I think of the Padres as being built on more of an sort-of ad hoc basis, through trades and free agent signings more than high draft picks, all backed by a decision to loosen the purse strings the last couple of years. But that's just a vague impression. Since having no first-round draft pick in 2015, they have picked 8th/24th/5th (three picks), 3rd, 7th, 6th and 8th, and I don't see any of their first-round picks on the 25-man roster yet. (C.J. Abrams is in the system, and there are probably others.)
I will take a closer look when I get a chance.
That seems like a good reason to try Lopez as a reliever this season. When Means, Zimmermann, Kremer, Akin and Lowther are all healthy the O's could put Lopez in the pen and see how he does.
With what we have seen so far I don't think the O's protect him this off season if he does not improve. Some pitchers improve when the game is on the line. Lopez does not seem to raise to the occasion as often as he needs to.