Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Padres not done with FA signings?

Wednesday February 17, 2010

In an interview with Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune today, Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said in answer to a question about the 2010 major league payroll, "We’ll head to spring training at about $41.5 million".

Since the Padres MLB payroll sits at $38.025 million as of today, reading Center's interview gave me hope that the Padres are not done with free agent signings.

Then I sat down for my evening reading of and saw this:
Padres, Cardinals and Others interested in Felipe Lopez

Could it be possible that the Padres were really still looking to fill out the bench with a player like Felipe Lopez?

Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of wrote in an article this evening that their sources  were saying 4 teams were in pursuit of Lopez and they included the Padres and Cardinals.

If GM John Mozeliak pulls the trigger on the signing it would be a return to St. Louis for Lopez as he played for the Cardinals in 2008. For the Cardinals Lopez would likely just be insurance in case shortstop Brendan Ryan does not recover well from his recent wrist surgery.

For the Padres Lopez would provide depth in the middle infield behind starters Everth Cabrera and David Eckstein. Prior to 2009, Cabrera had only a handful of at bats above the Low A level so the Padres cannot be sure how he will respond in 2010 and David Eckstein, while an great hitter in the clutch and an invaluable influence in the clubhouse and on the field, is 35 years old and on the downside of his career.

With Jerry Hairston Jr. already on board as a utility player, signing Lopez would give the Padres great depth and versatility on the bench.

The other teams rumored to have interest in Lopez include the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros. Cleveland has two promising young players penciled in at 2B in Luis Valbuena and Jason Donald, and has been been shedding payroll not adding it. They may not have the money in their budget to sign Lopez even at the discounted rate he will likely be forced to take this late in the off season.

Houston has Kaz Matsui and his $5 million salary at 2B. It is doubtful that they are in the market to add payroll at that position.

So what do you think about the Padres chances to sign Lopez?  If the Padres DO sign Lopez, would you rather see him start or backup the middle infield?


  1. If the Pads sign Lopez he has to start. In fact, Hairston or Salazar should be starting over Eck.

  2. The Pad Father2/24/2010 11:06 AM

    Pads may not be done with FA signings but it looks like you are. LOL Do we need to send out a search party? I know its ST and everything, but did you stop writing or something? Come on now, I need someone to tick me off or make me think in the morning and those clowns at Gaslamp Ball sure can't do it. Where are you?

  3. Lopez is not a Padre today because they refused to hand over the starting position to him. The Padres FO obviously believes Eckstein can do the job.

    Salazar cannot field the position well enough to be a starter. He is a good bat off the bench and an emergency fill in at the corners, If and OF.

    Hairston does field the position well, but is much more valuable as a super utility guy.

    Eckstein made two errors last season, his arm was never an issue and doesn't have to go far to get the ball because he is amongst the best in the league at positioning himself to be able to make the play.

    Eckstein is also a coach on the field and an incredible example to the young players that hustle and preparation can take you further than tools alone.

    Eckstein also hit .340 with runners on base. What he does, he does very well.

    He is not the best 2B in the league, but he is the Padres starter.

  4. Pad Father,

    Thanks for the poke.

    I'm still around. Been very busy and spending lots of time on the road. Just got off flight 403 from Phoenix not more than an hour and half ago.

    So when are YOU going to start blogging? Are you still going out to Peoria for the first games? Let me know and I will buy you an In-n-Out burger.