the Padres are looking at starting Scott Hairston in Left. Hairsont many will remember from last year's playoff push when Hairston had 8 homeruns in one month, 7 of which tied or gave the Padres the lead after the 7th inning. That's a pretty small sample size however. The other option is Chase Headley, the Padres Minor League Player of the Year...at third. If he can make the move it wouldn't surprise me to see Headley in Left by July. His suspect glove gives me some pause though.
- What is not, and should not, be an option for Left is Barry Bonds. This idea gets tossed around every few days. Bonds has yet to be signed by a team as a free agent and the obvious need in San Diego for a left-fielder is palpable. However, Bonds is a cancer, hated in San Diego (the town that threw a syringe at him!) and is a shell of the fielder he once was. Taken aside the obvious reaons (BALCO! BALCO! BALCO!) Bonds can't cover Petco Park's spacious outfield. Oh, and also, there's a decent shot Bonds will be in jail before the season is up. This couldn't be a worst move for a franchise built on defense and clubhouse harmony.
That's all for now. Spring Training is right around the corner and something tells me Kevin Towers hasn't made his last move!