Clark, Prior, Greene and more

Had a chance to attend the San Diego Hall of Champions lunch today at Balboa Park where manager Bud Black and general manager Kevin Towers were the guest speakers. It was the first time for me at the Hall of Champions. Some pretty cool stuff there.

It appears as if the Padres favor adding veteran Tony Clark over Mike Sweeney at this point, if for no other reason than Clark is a switch-hitter, familiar with National League pitching and that he more or less killed the Padres last season (four home runs in 26 at-bats).Tclark

OK, the last one I threw in there but it shows that the 35-year-old Clark, who had 17 home runs last season for the Diamondbacks, still has some life in his at-bat. If he does sign with the Padres then the team could have as many as five switch-hitters (Clark, Bard, Crabbe, Rodriguez and Headley) and possibly six if Jeff DaVanon makes the team. For what it’s worth, Clark is a great clubhouse guy from what I have heard from other players and reporters.

Also, it looks as though Mark Prior’s recovery is going along smoothly. Prior, recovering from right shoulder surgery last April, is throwing off a mound and is stretched out to 150 feet. Best of all for Padres fans is that Towers said he could be pitching for the Padres by May 1 if there’s no setbacks.

That’s better than the original time line that Towers has discussed previously, which put Prior back around late May to sometime in June.

Towers said that if all goes well that Prior could begin his Minor League rehabilitation assignment around the time the regular season starts (March 31). Until then, the Padres will use any number of pitchers in the fifth spot in the rotation, though veteran Shawn Estes might have the upper hand if you had to handicap someone before Spring Training. The Padres are encouraged by his recovery from elbow surgery in 2006.

One last thing, the deal for Khalil Greene will get done, possibly Friday. Towers said there a some "language issues" in the deal which isn’t uncommon for contracts.  It’s still a two-year deal worth around $11 million, though the Padres pushed for deals covering three and fours years only to be rebuffed by Greene’s agent. A report Saturday that said the deal was complete was premature.

That’s it for now, my notes will be up later on the site.

Cheers, Corey

7 Comments

I can’t help but be excited about the upcoming season. I think the addition of a healthy Mark Prior makes our rotation one of the best in baseball. I know all the talk in the NL west has been about everyone BUT the Padres, but I believe under the guidance of Buddy Black and the mentorship of Magician Maddux we will have another league leading performance by our pitching staff, perhaps even back-to-back Cy Young award winners…

One more thing: As a Padres fan I could not be happier with this years offseason moves. I know many people wanted that huge bat in the middle of the lineup to help out Gonzo (hopefully Jimbo provides that to some degree). But for me all I wanted was a contract extention for Peavy and Greene. To me that shows managements dedication to provide a winning team for years.

-Jeremy

Good points, Jeremy. I think the signings of Peavy and Greene sort of get overlooks in what the Padres have accomplished during the off-season. That, combined with not parting with their young talent, shows that they’re building for the future as well as trying to win now.

The Padres management has done a great job. I love their young infield and even the prospect of young second basemen, Antonelli. They are a little old in the outfield but have some nice pieces there. The pitching should be dominate again this year but we do have a lot of 1 year contracts on those guys as well a Hoffman being in the last year of his contract, but as long as Peavy any Young are 1, 2 we will be strong. My only concern is the lack of speed. Management does not value speed at all and with the way are Ball Park & offense plays speed at the top of our lineup would allow us to score without having to hit a ball 4oo plus feet to the power allies. Also, speed never goes on a slump. As good as our pitching is we are going to be in most of our games and playing for 1 run it would be nice to have some speed. I would love to have a speedster center fielder that could hit lead off, i.e. Reggie Willits of the Angels and I think he could be had as there outfield is packed. Maybe next year? Go Pads!

Though I love Sweeny, the good thing about acquiring Tony Clark would be that he WOULDN’T be coming up against us for any other teams. Over the past couple of years he has really hurt us at crucial times. I’d love to know how many games he has taken from us. BUT, frankly, I wish we could have them both.

Oh, and how about Greeny? Signed yet?

there is an article about the deal on Green on the main site

or just click here: http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080207&content_id=2367795&vkey=news_sd&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd

and scroll down to the bottom

Greene****🙂

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