San Diego, despite a fantastic 2010, have regressed to a laughingstock.They find themselves last in the NL West. And this July, they were forced to trade arguably their best player to Texas and one of their worst to Pittsburgh.
What did San Diego get in return? Prospects. Prospects that, if they turn out to be the next Adrian Gonzalez or Jake Peavy, will turn out like many Padres stars: dealt by July in the final year of their contracts.
Only one thing will help change this from becoming a recurrence. By putting money into the team's payroll, San Diego could not only keep Mat Latos, Cameron Maybin and other up-and-coming stars, they could put themselves in a position to win it all.
The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies all have a formula for success. It takes money to make money. Each team puts in over $100 million into the payroll and gets championships and sellout crowds out of it. Padres fans are not asking for a $100 million payroll. We are just asking for enough to be out of the bottom five on the list.
This year, three of the bottom six teams in payroll are in contention to clinch a spot in the playoffs. These teams are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians. Still, only the Indians have a legitimate shot at making the playoff cut. The Pirates are slumping as of now, and the Diamondbacks can only make it if they win the West and knock off the defending World Series champs.
Getting back on the subject to payroll, it is fairly simple. About $40 million is not going to win San Diego its first World Series. And if FSN and San Diego reach a deal to broadcast your Padres, it could potentially increase the team's payroll by 10 to 20 percent. On the surface this seems like a huge total, but after you do the math, it gives San Diego as much as $9 million. That doesn't make a huge difference, does it?
It is plain and simple: in order to sell out stadiums and to win championships, teams must first pump money into their payroll. And once again, Padres fans are not asking for a 200 percent increase; we just want enough to hang on to stars and avoid constantly trading our best players. We want to constantly make runs for a championship.