Dodgers: Padres GM AJ Preller Asked if His Team is Better Than Los Angeles
Just a few months after the Dodgers took home their first World Series title since 1988, the Padres are making headlines. A series of trades and signings have led to San Diego being touted as one of the teams to best in 2021, even before any other moves happen in MLB.
Padres GM AJ Preller was recently asked about improvements made by his team since they were eliminated by the Dodgers in the Division Series. The most blatant question was whether he felt that this new Padres team was now better than the division-rival Dodgers. Preller answered the question in the most diplomatic way imaginable, as expected for an MLB General Manager.
Uh, that’s, that’s pretty better right there,” he said. “They’re obviously, they’re the class of the league right now and they’ve been the class of the division for pretty much the decade. We’ll see how it plays out. … The goal here is to win a championship. That’s the idea.
Adding in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish is going to make any team better than they were a year ago. But the Padres were beat up going into that NLDS against the Dodgers. Mike Clevinger tried his best to battle through an injury, and that’s part of the reason he needs to miss the 2021 season.
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Dinelson Lamet is another guy that held the Dodgers in check for much of 2020, but he didn’t get a chance to pitch due to injury. The duo of Snell and Darvish should provide San Diego with a decent boost, regardless of the health of their other pitchers moving forward. They also signed top international free-agent Ha-Seong Kim, but the jury is still out on his potential.
Are the Padres better than the Dodgers now? No…but it’s closer than it was a season ago.
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SD is better today than last season and will make for an entertaining race in the division. Preller deserves credit. What I find more compelling is their position in 2022 and the few years that follow. They will have a dynamic rotation, after the return of Clevinger and the maturation of Gore, and actually be positioned better financially for a time before they have to deal with extending their young stars that the Dodgers are now facing.
Of course they’ll also be drafting at the bottom of the rounds – where the Dodgers draft – instead of the top – where they’ve been comfortably positioned to build their farm for a while – so let’s see how long they can remain.
Snell and Darvish are great acquisitions, but you still have the play the game between the lines. Darvish is an aging pitcher with a lot of miles on that arm and has had TJ surgery. The Padres are indeed better and a solid contender for the NL West which for now and the foreseeable future still goes through 1000 Vin Scully Drive.
Bring back JT on a two year contract, one more piece for the BP and lets play ball. Gonzalez, May, Gonsolin, Gray, Uceta, White, Grove, Pepiot, Beeter, Knack and others are some young arms that will graduate to full-time roles on the big club. I like our team and I’m looking forward to how AF integrates the youth with veterans to keep us competitive for a long time.
Concur with everything you have written but must add that we should not be complacent about our need to acquire proven RHBs (to counter LHPs.) Snell was an absolute beast in Game 6; however, with more opportunity to hit against him, we should be able to start seeing him. This upcoming year will definitely be a bit more competitive for us in the NL West.
Yes you still need to play the games, but I’m sure the fathers believe they will take the NL-West in 2021(if there is a completed season). DON’T get complacent Dodgers.
Let’s be honest. SD tried going big back in 2015 as well and how’d that work out for them? No doubt that Snell was a great move. Darvish is aging and has been wildly inconsistent or injured for several years now. They are going to need more pitching and some steady progression from their younger players to have a shot.
Let’s be honest. SD tried going big back in 2015 as well and how’d that work out for them? No doubt that Snell was a great move. Darvish is aging and has been wildly inconsistent or injured for several years now. They are going to need more pitching and some steady progression from their younger players to have a shot at competing with LA this year.
The best team is the one that wins it all in October, with the notable exception of 2017. It’s best not talk about being the best until you do that. The Padres are doing everything right, including civility from the front office. Now we just have to play the actual games. And the Dodgers will have the Mookie factor on their side, which is a pure winning attitude to go along with exceptional talent.