The recent acquisitions over the holidays by the San Diego Padres have sent shock waves throughout Major League Baseball, especially the Colorado Rockies and the rest of the NL West.
To borrow a line from Bull Durham, over the past few days, the San Diego Padres have “announced their presence with authority” by acquiring in separate trades former Cy Young winner Blake Snell and four-time All-Star Yu Darvish. They have also agreed to a deal with 25-year-old Korean Baseball Organization star infielder Ha-Seong Kim. These moves have created huge repercussions for the NL West and the Colorado Rockies.
Coming off a 37-win season, which was the second-best record in the National League and third in all of baseball, the Padres were already poised to make a run at the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division title, or even perhaps the pennant. Now, these moves have cemented the Padres’ candidacy as one of the front-runners for the World Series.
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Of course, this is not good for the Rockies who are coming off a monumental collapse to the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, where they finished with a 26-34 record after a blistering 11-3 start. Heading into 2021, the Rockies will be looking at a schedule that includes a combined 38 games against the Padres and Dodgers who could both potentially be 100-plus win teams.
The biggest concern for Rockies’ fans is that these moves may motivate the Dodgers into making some big moves of their own to keep up and one of those moves could involve Nolan Arenado.
Here at the Rox Pile, we have already thumbed our noses at Jim Bowden’s prediction that Arenado would be in a Dodger uniform by Christmas in this article, and many of the other rumors that revolved around the departure of the star third baseman but might these moves trigger an arms race at the top of the NL West.
Even if Arenado isn’t traded to the Dodgers, there are plenty of other big-name players that they could be interested in that other teams may be willing to part ways with. This could turn into the ultimate buyer’s market as those franchises’ who are flushed with cash, prey on the fiscally conservative ones who are still reeling from the economic hardships that have come along with this pandemic.
Whatever the case may be, these moves by the Padres spell bad news for a Colorado club that is looking to shed payroll rather than compete for the division.