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2013 Fantasy outlooks: San Diego Padres

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The biggest offseason move made by the San Diego Padres? Bringing in the fences at PETCO Park, a decision that should inject a little more pop to the power-starved Padres, who finished with the third-fewest home runs in baseball last season. A good deal of this 2013 power production rests on the shoulders of Chase Headley, the team's third baseman. Headley fulfilled years of potential in 2012, hitting a career high 31 home runs in 604 at-bats. But this power surge came somewhat unexpectedly -- after many Fantasy owners had given up on Headley ever developing a big bat. In an injury-shortened 2011, Headley had just four home runs in 381 at-bats. And his previous career high was 12, despite getting more than 540 at-bats twice in prior years. Was 2012 a fluke? Or was it a breakout season at age 28?

Headley had flexed power in the minors before joining the Padres, but he produced a curious set of stats in 2012 -- his ground ball rate was the highest of his career and his home run-to-fly-ball ratio took an unbelievable leap to 21.4 percent (per Fangraphs.com), meaning one of every five fly balls Headley hit was a home run. And he wasn't hitting fly balls very often. Headley's highest HR/FB rate before 2012 was 10.7 percent. This all seems to set Headley up for a heavy correction in 2013, but the fences being moved in may help mask the regression in power.

While Headley's power may take a dip, outfielder Carlos Quentin -- who had his 2012 decimated by knee issues -- should be a nice sleeper candidate for 2013 (see below). The team won't be short on speed, either, led by Everth Cabrera, who stole a National League-leading 44 bases last year despite getting just 398 at-bats. The Padres were second in baseball in steals last year, with Cameron Maybin (26 stolen bases), Will Venable (24) and Headley (17) complementing Cabrera's basepath prowess. Even pitcher Anthony Bass stole a base.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

On the pitching side of things, the Padres have a long list of could-go-either-way starters, let by Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard, who combined to win 25 games in 2012. Volquez led the league with 105 walks, but still struck out about a batter per inning, while Richard kept his walks low but came nowhere near Volquez's level of strikeouts. Both pitchers enjoyed favorable home/road splits, as Volquez sported a 2.95 ERA with three home runs allowed at home and 5.60 ERA with 11 home runs on the road, while Richard had a 3.02 ERA and 10 home runs at home and 4.74 ERA and 21 home runs on the road. With the cozy confines of PETCO becoming a little less cozy for pitchers this season, both Volquez and Richard could see their numbers rise (although probably nothing drastic).

The bullpen features one of baseball's most underrated closers in Huston Street. While always a candidate to lose some games to injury, Street still managed a 1.85 ERA and 0.72 WHIP last year, along with 23 saves, in 40 games. More importantly, the closer role in San Diego has been a virtual lock for 40 saves, dating back to the mid-1990s, when Trevor Hoffman would regularly record 40 or more. Heath Bell continued the trend for the next three years and Street led a bullpen that hit 40 saves total last year. A healthy Street is a really solid late-round addition to Fantasy bullpens.

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Everth Cabrera SS
2. Logan Forsythe 2B
3. Chase Headley 3B
4. Carlos Quentin LF
5. Yonder Alonso 1B
6. Will Venable RF
7. Cameron Maybin CF
8. Nick Hundley C
Bench Chris Denorfia OF
Bench Alexi Amarista IF
Bench Jesus Guzman OF/IF

In suspension news, keep in mind while drafting that catcher Yasmani Grandal will miss the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for PEDs. Nick Hundley should handle catching duties while Grandal sits.

Sleeper ... Carlos Quentin, outfielder

Quentin has become a sort of forgotten man for the Padres. In 86 games last year, he hit 16 home runs and managed an .877 OPS -- the second-highest OPS of his career. And this was while he was returning from knee surgery and then battling issues that arose throughout the season with the same knee. But with Quentin looking like he's healthy heading into 2013, we could see a power-hitting renaissance from the 30-year-old. Quentin has never seen 500 at-bats in a season, but has put up campaigns of 36, 21, 26 and 24 home runs. He's also a threat to hit 30 doubles. His average, which could float anywhere between .250 and .270, is nothing to get excited about, but he should pop up in games with a good amount of runners to drive in. For a late-round pick, Quentin could return a lot of value to a Fantasy owner willing to take an optimistic view on his health.

Deep sleeper ... Andrew Cashner, starting pitcher

Thanks to an unfortunate hunting accident in the offseason, Cashner may not be ready to go at the start of the year. But when he does, he has a few Fantasy elements working in his favor. First, in points leagues, Cashner will have relief pitcher eligibility, meaning owners who may have missed out on Kris Medlen or Aroldis Chapman could still snag Cashner late as a consolation prize. And second, although his 4.27 ERA and 1.32 WHIP from last year don't exactly look stellar, Cashner missed time and probably returned too early from a strained lat, eventually having to be shut down late in the season. He will enter 2013 -- at some point, possibly as early as mid-April -- as a starter. With some really stellar minor league numbers behind him (a 2.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP over 205 1/3 minor league innings, mostly as a starter), Cashner could be an absolute steal in NL-only drafts. Beware of him later in the year, though, as Cashner has yet to eclipse 120 innings in a season and will likely have some kind of cap.

Points league gem ... Yonder Alonso, first baseman

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Edinson Volquez RHP
2. Clayton Richard LHP
3. Jason Marquis RHP
4. Freddy Garcia RHP
5. Andrew Cashner RHP
ALT Eric Stults LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Huston Street RHP
2. Luke Gregerson RHP
3. Dale Thayer RHP
4. Joe Thatcher LHP
5. Anthony Bass RHP

Here's a fun fact about Yonder Alonso: he finished 16th in MLB with 39 doubles last year (good for eighth in the National League). Alonso also hit nine home runs, batted .273 and stole three bases. Granted, he struck out 101 times, which is never fun for points-leaguers, but he somewhat offset those with 62 walks. His strikeouts weren't even in the top 50 of NL batters -- his walks had him 19th. Alonso can go one of two ways in 2013. He can either continue to be an Alex Gordon-style doubles machine, improving on his rookie season and hitting 45 or so doubles while maintaining a nice average; or he can build on his 2012 and turn some of those doubles into home runs (as he did show some nice power flashes in the minors as a prospect coming up with Cincinnati). A hybrid of the two scenarios is definitely possible, but the point here is that Alonso had a very nice table-setting rookie year in 2012 and there's no real reason to think he will falter, outside of some subjective gut feeling that he will fall victim to a sophomore slump.

Prospects Report

The most tantalizing prospect in the stacked San Diego system is Jedd Gyorko, a 24-year-old power hitter who can play second or third base. Gyorko has a .319 career minor league average with 55 home runs in the last two seasons, split across three levels. There's a chance Gyorko can make the team out of spring training as a second baseman, which would move either Everth Cabrera or Logan Forsythe to the bench. A more likely scenario, however, would be San Diego falling out of contention near the end of July and the team trading Chase Headley to make room for Gyorko at third base. In either case, Gyorko is worth a late stash in NL-only leagues and deeper mixed leagues. ... Baseball America considers pitcher Casey Kelly the top Padres prospect. Kelly had a 6.21 ERA in six starts for the team last year, but this was after missing three months with a strained elbow ligament. The 23-year-old has great control, doesn't issue a ton of walks and could turn out to be a fairly decent strikeout pitcher. He could be in the rotation by mid-season in 2013. ... Rymer Liriano has some impressive speed and could develop into a nice power hitter. Still just 21, the outfielder has at least another year of minor league seasoning before he shows up in San Diego…

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Report: Padres continue to talk to Braves about Justin Upton
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:15 am ET) The Padres continue to talk to the Braves about outfielder Justin Upton, according to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.

Despite the fact that the Padres acquired both Matt Kemp and Wil Myers on Thursday, the team may not be done yet. It's unclear where Upton would fit into the team's plans, but he would be a clear upgrade over whoever the club is planning to start in center field. If the team were to acquire Upton, one of that trio would be pushed into action in center. While Kemp has experience at the position, he's not considered a strong defender. 

The 27-year-old Upton is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 over 566 at-bats.


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(12/18/2014) The Rangers have shown interest in pitcher Brandon Beachy, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Beachy is coming off Tommy John surgery, but multiple teams are said to have interest in signing him. The 28-year-old has a 3.23 career ERA over 267 2/3 innings, but underwent his second Tommy John surgery in March. Beachy's representative, Robert Martin said Beachy has multiple offers, but doesn't believe a decision is imminent. 


Report: Athletics sending Derek Norris to Padres
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Athletics have agreed to trade catcher Derek Norris to the Padres, according to the New York Daily News.

After dealing Yasmani Grandal to Los Angeles in the Matt Kemp deal, the Padres were in need of a new backstop. It didn't take long for them to replace Grandal, as the team acquired Norris shortly after the Kemp deal went through.

Pitcher Seth Streich will also head to the Padres in the deal, according to FoxSports.com The 23-year-old posted a 3.16 ERA over 114 innings in High A last season.

The 25-year-old Norris is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.361/.403 over 385 at-bats. Norris is under team control through the 2018 season.

The Athletics are expected to receive pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez in the deal, according to Yahoo! The 24-year-old Alvarez posted a 1.25 ERA over 43 1/3 innings at Double-A last year.

Hahn, 25, posted a 3.07 ERA over 73 1/3 innings in the majors last year. He was excellent in Double-A, posting a 1.91 ERA in 42 1/3 innings before being called up.


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(12/18/2014) The Padres, Rays and Nationals have completed a trade that will send Wil Myers to San Diego, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The deal had been in the works for a few days, but was finally agreed to late Thursday night. Myers, 24, will head to the Padres in the deal. He hit .222/.294/.320 over 325 at-bats with the Rays last season. Myers also missed time due to a wrist injury. 

The Padres will also receive catcher Ryan Hanigan and pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo in the deal. 

Tampa Bay will receive outfielder Steven Souza and pitcher Travis Ott from the Nationals. Souza, 25, hit .345/.427/.577 in 357 at-bats spread over three levels last year. 

The Rays will also receive catcher Rene Rivera, first baseman Jake Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith from San Diego.

Washington is set to acquire pitcher Joe Ross from San Diego. The team will also receive infielder Trea Turner in the deal. Turner was a 2014 draft pick, and cannot be traded until midseason, so he's currently considered a player to be named later.


Phillies to send Jimmy Rollins to Dodgers
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Phillies have completed a trade that will send shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. News that the deal was finally going through was initially reported by Yahoo!

The deal has been in place for some time, but was dependent on a separate Dodgers deal going through. The Dodgers will send pitcher Zach Eflin to Philadelphia as part of the Rollins trade, but first needed to acquire Eflin from the Padres in the Matt Kemp deal. The Dodgers and Padres finally reached an agreement late Thursday night, meaning Eflin could finally be sent to Philadelphia. The 20-year-old Eflin posted a 3.80 ERA in 128 innings at High A last year.

Rollins, 36, hit .243/.323/.394 over 538 at-bats last season. He's in the final year of his contract, and is set to make $11 million next year.


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(12/18/2014) The Dodgers and Padres have agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. News that the deal had finally come together was first reported by Yahoo!

The trade has been in the works for some time, but was dependent on Kemp passing a physical. It was reported early Thursday that Kemp's physical revealed arthritic hips. The Padres had to to figure out insurance on the contract, which is why it took so long for the deal to go through.

Catcher Tim Federowicz will also head to San Diego in the deal. The Dodgers will send $32 million over as well. 

In return, Los Angeles is set to receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Joe Weiland and Zach Eflin. Eflin is expected to be flipped to Philadelphia for shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

The 30-year-old Kemp hit .287/.346/.506 over 541 at-bats last year. Kemp is set to earn a little over $21 million in each of the next five seasons. 


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(12/18/2014) The Rockies are looking at a number of veteran right-handers to fill out the rotation, according to MLB.com.

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Cubs agree to sign Anthony Carter
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The 30-year-old Vogt hit .279/.321/.431 over 269 at-bats last year. 


 
 
 
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