The Calm Before the Storm: AJ Preller

Kathy Willens/AP
Kathy Willens/AP

There has been much speculation of San Diego General Manager AJ Preller and his plans for the trade deadline. After a flurry of moves in the winter, many expected the Padres to be contenders this season. AJ Preller himself didn’t think they would sellers at this time of the year… or are they?

The San Diego front office seems too quiet based off of what we have come to know this year. There have been mixed reports from multiple sources, claiming the Padres to be either buyers, sellers, or both. One thing is certain, there will be moves made before tomorrows 1 pm trade deadline.

AJ Preller will look to retool the team at the trade deadline. Although nearly every Padre seems to be on the trading block, a core group of players should start to emerge for San Diego. After all of the pre season hype, it would be quite disappointing to blow up this experiment after only half of a season. Despite multiple reports of Kimbrel, Shields, and Upton to be traded, it may be wise to make a commitment to the future now.

Kimbrel will always be a valuable asset to the pitching staff as he is arguably the best closer in baseball. James Shields is a top of the rotation pitcher. Both are under San Diego’s control for multiple years on reasonable salaries. Preller can show his commitment to winning by keeping these players around next season. It can also demonstrate some confidence in the team’s chances this year.

With a win Thursday the Padres are up to 4 games below .500 (49-53), which is the closest they have come to a winning record in a few weeks. They have recently been trending up since the all star break, with a 10-4 record (including 2 games before the break). Thursday, Justin Upton hit a game winning, 2-out, bottom of the 9th, 3-run home run to get his club to the victory. It may be his parting gift to San Diego. His farewell moment.

On second thought, maybe it is a good idea to keep the guy. There is no guarantee of an extension in the offseason, but Upton is a valuable player with multiple assets. He already has 18 home runs this season which is 3 more than last year’s team leader (Grandal, 15). He also leads the teams in stolen bases with 17. Oh yea, he is also only 27. Committing to him to this season, despite being 8 games back in the NL West and 7.5 games back in the Wild Card, may make it more desirable for Upton to stay long term.

The morning of the trade deadline; many Padres on the radar. Something involving the Padres is on the horizon…


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