San Diego Padres: How Many Games Can San Diego Padres Win in 2011 Without A-Gon?
Some teams are known for acquiring big talent during the MLB offseason. Others spend all of their money to hold on to the star players currently on their roster. Unfortunately, there are a handful of teams who have no choice but to trade away all of their top players because they can no longer afford to keep them.
The San Diego Padres happen to fall into that final category.
The Padres finally traded Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in a move that had been discussed for almost two seasons. They knew that they would not be able to afford him after his contract ran up following this season, so they decided to move him in the offseason to avoid distractions during the season.
San Diego got back a decent package of prospects in return from Boston, highlighted by pitching prospect Casey Kelly. But none of the players they received will be making many - if any - contributions this season.
The Padres are in a competitive division with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, although Arizona should not fare all that well this season with the youth movement going on there. But San Diego was a pleasant surprise last season, but very few people expect them to win nearly as many games this year.
You also have to expect that trade rumors regarding closer Heath Bell will pick up around the time of the 2011 MLB trade deadline. He is their most valuable piece, and could bring back a few solid prospects in return for the future.
That is the problem with teams such as the Padres. They can only look to the future.
But by the time the future rolls around, they need to once again trade away their best players to reload.
That is the biggest problem in MLB.
For more on the first pitches from every game, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Mets Featured Columnist Ash Marshall, who takes a look at MLB Opening Day 2011: 20 memories, Stats and Facts from Baseball's Opening Day.
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