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Which starting pitcher will the Padres acquire this off season?

The Padres could really use a good starting pitcher for next season

Miami Marlins v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

A.J. Preller’s number one goal this off season should be to sign or trade for a good starting pitcher to help lead the Padres pitching rotation. It would be very surprising to me if Preller does not pursue a starter.

The Padres ace last season was Chris Paddack, who had a very good season. In 26 starts, he was 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA. Other than him, they didn’t really have any starting pitchers step up. Paddack was the only pitcher in the rotation with a sub 4.00 ERA. For the Padres to be able to compete for a chance in the playoffs, they will need more than Paddack in their starting rotation.

Recently, it has been reported, that Padres pitchers Mackenzie Gore and Chris Paddack are “virtually untouchable” in trade talks during this off season.

Here are a few guys the Padres are considering signing or trading for:

Jon Gray

It has been reported that there are many teams that are interested in trading for Rockies pitcher Jon Gray. The Padres were on the list of teams interested. It all depends on if the Rockies are actually willing to trade Gray and if the Padres are willing to give up the right value prospects.

Last season, Gray had an 11-8 record with a 3.84 ERA in 25 games started. Gray could be a big help to the Padres starting rotation.

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner is now a free agent and his time in San Francisco is likely done. The Padres are a team that is interested in Bumgarner. MLB Networks Jon Heyman reported that Madison Bumgarner’s agent will meet with the Padres at the general manager meetings in Arizona.

Bumgarner had a 9-9 record with a 3.90 ERA in 34 games started last season. Bumgarner has been a top pitcher in the MLB over the past few years and pitching in the NL West will not be a surprise for him.

Gerrit Cole

A little less than a week ago, Gerrit Cole declined the Houston Astros qualifying offer and became a free agent. It’s unlikely that the Padres will sign Cole, but there is a chance.

Cole finished second in the Cy Young award voting. He finished 12 points behind his teammate Justin Verlander. Last season, Cole had a 20-5 record with a 2.50 ERA in 33 games started. Cole was arguably the best pitcher in baseball last season.

Stephen Strasburg

For the past couple months, the Padres seemed like the front-runner to land San Diego native Stephen Strasburg. Over the past few weeks, it has looked like the Padres will not land Strasburg. However, a few MLB reporters have said that Strasburg to San Diego still is possible.

Strasburg was named MVP of the World Series last season. He went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in five games started in the postseason. During the regular season, he had an 18-6 record with a 3.32 ERA in 33 games started.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Right now, no team is the front-runner to land Hyun-Jin Ryu. Recently, since it came out that the Padres were unlikely to sign Strasburg or Cole, there have been some predictions of Ryu being ignore by the Padres. Ryu would be a great fit for the Padres.

Last season, Ryu finished second in the Cy Young voting and had the lowest ERA in the MLB. In 29 starts, Ryu had a 14-5 record with a 2.32 ERA. Ryu could be a great fit for the Padres and will likely be less costly then Strasburg or Cole.