San Diego Padres: 4 Reasons Fans Should Expect a Turnaround Next Season
The San Diego Padres didn't make the playoffs in 2012, but there will be a huge turnaround in 2013.
The Padres will never spend the same kind of money the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants do. However, San Diego doesn't need to have a payroll over $100 million to succeed in the National League West.
In 2012, the Padres finished 76-86 and fourth in the division. They went 42-33 after the All-Star break, which included four streaks of four or more wins.
So, things are looking good as the Padres head into the offseason and get ready for next year.
Here's a look at four reasons why the Padres will see a huge turnaround in 2013.
When the Padres were sold this season to a group headed by local businessman Ron Fowler, fans cheered.
Part of the new ownership group includes golfer Phil Mickelson and a slew of O'Malley family members (former Dodgers owners).
For San Diego fans, this is huge because John Moores is no longer the owner of the team. Long considered as a guy who was just trying to make money off the team, Moores cut team payroll significantly over the last few years.
According to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, this is a great move for baseball:
Any time a group of owners lives in the same area as the team they own, it's a win-win for both sides.
Money to Spend
Fowler has promised to increase payroll, which is another good thing for the Padres.
According to Jeff Sanders of the North County Times, general manager Josh Byrnes said he is still going to be wise with the money given to him:
I've been doing this long enough to know that payroll isn't a number—it's relative to what your competitors are doing and, most importantly, how you're spending your money...(Signing free agents) is an ingredient. We aren't opposed to it, but the key to our strategy won't be signing free agents. It's going to be a mentality of keeping our players.
That mentality translated into extensions for Carlos Quentin and Huston Street last year, with Chase Headley likely next.
As far as free agents go, the Padres could look to sign guys like Cody Ross, B.J. Upton, Jhonny Peralta or Melky Cabrera. Brandon League and Jonathan Broxton would also be good considerations for the bullpen.
Regardless of what Byrnes does, he'll make improvements to the roster. Those improvements could make up the 12 games the Padres missed the playoffs by.
Good Core of Veterans
Every clubhouse needs a good core of veterans. That's exactly what the Padres have in Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley and Huston Street.
Quentin and Street received their contract extensions during the season, while Headley shouldn't be too far behind on his.
With 17 players 26 or under on the team, the veterans have a chance to make their mark for many years to come.
Quentin and Headley will be in the middle of the lineup for at least the next three years, and Street will be the closer for a while.
Next year, the Padres are going to have even more young talent with the big club.
Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Casey Kelly all made their debuts in 2012. Jedd Gyorko should be a starter next year.
Then you throw in players like Brad Boxberger and Andrew Cashner, which gives a lot of young talent under your control for the next few years.
There are countless other young players to mention that are in the system that could contribute very soon.
The future does look bright for San Diego next season. The perfect combination of veterans and rookies could be the recipe for success.
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