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What the Padres need; innings eater and an IF and OF

The Padres just picked up Outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Marlins in exchange for relievers Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb. They were excellent relievers (with the exception of Mujica and his relative home run vulnerability). What the organization needs now, in order to get them both over the hump, and to take the next step, is to get a back up proven outfielder that is versatile for both corner positions as well as center. The person I came up with is Jacoby Ellsbury, he has been linked to San Diego in the past and now with his strained relationship with Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and his injury debacle, he has a lot to prove and teams are interested, but he might be the best fit for the Padres. Think about it, Ellsbury has a great eye at the plate, is very versatile all throughout the outfield, he can steal bases (even home plate which he proved last season) and he is a veteran player. He fits all facets of what the Padres are looking for and then some. With the Diamondbacks, Angels, Mets, Braves and Cubs all interested in Ellsbury, San Diego better strategize quickly and often. Maybin will fight for the starting Center field position, but Ellsbury can be a great pick up and an outstanding back up for Ludwick, Maybin and Venable in certain games, plus be given the occasional starting position as well.

What the team also needs is an innings eater. Jon Garland just got picked up by the Dodgers for a one year deal with an option for two years depending on certain incentives. That was a sad departure, but it might have been a blessing in disguise due to the fact that Chris Young wants to come back and they could offer him a "San Diego discount" and pry him back as the ace of the staff if need be. That would work out, but what I was thinking was more of a Jeremy Bonderman type. He has been known to be rather injury prone in the past, but could help the Padres with his strong arm and his propensity to eat up innings in a long season. He will be seeking a short term incentive-laden contract due to the wear and tear of his pitching arm, but it will ultimately be worth it in the end. Other names out there are Erik Bedard, Jeff Francis, and even Brandon Webb, but two of the three would be inter-division rivals so that might not work with certain General Managers.

If Tejada comes back with a cheaper deal, due to his production and clubhouse presence, he will be seeking more money than what he received last year, but out of all the teams interested (Padres, Giants, Cardinals) he might want to go to the one that has the best chance of contending, which could be all three but the Giants have the leg up since they won a championship this past year, so that remains to be seen. Another attractive option is a healthy Eric Chavez who just left the Athletics where he spent his whole career. If he wants to make a comeback he could play both middle infield and second base and we could sign him to a short term deal where there is no risk involved. That would be up to him, but either way it is a win win if Tejada comes back and if Jerry Hairston signs on the dotted line in a mutual option, than we are set just like last year. All we need is some more production in the outfield and infield and an innings eater veteran starting pitcher and we're set, it sounds easier than it actually is but we will leave the difficult jobs to the Jed Hoyers of the world. We have faith in him, he will eventually do the right thing, we just have to believe again!

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