Without a playoff appearance since 2006 and mired in also-ran status behind the powers of the National League West, the San Diego Padres are going all-in in 2015. Friday was another day of frantic dealing for Padres general manager A.J. Preller, capping off a week of bold moves. On Friday Preller landed outfielder Justin Upton in a deal with the Atlanta Braves. That was quickly followed by acquiring third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the Boston Red Sox. With the dust settled (for now) the Padres have completely overhauled their offense that ranked 30 th in the majors last year. While some of the deals are still not finalized, if everything goes according to plan the Padres will have this week acquired Matt Kemp , Wil Myers , Derek Norris , Upton, and Middlebrooks. Here’s a look at what their potential revamped 2015 batting order might look like, compared to what their 2014 lineup often looked like on a typical summer day after third baseman Chase Headley was traded in July: 2015 2014 1. Alexi Amarista, SS 1. Everth Cabrera, SS 2. Jedd Gyorko, 2B 2. Yangervis Solarte, 3B 3. Justin Upton, OF 3. Seth Smith, OF 4. Matt Kemp, OF 4. Yasmani Grandal, C 5. Wil Myers, OF 5. Jedd Gyorko, 2B 6. Derek Norris, C 6. Will Venable, OF 7. Will Middlebrooks, 3B 7. Cameron Maybin, OF 8. Yonder Alonso, 1B 8. Yonder Alonso, 1B 9. Pitcher 9. Pitcher In addition to the offensive upgrades, the Padres also added reclamation projects to their pitching staff in Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson. If one or both can turn back the clock they could bolster the backend of the starting rotation which already includes stalwarts Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy. Just as remarkably, the Padres made these deals without losing their top prospects. Catcher Austin Hedges, pitcher Matt Wisler, and outfielder Hunter Renfroe – three of San Diego’s top four prospects according to Baseball America – remain in the organization. A roster overhaul of this nature is not always a recipe for success (just ask the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays , among many other teams). But Preller has put the Padres in a position to make some noise in the tough NL West in 2015, and if nothing else a team worth watching. Some of his players are already excited: Christmas has come early for the @padres this year — Tyson Ross (@TysonRoss) December 19, 2014 Since winning the division in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006 the Padres have had to watch the other California teams dominate. The San Francisco Giants have won three World Series, and the Los Angeles Dodgers throw seemingly endless amounts of cash around in pursuit of a title of their own. The Padres are now poised to make the division a three-horse race.
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