The Padres haven’t had a solidified starting shortstop since Kahlil Greene, and even he wasn’t that good. It has been obvious that the Friars’ offense has been no better than a minor league team’s, ever since Adrian Gonzalez departed as a free agent after the 2010 season, but really, it has been all aspects of San Diego’s game. One major part of the solution that fans, experts, and media have pointed out, is to acquire a top notch shortstop. Over the past 2 years Ian Desmond’s name has been linked to the Padres over and over again. But, finally when he is a free agent, they go sign someone else.
Alexi Ramirez will play in San Diego in 2016 for $4 million, then has a team option for 17’. 2015 proved his age of 36, as Alexi had one of his worst seasons, but he is still a major upgrade for the Friars, as his batting average with the White Sox up until 15’ was .280, while he stole over 100 bases and slugged over .405, as a premier fantasy baseball player. But, Ian Desmond had the worst campaign of his career as well in 15’ (maybe that’s why both lingered on the market). However, Desmond slugged at least .430 in each of the season’s between 2012-14, while sowing amazing strength with his arm at short, and stole at least 20 bags a year. Reportedly the Nats offered him a contract of over $100 million before free agency, but he turned it down. Because Desmond may be looking for a long expensive contract, that may be the reason for the Padres’ lack of perusing the star shortstop.
As of right now, San Diego has 3 prospect shortstops ranked top 10 in the Padre farm system. Two of them may be major league ready by the end of 2016 in Javier Guerra and Jose Rondon, both of whom were traded for in July and in November, so maybe the Padres haven’t been in on Desmond for a while. Guerra has shown plenty of pop in the minors, and after a great 2015 working on his defense, he only has one issue to address before reaching major league potential, and that is plate discipline. Rondon has shown legitimate consistency, but no flashes of brilliance that blows scouts away, so that is what they are waiting on from him. With the addition of Desmond, these guys may not have gotten a shot, same goes for the White Sox if they had re-signed Alexi Ramirez, when Tim Anderson is almost ready to take over at short. Yes, the Padres desperately need a shortstop, or a powerful bat, but it is not going to be Desmond, and it was a good call.