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The Padres insanity and what it means for the Mariners

The Padres are selling the farm for a run in 2016, while the Mariners sit on their biggest assets. What's the right philosophy?

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton is now a member of the San Diego Padres. So is Matt Kemp. And Wil Myers. And still, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Seth Smith, and Will Venable. It's a bonanza of outfielders in San Diego after the Padres revamped their entire starting outfield, trying to go all-in a year after they finished 77-85. Is it brilliant, or is it full-blown Bavasi?

The Padres beat a bunch of apparent offers for Justin Upton, though we may never find out what the Mariners brought to the table. Max Fried, even post-TJ surgey, plus Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson, and Mallex Smith is a nice haul for the Braves for a single season of Upton. Make no mistake, the Mariners were wise not to beat that. Upton will almost certainly walk in a year, and he'll do so after hitting in the cavernous Petco Park this season. I can't imagine Upton's very happy about that, as this trade could very well cost him millions of dollars.

Though the Justin Ruggiano trade hinted at a right field platoon, it didn't rule out anything else, including Upton. Now, the last of the obvious impact trade targets is gone, leaving the Mariners to sort through less popular options like Allen Craig and Seth Smith.

While it seemed like Smith might be an obvious fit for the Mariners now that the Padres have a thousand outfielders, adding Upton gives that notion some pause. The new Padres outfield is entirely right-handed, and there's some speculation that Smith and Carlos Quentin could make up part of a first base platoon after Yonder Alonso struggled in 2014. So really, we know nothing so far. Smith could be traded in hours, or he could be more important to the Padres than before. The Padres are insane. The world is flat.

In many ways, this has been fascinating to watch. The Padres are running their team like they've said yes to every single suggestion from their Facebook page comments. They're sick of being what the Mariners had been for a long time, and are throwing away prospects in exchange for immediate wins. Trying to take a huge leap, playing in the same division with a powerhouse with unlimited money and a team that has won three of the last six World Series trophies.

This isn't exactly Bill Bavasi, only because A.J. Preller is mainlining pints of his blood mixed with crushed caffeine pills.  Then again, I'm a lot lower on both Matt Kemp and Justin Upton than most, especially at their costs to acquire. The Padres are punting outfield defense in the most spacious ballpark in the majors (seriously, is Matt Kemp going to play center field? Wil Myers?), all in favor of traditional offensive measures. It's not as if the Padres aren't going to be significantly better in 2015 -- they will -- but what happens when Kemp hurts himself again or his hips disintegrate, or when Upton walks in a year? What if Wil Myers is actually broken? It's the kind of offseason that ends in glory or sets the franchise back a half-dozen years. There's not a lot of middle ground.

Though I have my own set of concerns about Jack Zduriencik and the current Mariners offseason, I feel inclined to thank him for not doing what the Padres are doing. Despite witnessing the most frenzied winter in years, the M's still hold onto every single one of their trade chips, free to make moves after the dust has settled, or opt to stay loaded with upside and splash in next year's outstanding free agent class. Alternatively, they can see how things play out and add key upgrades at the mid-season trade deadline. I'm ok with this.

The M's may not have had a super-splashy offseason like a subset of impatient fans might want, but they've done absolutely nothing to hamper their future -- at least in terms of talent, and the money doesn't appear like it's going to stop flowing. If they fall short in 2015, at least Zduriencik has, so far, prevented the Mariners from another devastating rebuild.

For that, he should be thanked.