Looking ahead with Jeff Moorad …

The recent trade to the White Sox of pitcher Jake Peavy — and the
remaining $48 million guaranteed on his contract — will ultimately
result in a higher payroll and could lead the Padres to be more active
in the free-agent market.

San Diego CEO Jeff Moorad told MLB.com this week that the trade
of Peavy on July 31 for four pitchers should eventually allow the
organization to build its payroll from what was $43 million on Opening
Day to a much more competitive figure.

“Next season will now have to be re-evaluated given the Peavy
deal,” Moorad said. “I’m ultimately comfortable with a payroll in the
$70-80 million [range], but it’s likely that it will take us a couple
years to get back to that level.

“The good news is we now have an opportunity to reconstruct the
payroll in a careful, strategic way that allows for a continued focus
and emphasis on scouting and player development.”

The $43 million Opening Day payroll was the second-lowest in
the Major Leagues. The Florida Marlins entered the season with a $37
million payroll.

General manager Kevin Towers said because of past budget
constraints, the Padres haven’t been a team that “goes into the
free-agent market and does much.” But that could change to some degree,
Moorad said, though probably not to the extent of landing a big-ticket
free agent.

“Free agency will have its place, but is unlikely to be a
driver given the reality of our payroll,” Moorad said. “I assume it
will be used to fine-tune, rather than to craft our rosters going

The Padres will head into the offseason not only having
unloaded Peavy’s contract but that of outfielder Brian Giles, a
potential free agent who is making $9 million this season.

The most expensive contract on the books for 2010 will be the
$6.25 million pitcher Chris Young will make. Two-time All-Star first
baseman Adrian Gonzalez will make $4.75 million in 2010.

The Padres picked up four pitchers in the Peavy deal.
Left-hander Clayton Richard won in his Padres debut on Saturday.
Another left-hander, Aaron Poreda, gave up five runs in four innings
for Triple-A Portland on Tuesday. Reliever Adam Russell tossed two
scoreless innings in relief in that same game.

A fourth pitcher, Dexter Carter, allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings for Class A Fort Wayne on Tuesday.

All told, the Padres added seven pitchers in two July trades,
including three in the July 5 trade that sent outfielder Scott Hairston
to the Oakland A’s.

The composition of the 2010 Major League roster will likely
include several of the seven pitchers obtained in the two deals. Sean
Gallagher, who came over in the A’s deal, is expected to contend for a
spot in the starting rotation.

“Although we could have kept Jake on the roster next season,
given the support our fan base has shown this year, even in the midst
of a challenging season, [the fan base] deserves a retooled club sooner
than later,” Moorad said.

“The Peavy trade allows us flexibility that will be focused on
putting the multiple pieces in place that will allow this club to
succeed consistently going forward.”

Moorad has been encouraged by the Padres’ play of late,
specifically that of several young players like outfielder Will
Venable, who has four home runs in his past six games; outfielder/first
baseman Kyle Blanks; and two other fellow rookies, pitcher Mat Latos
and shortstop Everth Cabrera.

These young players figure to play key roles on the 2010 team.

“I’ve said all along that a primary goal of our ownership group
is to put in place a core of young players, who are both affordable and
controllable for a period of several years,” Moorad said. “That core is
coming into focus at this point. Latos, Blanks, and Cabrera are early
indicators of the direction we’ll continue in as we strive for
successful, consistent performance on the field.”

Cheers, Corey Brock


1 Comment

So what Moorad is saying is that as young talent “develops” into stars, we’ll dump ’em for more prospects to keep payroll down as we continue the 40 year trend of developing stars for other teams. If it’s not profitable to have a winning team consistently, why buy a team?
I’ve gone to my last game here as have a number of friends. When we get the urge to see a major league game we’ll drive up to Anaheim.

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