The San Diego Padres are going to be World Series contenders on paper as we head into Opening Day (assuming they acquire a DH and power hitting left fielder) and their ability to improve their World Series odds may have increased with Major League Baseball’s decision to raise the Competitive Balance tax threshold from $210 million in 2021 to $230 million going into this year.
As we stand right now, the Padres have a little over $20 million of room before they hit the $230 million mark, according to Spotrac. It remains to be seen how much room they will end up using during this free agent frenzy that’s supposed to happen this weekend but that $20 million of room gives the Padres room to add a bat like Seiya Suzuki, Michael Conforto, or Nelson Cruz if the roster stays as is. Nick Castellanos and Kris Bryant will cost more than $20 million a year.
It’s worth noting that since the Padres went over the CBT threshold last year they will be taxed 30% if they go over it again in 2022.
Obviously, Eric Hosmer being traded is a headline most fans want to see because it would give A.J. Preller more than $20 million of room to make some big moves but that isn’t a guarantee to happen with how short of a period of time teams have to communicate with each other and agents regarding acquisitions.
Adding power bats to be the designated hitter and left fielder is a higher priority because right now, the Padres just need to fill out the roster.
Time will tell if Preller decides to go right up to the new CBT threshold number (or past it).