A-Gon gone, but Padres excited about future
Padres manager Bud Black said Sunday he’s excited about his
team’s roster, even after an offseason in which the team traded
star slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.
Gonzalez is one of several key departures from a surprising team
that was in first place in the NL West for 131 games last season
and finished with 90 victories.
The Padres ultimately missed out on the postseason after
finishing two games behind the World Series champion San Francisco
Giants, but Black was named NL manager of the year for keeping a
team that started with a $38 million payroll in contention until
the final day.
Working with a group that will feature a maximum of nine
holdovers from last season’s 25-man roster from opening day, Black
knows there’s plenty of work to do during spring training.
”We like the group that is assembled,” Black said. ”We’re
excited about some of the new guys we brought in. It’s a group
that, especially on the position players’ side, will look a little
different than last year’s group. That is the nature of this day
The Padres added center fielder Cameron Maybin and shortstop
Jason Bartlett in separate trades this offseason, and also signed
free agents that include pitcher Aaron Harang, second baseman
Orlando Hudson, first baseman Brad Hawpe and infielder Jorge
”That’s part of managing and coaching is making all the pieces
to the puzzle fit,” Black said. ”We feel as though the guys we
have will mesh and that’s what spring training is for.”
The Padres’ roster is mostly set, though club officials knew
they had no way of replacing Gonzalez, who played five seasons in
San Diego and was the team’s most valuable player in each of the
Hawpe is expected to be the team’s starting first baseman though
Cantu will also see time there. The Padres’ competitions are
primarily for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, the final
spot in the bullpen and for several backup jobs.