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Jurickson Profar exercising 2022 player option, four Padres officially become free agents

The World Series has concluded so now the offseason really begins!

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves for winning the 2021 World Series! It’s a win for Padres fans, as we didn’t have to watch the Giants or Dodgers win it all.

Today was the first day of the offseason, so there was some news regarding this year’s Padres free agent class. Four of the 160 players who officially became free agents today ended the season as Padres players in 2021: Tommy Pham, Daniel Hudson, Vince Velasquez, and Ross Detwiler. Pham seems like he has the best chance of returning among these four, as he said during the season he’s open to accepting a one-year deal to improve his market for a longer deal after 2022.

One Padre who won’t be hitting the market is utility man Jurickson Profar, who reportedly is exercising his 2022 player option according to Jon Heyman, which is the first of the last two years remaining on his deal (that he can control). If Profar stays until the end of the 2023 season, he will make $15 million combined in 2022 and 2023. There is a mutual option for 2024 with a $1 million buyout.

It isn’t a surprise that Profar looks like he’ll be staying for the remainder of his contract, as he wouldn’t be getting this amount of money in free agency because he isn’t truly a starter.

There could also be other free agents who were on the Padres roster at the end of last season. San Diego has the ability to exercise or not exercise club options on Craig Stammen, Pierce Johnson, and Keone Kela. It wouldn’t be surprising that all three are kept for 2022, as Stammen and Johnson were reliable bullpen arms and Kela will only have to make $800,000 because he had Tommy John surgery in 2021.

Jake Marisnick and the Padres have a mutual option for $4 million. Mark Melancon has a mutual option worth $5 million, but it wouldn’t be surprising for him to not take that route and go get more money in free agency after leading the league in saves. That still obviously leaves a possibility for Melancon to return, but he could command more money from another contender.