The Padres have made as many impact moves as anyone else in the majors this offseason and there’s a chance we haven’t seen the end of it. Despite all their trades and notable signings, they still haven’t quite caught up to the Dodgers just yet. At least, that’s what the recent PECOTA projections will have you believe.
According to the projections released on February 7, the Padres are expected to end the 2021 season with 95.6 wins, the third most in MLB behind the Dodgers (102.9) and the Yankees (97.4). The win total for the Friars would also be the second-best regular season mark in franchise history. Obviously no one would complain about that, but will it be enough to satiate the fan base? Maybe, but many likely won’t be content with a 2021 season unless they make up that seven-game deficit behind Los Angeles by the end of the year.
The moves to acquire Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove are all great and look even better on paper. The Padres, while being one of the best home run-hitting teams in 2020, didn’t put out the same level of defense compared to the Dodgers in 2020. L.A. combined the number one offense (349 runs scored) with the second-best defense (213 runs allowed) this past season. The Friars were number three offensively (325) but were eighth in runs allowed with 241.
The trio of new pitchers, along with Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack, will look to close that gap in the upcoming season, despite the Dodgers signing their own bit of reinforcements recently as they officially added Trevor Baur to a $102 million deal.
Yeah, well, he ain’t no Fernando Tatis Jr.