With the Mets and Padres in the midst of their four-game series, I asked the guys over at Gaslamp Ball to answer a few questions about San Diego's baseball squadron, and they were kind enough to oblige. Thanks, Dex and Jeff!
Chris McShane: Like the Mets' trade of Carlos Beltran, the Padres' trade of Mike Adams was thought to be a very positive one for the future of the organization. What are your thoughts on the return they got for Adams?
Gaslamp Ball: Tough to tell on the prospects, but by all accounts Jed Hoyer sold high on Mike Adams. Adams was a fan favorite, but if there's one position the Padres have depth at, it's relief pitching so anything to shore up other aspects of the team have to be seen as a positive now that 2011 is officially a rebuilding year. Plus the Padres weren't any good with Adams in the bullpen, so it's vital that they try to strengthen the rest of the team by trading him.
CM: Since Adams was traded, are you surprised that former Met Heath Bell is still on the team? Would you have preferred the Padres trade Bell now or hold on to him, presumably for the two compensation picks the team will receive when he signs elsewhere?
GB: From a marketing perspective, Heath Bell has a broader appeal (despite how much of a fan favorite Mike Adams is). Also, the contract situation made Mike Adams a bit more valuable (though just slightly riskier). Those combined and it's not a HUGE surprise that Heath Bell's still on the team. Also, there's been talk that Heath Bell would be willing to take a pretty decent discount to stay in San Diego, so there's the outside chance that he actually signs a new contract with the Padres.
CM: What's the general feeling about Jed Hoyer's abilities since taking over as general manager after the 2009 season?
GB: We have all kinds of confidence in Jed. The thing that's still in question is when ownership will be able to spend money. The Padres have been in a tough television contract for years and that contract is coming to an end soon, so there may be light at the end of the low payroll tunnel. Still, all the talk is that even with a better television contract, the San Diego market just isn't flush enough to make the Padres a big spender. Jed has been creative in stockpiling the farm system through trades and these catch-and-release (or catch-and-offer-arbitration-but-let-them-sign-elsewhere) type of deals so the fruits of that labor should hopefully be making its way to Petco Park soon.
CM: When do you expect the Padres to get back into contention?
GB: Next season. Easy. If/When the Padres do re-up for a new television contract, they'll need to prove that they have a product worth watching. Therefore, our thinking is that they'll make an investment next season (before revenue from TV really increases) and hope that it pays off for them down the road.