Let's be honest, nobody can remember the last time the San Diego Padres had an offense that intimidated an opposing pitcher. Things will likely be different this season as the Padres have a brand new outfield and have put together a very solid and respectable lineup.
San Diego has been very busy this offseason, making trades for outfielders Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and catcher Derek Norris. That's 70 home runs and 281 RBI combined from last year and that's with Myers playing in just 87 games. Nice little upgrade for a team that ranked dead last in the MLB in runs, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
The Padres are only paying Matt Kemp $3 million for 2015 thanks to a huge frontloading payout from the Dodgers. With the money they don't have to spend on Kemp this season, they were able to sign James Shields.
Adding an ace like Shields is a nice fit with Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Brandon Morrow/Robbie Erlin. The bullpen is pretty solid as well with Joaquin Benoit as their closer and Shawn Kelley, Dale Thayer and Kevin Quackenbush handling the 6-7-8th innings.
1. Yangervis Solarte - 3B
2. Wil Myers - CF
3. Matt Kemp - RF
4. Justin Upton - LF
5. Yonder Alonso - 1B
6. Jedd Gyorko - 2B
7. Derek Norris - C
8. Alexi Amarista - SS
After going 77-85 last season, I believe this will be an 84 win team with a chance to take a wildcard spot in the National League.