Should the Padres ‘Trust the Process’ or make big trades at the deadline?

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The Padres' front office have a decision to make regarding the future.

- And if you missed it, here's what Buster Olney said about the Padres going after a frontline pitcher. They've been rumored to be chasing, potentially, Chris Archer and Noah Syndergaard. Why would this be a huge mistake to go after one of these big name pitchers right now?

BUSTER OLNEY (ON PHONE): Because of the timing. Uh, and for the same mistake that, generally speaking within baseball, it was thought to be a mistake that the Padres signed Eric Hosmer. And it's not, you know-- because Eric Hosmer is a very respected player, someone who's accomplished a lot. But at the time that the Padres first became involved in the Hosmer conversations, a-- a lot of the talk I had with executives of the team was why now?

Like, you've got a team that's not ready to contend. Uh, why would you overpay in a marketplace where there are a ton of first basemen, uh, for a player who, by the time the Padres are contending again, he would be on the downslope of his career? And I think you could apply all of that to their-- if, in fact, they follow up with the pursuit of a controllable, veteran starter, like an Archer, like a Marcus Stroman.

If you, uh, trade for Chris Archer now and-- and look, there's a lot about his contract and about his ability that you love, but the Padres need time. Like, they have this tremendous farm system. AJ Preller has made some great trades to put them in a position, uh, where, in two or three years, they might be more relevant in the National League West. But right now, they're not.

And if you're going to pay-- you're willing to pay the type of price that it would cost to get someone like a Chris Archer right now, you might as well keep those assets and then pay the price when the team's closer to being competitive in the National League West.

JUDSON RICHARDS: Now as-- as I was listening back to this interview, Nick, I-- I heard you say a couple things that really, really got my attention. Uh, number one is that you were not interested in a frontline starter. Number two is that you've said you're becoming a believer in the farm system, where last we spoke, prospects were suspects.

- They are suspect. They still are suspect, but here's what my problem with the Padres organization and where they're at right now is. And what they've been trying to sell. And here's where all the confusion and all the frustration comes into place is.

You've got outliers like a Will Myers signing. Six years, $83 million. Which Buster Olney, in his article, also talked about didn't really make sense at the time, to spend good money on a guy who hasn't been all that good.

Talked about the Eric Hosmer signing, which was disjointed from the company line, bringing in Dave Cameron from FanGraphs, who wrote very strongly worded articles against signing Eric Hosmer. And the only article that had me reach out to him, Eric Hosmer is a 155th out of 161 qualifying batters in terms of war. 155 out of 161.

They brought a guy in-house that specifically said that's not the dude. Baseball's not paying guys on the corners anymore, yet the Padres are paying guys on the corners. So what's been so confusing and misleading and frustrating, frankly, about the Padres organization is that they're trying to sell you on one thing and what they're trying to sell you on is the farm.

And the front office will tell you the farm's where it's at. We've got 10 of the top 100 MLB and it's like, let's pat ourselves on the back. And you see it all over MLB Network and ESPN. After the Francisco Mejia, it's like, now they have 10 of the top 100, and they're touting that.

But then the news coming out about Chris Archer, who's going to be 30, by the way, next month. In September, Chris Archer is going to be 30 years old.

- Yes, September 26th. Happy early 30th.

- Yeah, it's like, wow. You got him on contract for 3 and 1/2 more years of a team-friendly contract. Well, whoopity-doo. Because he's going to be 33 and a 1/2 years old.

And by the way, in the west, you're not going to be relevant for another three years anyhow. You got to let the Dodgers end this wave of good success and young players right in their prime before you have any chance to get back up in the NL West. Like, you've got to let time come to you a little bit.

And so they've been beating us down with this farm system. It's been believe in the farm. Here's the future. Here's the past. You got 98 and you've got the farm. You got Fernando Tatis, you got Luis Urias, you got Cal Quantrill, you got MacKenzie Gore. You've got the farm. Believe in the farm.

Now Chris Archer comes up, an aging pitcher. And yeah, there's the Noah Syndergaard talk out there. But none of that seems real, where this Archer deal seems real. And he's 30 years old.

And you're thinking OK, so if we're supposed to believe in the farm, but you're willing to trade everybody-- and these are the rumors-- you're willing to trade everybody but one and two. Fernando Tatis, and number two in the organization is apparently Mackenzie Gore.

Not willing to trade those two. Willing to part with everybody else. So you've asked me to believe in the farm system that, obviously, you don't believe in. So it's like going to a church, and you've got a pastor up front who's preaching the good word, but he's an atheist. And he's preaching the good word because he wants your money to come out of your pockets, but there's a disconnect and there's an inauthenticity to what they're selling.

It's like a company's got two completely different directions that they're headed in. You can choose two paths. You can't choose them at the same time. So they've gone-- you've either got this farm that you're going to believe in and we're gonna trust the process, right? We've heard that 100 times.

Hot talent lava. 20, 20, 20, 21, 20, 22. We're gonna be good. And then you get disjointed messages, like, false signals coming to you about Will Myers, Eric Hosmer, Chris Archer.

What I would argue that they do is choose a path, and stick with the path, and get everybody on the same page. I can't believe in a company, I can't buy its product, if you don't even know what you're selling. That's all I'm arguing. Unless you're just straight up selling the experience.

So what I sense, and what Buster senses, and here he is right here. And this is the quote that really resonated with me. If the Padres ownership or front office tries to accelerate the current rebuild before the players are ready, as they seemed to do with the Hosmer signing, the Padres are gonna run the risk of squandering even more resources and setting back the organizational timeline again.