One of the biggest needs for the San Diego Padres this offseason is power hitting outfielders. Last season, Wil Myers, Tommy Pham, and Trent Grisham all hit at least 15 home runs but the Padres need someone who has 20 to 30 home run potential to help bolster the lineup. It makes it that much more important for outfield acquisitions to have power when we know that Adam Frazier, who hit one homer last year in a Padres uniform, will likely be starting games if Eric Hosmer isn’t on the roster.
Thus, let’s discuss some free agent options AJ Preller will have this winter. Let me know in the comments if you’d think about bringing in any other outfielders.
Chris Taylor might not fit into the power category but he does have occasional pop, as we saw in the NL Wild Card game last year and against the Braves in the NLCS when he had a three home run game.
What Taylor brings is versatility, which you might say the Padres have enough of, but he also plays good defense wherever he plays. Taylor played 30 games in left field, a position of need, last year for the Dodgers and made just one error. Oh, and taking him away from the Dodgers would certainly make Los Angeles worse and the Padres better. And who doesn’t want that?
Here is more of a power option. He is the second former Dodger on this list but fills the ‘home run potential’ box for San Diego. In five of Pederson’s last six full seasons, he has hit at least 18 home runs, including in 2019 when he hit 36 bombs for Los Angeles. Yeah, that’ll work for the Padres.
Yes, you could point towards his WAR (-0.1 in 2021) as a red flag but he could very well slot in as the Padres DH sometimes if that rule is implemented in 2022, which obviously would keep him off the outfield grass. Because he has power, it would also allow Bob Melvin to use him in a pinch hitter or platoon role. For those who watched Ha-Seong Kim and Jurickson Profar pinch hit last year, you know that Pederson would be a better option when the Padres are trailing late in games.
Pederson rocked his pearl necklace in the postseason this past October so he’d fit in with the Padres clubhouse filled with big personalities.
McCutchen is far from his MVP years now that he is 35 years old but he still has plenty of pop in his bat. The former Pirate hit 27 home runs last season and has totaled 9 20+ homer seasons in his career. With that power potential, McCutchen is still also disciplined at the plate, as he walked 81 times last season, which was more times than any Padre walked.
The big question is if he can stay healthy, which is something he had a hard time doing in his first year in Philadelphia, but his age and perhaps some injury questions could allow the Padres to get McCutchen on the cheap this winter. McCutchen hasn’t won a title yet either so you’d imagine he wants to be on a contender. San Diego, on paper, checks that box.