Offseason Outlook: San Diego Padres

Along side this submit, Darragh McDonald will probably be internet hosting a Padres-centric chat on 11-2-22. Click on right here to ask a query upfront, take part or learn the transcript afterwards.

2022 was an enormous success for the Padres, as they made the playoffs in a full season for the primary time since 2006. They then knocked off the 101-win Mets in addition to the 111-win Dodgers, slaying “the dragon up the freeway.” The Phillies put a cease to the magic within the NLCS however it was nonetheless the perfect marketing campaign in latest Padres historical past. They’ve a powerful core collectively to maintain the great instances getting into 2023, however will even have to deal with some gaps created when some key items hit free company.

Assured Contracts

Padres additionally owe Eric Hosmer, since traded to the Crimson Sox, the vast majority of the three years and $39MM left on his contract. The Crimson Sox pays him the league minimal with the Padres paying the remaining. Hosmer can choose out after 2022 however is unlikely to take action.

Complete 2023 commitments: $128.11MM
Complete future commitments: $727.45MM

Choices Choices

  • Wil Myers, OF: $20MM membership possibility with $1MM buyout.
  • Jurickson Profar, OF: $7.5MM participant possibility with $1MM buyout. Contract additionally has mutual possibility for 2024.
  • Nick Martinez, RP: $6.5MM participant possibility with $1MM buyout. Identical construction exists for 2024 and 2025.
  • Robert Suarez, RP: $5MM participant possibility with $1MM buyout.

Arbitration-Eligible Gamers (projected 2023 salaries by way of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)

Free Brokers

The Padres stole the present on the 2022 commerce deadline, buying Juan Soto in one of the distinctive trades in baseball historical past. He nonetheless has a pair years of arbitration eligibility to go, that means the Friars will be capable of get pleasure from a full season of Soto’s work in 2023. When it comes to the opposite deadline pickups, Brandon Drury and Josh Bell are heading to free company however Josh Hader has one arb 12 months left, permitting the Padres to hold onto him.

Soto will probably be locked into proper subject, with Trent Grisham seemingly subsequent to him in heart. Grisham didn’t have an awesome 12 months on the plate in 2022, however he’s nonetheless precious attributable to his velocity and protection. Left subject may very well be broad open, as Jurickson Profar is lined as much as choose out of the ultimate season of his three-year deal. He’s set to make $7.5MM however may take the $1MM buyout and look to seek out greater than $6.5MM on the open market to come back out forward. Wil Myers additionally noticed a while within the outfield in 2022, although the Padres are positive to offer him the $1MM buyout as an alternative of choosing up his $20MM possibility.

After all, one complicating issue that must be thought-about is the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. An harm incurred by way of bike accident through the lockout stored him out of motion for the primary half of 2022 after which a PED suspension prevented him showing within the second half. The Padres should decide on the place Tatis suits after that disappointing sequence of occasions. He nonetheless has 20 video games remaining on his suspension however will probably be eligible to return to the crew after that. Whereas he was out of motion, Ha-Seong Kim took over the shortstop job and had a superb season.

Tatis has performed some outfield prior to now whereas coping with accidents that stored him off brief. He may theoretically be moved onto the grass going ahead, however it appears the membership is leaning in direction of a plan the place Tatis returns to brief, Kim strikes over to second and Jake Cronenworth will get bumped to first. With Myers, Drury and Bell all departing, that will open up first for Cronenworth. Manny Machado is coming off a superb season and will probably be a mainstay at third. If that’s certainly the plan they want to observe, including a nook outfielder ought to be the principle precedence on the place participant facet of issues.

The Friars have some inner choices who may step up, resembling José Azocar or Brandon Dixon, however they need to be in search of an improve right here. The highest of the outfield market this winter will probably be Aaron Decide, who is about up for a large payday. The Padres have proven they don’t seem to be afraid to make an enormous strike, that means they’ll’t be dominated out on getting Decide and maybe shifting Soto over to left. Nevertheless, with many massive contracts already in place, they may go for extra modest choices like Andrew Benintendi, Michael Brantley or Mitch Haniger. They is also a match for Trey Mancini, who can play first base and the outfield corners. Bringing again Drury and his positional versatility can also be a logical transfer.

Behind the plate, the Padres have three MLB-caliber catchers in place, although they should decide about whether or not or to not hold all of them round subsequent 12 months. Jorge Alfaro didn’t get a lot time behind the plate in direction of the top of the 12 months, solely beginning at catcher 4 instances after rosters expanded at first of September. The remainder of the begins went to Austin Nola and Luis Campusano. With Alfaro hanging out in 35.8% of his plate appearances and never getting nice marks for his defensive work, the membership seemingly strikes on and lets Campusano lastly have some actual enjoying time. He debuted in 2020 however nonetheless solely has 28 MLB video games on his résumé. With Alfaro projected for an arbitration wage of $3.6MM, he’s more likely to be non-tendered.

Within the rotation, the Padres will nonetheless have a powerful entrance three, as Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell are all below contract for subsequent 12 months. They should make choices in regards to the backend, although, as Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea are each headed into free company. The Padres additionally weakened their depth by together with MacKenzie Gore within the Soto commerce.

There may be one in-house possibility in Adrian Morejon, with the membership evidently not giving up on him as a starter. Morejon underwent Tommy John surgical procedure in April of 2021 and returned to make 26 appearances in 2022, although all of these have been out of the bullpen. However previous to that, he was thought-about probably the greatest pitching prospects within the league. It’s pretty logical that the Padres would wish to give him one other probability to see what he can do, however it’s additionally unlikely they may merely hand him a assured spot within the rotation after a protracted layoff after which a handful of bullpen outings.

There are a few different depth choices within the system, however the Padres will seemingly be wanting so as to add two starters. There will probably be no scarcity of choices, with Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodón all anticipated to set off opt-outs and type the highest of the pitching market. For groups that miss out on these guys, there are nonetheless numerous attention-grabbing hurlers on the subsequent tier, together with Kodai Senga, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Bassitt, Tyler Anderson and plenty of extra. They may additionally look to the commerce market, maybe making an attempt to get Pablo López or Jesús Luzardo from the Marlins. However after unloading so many prospects on the deadline, they may not wish to additional subtract from their system.

The bullpen additionally would possibly want some upgrades, particularly if Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez each determine to choose out and return to free company. In the event that they did, they might be a part of Craig Stammen and Pierce Johnson, probably subtracting 4 arms from the aid corps. They might nonetheless have Josh Hader, which is a positive start line and means they in all probability gained’t go for Edwin Diaz. However they may search for high quality setup choices, resembling bringing again Suarez or going after Michael Fulmer, Chris Martin, Adam Ottavino or Brad Hand. Martinez would reportedly desire to be a starter, so maybe they may persuade him to stay round, in the event that they assume he can deal with a rotation spot. Suarez, nonetheless, is a digital lock to check free company and land a multi-year deal.

After all, how aggressive they go after filling these vacancies will rely upon the payroll scenario. Traditionally, the Padres weren’t enormous spenders however they’ve shifted that popularity lately, even nudging into luxurious tax territory in every of the previous two seasons. Roster Useful resource estimates their precise 2023 payroll to at present be round $187MM although the CBT quantity is way increased at $213MM. The disparity comes from the truth that CBT calculations are primarily based on the common annual values of contracts, not simply the wage earned by the gamers in 2023, and likewise think about participant advantages.

It’s unknown at this level how a lot the membership is keen to spend, however it’s doable they may take the identical method as they did in 2022, hovering close to the tax line however keen to go over it on the deadline if the correct alternative comes alongside. The bottom CBT threshold is leaping from $230MM as much as $233MM for 2023, however that wouldn’t go away the Padres a number of room to work with. A couple of non-tenders would create some extra respiratory room, however in all probability solely about $5MM or so.

The membership has loads of expertise however may use a left fielder, two beginning pitchers, some relievers and perhaps a primary baseman as nicely. In the event that they solely have about $20MM to play with, will probably be tough to perform all of that. However the Padres have proven lately that they may have extra money within the financial institution than you’d anticipate. Maybe this offseason will show that but once more.

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