Now that all of the rumored trades have settled and the truths have cemented, will the post-deadline San Diego Padres sink or swim?
While San Diego worked from inside its organization, its NL West rivals were busy stirring up the majority of the deadline buzz from around the league.
With the Dodgers and Giants currently headlining the division, they went out and grabbed some respectable bats to bolster their respective depth charts down the grueling stretch of the final two months of play.
The Dodgers reeled in Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, while their counterpart inked Hunter Pence.
Rather than sticking to their bread and butter of selling their talent away, the Padres made sure to fend off any potential buyers by actively pursuing Carlos Quentin and Huston Street.
Quentin was a critical re-signing, as he provides San Diego with a solidified veteran bat behind the up-and-coming duo of Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso.
As for No. 16, Street has had a noteworthy 2012 campaign since returning from his injury. He has connected on 17 saves to match his sharp .88 ERA. He was a must-have piece to bring back as the face of the bullpen.
Apart from re-signing Quentin and Street, the Padres showed maturity by keeping Chase Headley. It wasn’t deemed necessary to trade him, nor did they need to stockpile their already elite farm system.
He owns the rights to every offensive statistic on the team.
Headley was the subject of much discussion heading into the final days of the deadline. Losing a player of his caliber would have been demoralizing for the team. Fortunately, the attractive offer never surfaced.
With No. 7 living to see another day, the Pads have shown their commitment to making winning a standard in San Diego.
Winning with consistency may not happen this year, but one thing is for certain—the Padres have big plans for 2013. The Padres farm system talent is ready to hit center stage next season.
Despite being written off in 2012, the season is far from over. The Padres currently trail the Giants by 12 games as they look to cut into the lead with 54 games left in the regular season.
Expectations are a figment of a Padres fan's imagination. They have been ruled out from the start. The Pads aren't just going to roll over. They want in on the action as well. It isn't going to be pretty, but they will find a way to claw, scratch and bite their way back to even.
With the recent landmark acquisitions the Dodgers and Giants hauled in, the grade of the incline only magnifies even more for San Diego.
An NL West title isn’t entirely out of the question, but it is a legitimate stretch. A reasonable goal should be to finish the season at or near 75 wins. That would be a remarkable feat considering the injuries that have badgered the Padres this season.
The way they carry out the remainder of their season will be a telltale sign for the way things will unveil next season.
To answer the question pinned above, the post-deadline Padres will be swimming with the best of them.