Yahoo Sports MLB writers Hannah Keyser and Zach Crizer discuss San Diego’s disappointing performance so far this season and the dilemma of loading up a roster of talent versus stacking a lineup with a lot of depth. Hear the full conversation on “The Bandwagon” - Yahoo Sports’ new baseball podcast - and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
ZACH CRIZER: The Padres are kind of standing alone as MLB's most disappointing team, which is not going to get better for them this week. I mean, it might get better for them this week.
HANNAH KEYSER: They're playing the Washington Nationals. I feel like it's going to get better for them.
ZACH CRIZER: That's a bad comparison, though, because they're going to just be reminded of all the players they gave up for Juan Soto. And, look, Juan Soto has been fine recently. He's been good recently. It does not change the fact that the whole problem with the Padres is that they have, like, four players and no one else who can do anything.
And they are going to play the Nationals, who have several of the players who might have been helpful for them if they had not traded them away. And I'm not saying the Juan Soto trade was bad. I'm just saying it does drive home the point that the Padres have spent a lot of time trading away depth that they could really use right now.
HANNAH KEYSER: Right. The Juan Soto trade, I don't think anything about the Juan Soto-- like, it's not like people saw coming that Juan Soto was going to perform poorly for a long stretch with the Padres when he had not done so with the Nationals. I'm not going to say that he got bad, because, again, he's playing better and he's still quite young.
And in fact, the season is still quite young and he might go on to have, like, get some MVP votes kind of season. But you're right that it is a, perhaps, unfortunately timed reminder that they really mortgaged their future for this very particular team that does not look especially well constructed. If your team is both expensive, under .500, and the farm system is in the bottom 10, something has gone wrong along the way.
And we don't really know what it is. It's like something in the team construction. But, like, it really is-- in the offseason-- in the offseason I wrote a column that was like, sign all the good players. Who cares if they fit?
And as it turns out, the results of the baseball, they care if it fits. Like, the Padres are kind of like an experiment in, like, does talent win out of over, like, incredibly precise team construction and depth? And not yet.
ZACH CRIZER: Yeah. I think there's a difference between the fit and the depth. And I don't think it would matter if you had Jake Cronenworth playing first, and Fernando Tatis playing right, and all of these guys playing out of their technical original position. It wouldn't matter if they actually had enough guys to fill out a lineup with competent bats.
But they kind of don't. They have a bit of an issue that you can't solve with just rearranging the stars they have, because for the most part, the stars they have are not the issue. It's they don't have enough guys to keep the offense rolling.