Obviously the San Diego Padres are coming off of their best season since 1998 but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to do this winter. Here are the positions San Diego will need to fill this offseason:
Brandon Drury, Josh Bell and Wil Myers are all free agents. I’d imagine the Padres would be open to bringing them back if the situation is right. Myers could get more money elsewhere to be a starter but if he is willing to take less to be on a contender, then a reunion would definitely work.
Drury can play more positions than Bell and hits well against lefties so there’s an argument for him to be the one to be brought back to start at first base. On the other hand, Bell is a switch hitter and was hitting over .300 at the time of the Juan Soto trade this past season so it’s not like he’s a bad option either.
Anthony Rizzo ($16 million player option with the Yankees) and Jose Abreu are a couple other notable first basemen who are expected to be available.
Left Field (Maybe)
I say maybe because Jurickson Profar has a $7.5 million player option for 2023 so if he opts in, then they don’t need a starting left fielder. If he opts out, they still might not need a starting left fielder because Fernando Tatis Jr. could join Trent Grisham and Juan Soto in the outfield when he finishes his suspension.
The Padres tried their best to not use their bench in the postseason so the front office clearly would like to upgrade there. Acquiring a power bat that can be the DH some nights should be their preference, as Jose Azocar figures to be one of the bench pieces next year and he doesn’t have any power. If Austin Nola is on the bench some nights, then that’s one more bat without power.
Who knows what San Diego wants to do with Jorge Alfaro so if he’s traded, that might be one fewer power option on Bob Melvin’s bench.
Fourth and Fifth Starters
The Padres rotation right now is Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell. Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea are free agents. Nick Martinez has a $6.5 million player option and Padres fans don’t expect him to take that. Adrian Morejon hasn’t thrown more than 35 innings in his career and Jay Groome hasn’t debuted in the majors yet.
San Diego will attempt to bring Martinez back so he could end up being the fourth starter but there are better options out there other than Clevinger and Manaea to round out the rotation.
Robert Suarez has a $5 million player option for next season and there’s no way he’s taking that after his tremendous 2022 season. So if Suarez goes elsewhere for more money, Preller will have to replace a big arm in the bullpen. Craig Stammen and Pierce Johnson are also free agents.