Buster Olney, a columnist for ESPN and former New York Times and Union-Tribune sports scribe, says the Padres probably erred by trading off young talent to get former all-stars. Instead of trying to "win-now for 2015" in off-season trades, the team should have "deferred gratification just a little while longer and retained their prospects," Olney writes for ESPN.
He says that Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is "one of the best catchers in 2015," and former star Matt Kemp, who came to the Padres in the deal, is an expensive disappointment both at bat and in the field. Among other young ex-Padres players doing very well for other teams are pitchers Jesse Hahn and Matt Wisler, good hitters Jace Peterson and Cameron Maybin, and several others doing well in the minors.
The Padres are five games below .500. But their payroll has gone up from $70 million in 2013, $85 million in 2014, and $110 million this year. The oft-injured Kemp turns 31 in September and is owed about $18 million for 2016 through 2019, notes Olney. He quotes outside observers saying that the Padres strategy is "total disaster" and "shipwreck."
The Union-Tribune has a similar, but softer, piece this morning (June 26). Writer Matt Calkins says the team's thoughts "have likely gone from 'win now' to 'what now?'"