5 Things The Padres Should Do at the MLB Winter Meetings

General Manager A.J. Preller should be active this week

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings get underway on Sunday in Orlando, FL. Now that Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton have found their landing spots this week might actually see some real action.

In 2014 Padres General Manager A.J. Preller was a very busy man during the Winter Meetings. That was where he laid the foundation for the great roster shakeup (Kemp, Upton, Myers, etc.). In 2015 and 2016 he was more focused on adding younger talent via the Rule 5 Draft (Perdomo, Blash, Cordoba, Torrens, Diaz).

This go-around will likely be a combination of addressing the big league roster and continuing to add talent to the farm. Here are five things I’d like to see A.J. accomplish.

1)    Sign Eric Hosmer

Padres fans seem split on this one. Hosmer is not going to be cheap … but winning never is. From a pure numbers standpoint Hosmer is very good but not a monster. But this one goes beyond the stats to something that sabermetrics cannot measure: Leadership. Hosmer is the guy who can take a very young, very talented clubhouse and turn it into a World Series champion. The fact he is a capable Spanish speaker makes him even more alluring to a Padres roster that is heavily Latin-American. Coming home with this corner infield cornerstone should be priority #1.

2)    Find A Shortstop

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias are close but not close enough. Yangervis Solarte can handle short in a pinch but you don’t want to rely on him for a full season there. Allen Cordoba opened a few eyes as a Rule 5 kid a year ago and should earn a chance to win the job in Spring Training. But the Friars are still going to be in the market for a veteran SS on a short contract. I honestly don’t care which one it is, just find a guy who can last 162 games as a place-holder for the kids.

3)    Add A Starting Pitcher

Clayton Richard, Dinelson Lamet, and Luis Perdomo would seem to be the only three guys who you can pencil in to the 2018 rotation. After that there are a ton of guys that will be in the mix. Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea return from Tommy John surgery, Travis Wood and Walker Lockett will get a look, and even some of the studs that spent last year in the minors like Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Enyel De Los Santos could force the Friars to keep them with a strong Spring. But one more veteran would not be a bad idea. While I would love to see Jhoulys Chacin come back his 2017 at Petco Park likely earned him a longer, more lucrative contract than the Padres are going to be willing to pay (kind of like Ian Kennedy a few years ago). If he wants to stick around to work with pitching coach Darren Balsley and take a little less to do it, fantastic. If not, and this is where my love of San Diego comes in, how about taking another run at Trevor Cahill? He was striking out hitters at a career-high rate (as a starter) before being traded to the Royals mid-season. Cahill fell apart in Kansas City and was demoted to the bullpen. Obviously the Vista High School alum is comfortable in his home town and might be worth another one year, $2 million or so deal as a 5th starter.

4)    Listen To Offers For Hand

Brad Hand is going to get a whole lot of interest. He’s an All-Star-caliber lefty who’s young with a controllable contract, which is nice because it means the Padres are in no hurry to move him. They can ask for the moon and if they don’t get it go into 2018 with one of the game’s top-3 lefty relievers still in the bullpen. If another team thinks it HAS to have that kind of weapon at the back end and is willing to part with a prospect package that meets Preller’s asking price then make the deal.

5)    Grab More Power Arms

While Hand is a slider specialist the Padres could benefit from a few more high-octane guys on the staff. One of the big reasons for the Yankees success is their insane bullpen that seems to have a string of guys throwing 99 … and then Aroldis Chapman. Preller is always on the lookout for relief options and he loves guys that throw hard. Even if Hand is still around he’s not your traditional closing option. Phil Maton, Jose Torres and Kirby Yates were all, for the most part, pretty good and Miguel Diaz showed ridiculous stuff. Craig Stammen might return again but if there’s a way to find a guy that brings serious petrol that would be nice.

Of course if he wants to swing a deal for Mike Trout that would be OK, too.

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