San Diego Padres GM Josh Byrnes is moving the team in the right direction. It seems as though the fire sales are a thing of the past, all the more evident by Byrnes locking up two trade assets, Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, to three- and two-year deals, respectively, prior to Tuesday's non-waiver MLB trade deadline.
However, with injuries to much of the 2012 pitching staff, potential offseason suitors for Chase Headley and many prospects chomping at the bit to break camp next year with San Diego, the 2013 Opening Day lineup and pitching staff will differ greatly from that of this season. The team will no doubt be young, but mostly absent will be end-of-the-line veterans serving as placeholders for the farm system's elite.
The most heralded minors system in the land will be heavily showcased and should provide daily excitement at Petco Park.
A couple of notes before getting to the lists: With middle infield prospect Jonathan Galvez at least a year away from solidifying his place next to Vinny Belnome and no real strong option currently on the roster, I believe that Byrnes will be active in free agency and sign Marco Scutaro to a two-year deal worth somewhere in the $8 to $12 million range.
Also, I do believe that Headley will be traded this winter. Third base prospect Jedd Gyorko is major league-ready so there's no sense in keeping a highly valued trade piece who is about to become expensive (Headley) when his heir apparent is ready to play for more cost-controllable years.
Now, on to the predictions! Please do leave feedback so we can all participate in some witty banter about finally having a team worth debating.
2013 Opening Day Lineup
Marco Scutaro - SS
Logan Forsythe - LF
Jedd Gyorko - 3B
Carlos Quentin - RF
Yasmani Grandal - C
Yonder Alonso - 1B
Cameron Maybin - CF
Vinny Belnome - 2B
Andrew Cashner - P
2013 Opening Day Rotation