After the 2011 season, the Padres followed the lead of some other small-market teams and spent almost $60 million on three young players who had already succeeded in the big leagues but who were still under team control.
All three of the deals blew up miserably. And all three were good decisions the team should try to replicate.
The Padres payroll right now is $87 million, putting it near baseball’s lower third and last in the National League West. Ownership has made clear there’s a limit on how much it can spend that isn’t much more than that.