ESPN Insider Paul Swydan calls the San Diego Padres his "sleeper" for 2014, and thinks the team "has the talent to make some noise in the National League." One of the reasons for his optimism is the depth that the team has in the outfield.
"With an outfield of Carlos Quentin, Will Venable, Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin, Chris Denorfia, Kyle Blanks and maybe even Reymond Fuentes, depth should not be as big a concern this season. It's not just depth, of course, it's quality depth. Smith and Venable crush righties while Denorfia and Blanks crush lefties," Swydan writes.
That depth has certainly been noticed by other organizations, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests that the Boston Red Sox might be interested in seeing if they can't lure Denorfia away from San Diego.
"While the Red Sox don’t believe they can carry another outfielder, they have expressed some interest in Denorfia, a righthanded bat with a little power who can play center field. The Red Sox might be able to swing a move like this if they deal Mike Carp or Daniel Nava somewhere," Cafardo writes.
San Diego, for their part, is not done adding outfield depth to the mix. Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres have signed Xavier Nady to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
"So what can Boston's 2012-13 turnaround tell us about 2014? Which teams suffered last season because of underachieving players but look poised to bounce back in a big way like the Sox just did?"