WHAT THEY NEEDED: The Padres haven't had a true ace in 18 years. Bullpen depth. A catcher.
WHAT THEY GOT: Kevin Brown, the world champion Marlins' No. I starter, is as good as it gets. Mark Langston may also start. There might be a good arm or two among Brian Boehringer, Dan Miceli, Ed Vosberg and Don Wengert. Catcher Greg Myers is new and unproven.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS: With Brown, the Padres instantly leap into the playoff race. And if Langston has anything left, that gives them two quality starters. Throw in a bunch of new relievers, and San Diego has improved its pitching staff by leaps and bounds—something many teams desperately wanted to do this off-season but few were able to accomplish.