It’s safe to say that the first half of 2015 hasn’t gone the way the Padres would have hoped. After making a number of surprisingly aggressive moves over the winter, the organization expected to contend for a playoff spot, but after another loss last night, the team now stands at just 37-42. Entering July at five games under .500 puts them closer to rebuilding teams like the Braves and Diamondbacks, and they’re only barely ahead of the Reds, who are widely expected to start moving some of their best players as the trade deadline draws near.
Over the next month, General Manager A.J. Preller and his staff will have to make some tough decisions. For instance, Justin Upton is a free agent at the end of the year, and a return to San Diego seems unlikely, so if the Padres don’t trade Upton before August 1st, they risk letting him leave for nothing more than a single draft pick as compensation. In a trade market with few sellers, and even those who are selling lacking impact hitters to sell, Upton could fetch a nice return, perhaps bringing back a decent approximation of what Preller sent to Atlanta to get Upton in the first place.
But despite the fact that we currently estimate their odds of making the playoffs at less than 10%, I don’t think the Padres should sell Upton, or any of their other players who would be attractive chips on the trade market. Even with the odds stacked against them, I think the Padres should keep this group together and hope for the best.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.