Padres need to think bold

So far this offseason the San Diego Padres have been content at sitting back and watching some of the top names in the game go to different teams. One move that has been considered could change that.

Kevin Towers and crew have maintained that their team needs tweaking but recent additions by NL West teams say otherwise. While teams within the division are making bold moves to get better, the Padres have sat on the sidelines with bat in hand.

There is one bold move that has reached preliminary discussions and would tell fans that the Padres were serious about contention instead of the perceived mediocrity that permeates through San Diego.

Preston Wilson and his $12 million contract are available to the right suitor. It was 2001 when he signed a five year, $32 million deal and in 2003 Wilson was the NL RBI leader.

"He has not officially requested a trade, but he understands the situation in Colorado and would most likely welcome a trade, especially to a contender," agent Bob Bry told reporters on Sunday.

Towers countered with the admission that he would have already traded for Wilson had there been no concerns about his surgically repaired left knee.

The offer he made to Colorado was Jay Payton for Wilson – straight up with Colorado throwing in some cash to make it more palatable. They would essentially be trading one former Rockie for the current. Payton had 28 homers in 2003 for the Rockies but struggled in an extended time at Petco Park.

The deal works on numerous levels. The Padres would take on a little salary as the Rockies are looking to scale back and become more responsible with their contracts and the Friars would get a guy who, minus last year's injury-filled season, has put up twenty plus homers in five straight seasons.

But if the Padres want to be considered as serious players, they need to make bolder moves. Whether that is throwing in another player to entice Colorado into making the deal or swallowing the dollars to get it done, San Diego has to take a step towards reclaiming a division that is slipping away.

There is no doubt Wilson strikes out a lot, but he offers up intangibles that the Padres say they want. He has the ability to steal twenty bases, hit for power and knock in runs.

Payton, meanwhile, has crossed the twenty homer plateau once (in Colorado), has never been good on the base paths and has the same career on base percentage as Wilson.

The potential to make a splash that would appease and anger the fans in San Diego is out there. The management just has to grab it. At the very least it would give fans something to talk about instead of how the Padres continue to let the talent pass them by.

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