The Padres lastly put themselves back on the map in 2020. Pushed by in 2015’s success, president of baseball operations A.J. Preller invested the winter season trying to put together a championship-caliber lineup. Preller had a lot of cash to have fun with, evidenced by the Padres’ franchise-record $174MM Opening Day payroll.
Major League Signings
Ha-Seong Kim , INF: Four years, $28MM (shared choice for 2025). Jurickson Profar , INF/OF: Three years, $21MM. Mark Melancon , RHP: One year, $3MM ($ 5MM shared alternative or $1MM buyout for 2022). Keone Kela , RHP: One year, $1.2 MM. Brian O’Grady , INF/OF: One year, $650K (split agreement).Overall invest: $54.05 MM.
Claims and trades
Acquired LHP Blake Snell from the Rays for RHPs Luis Patino and Cole Wilcox , C Francisco Mejia and C/1B Blake Hunt Acquired RHP Yu Darvish and C Victor Caratini from the Cubs for RHP Zach Davies , INFs Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana , and OFs Owen Caissie and Ismael Mena. Acquired RHP Joe Musgrove from Pirates in three-team trade for OF Hudson Head , LHPs Joey Lucchesi and Omar Cruz, and RHPs Drake Fellows and David Bednar Acquired LHP James Reeves from the Yankees for OF Greg Allen Claimed RHP Jordan Humphreys from the Giants.
Notable Minor League Signings
At 37-23, the Padres ended up with the majors’ third-best record last season, however that still left them 6 video games behind the Dodgers – – their NL West competing and the ruling World Series champs. With that in mind, Preller and his front workplace mates utilized the previous couple of months relatively leaving no stone unturned in an effort to topple the Dodgers, who have actually ruled the department for 8 successive seasons. The Padres revealed interest in a range of family names both in complimentary firm and trades, and they achieved success in attracting a couple of big wheel.
The constantly aggressive Preller’s primary headline-grabbing acquisitions resolved the Padres’ rotation, which was fantastic in 2015. The Padres saw a couple of their leading beginners – – Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger – go down with injuries late in the season, while Garrett Richards then left in totally free company. Lamet hasn’t yet returned from the elbow problems that ended his season in September, though he does not appear far from his 2021 launching. On the other hand, the Padres found out in November that Clevinger, who was a smash hit in-season pickup, needed Tommy John surgical treatment. He’s not going to pitch at all in the existing project, however that didn’t stop the Padres from signing Clevinger to a two-year, back-loaded handle the hope that he’ll consider come 2022.
In the wake of the Clevinger news, the Padres went to operate in a significant method. They revealed interest varying from moderate to severe in totally free representatives such as Trevor Bauer &, Masahiro Tanaka , Tomoyuki Sugano , Adam Wainwright , Kohei Arihara and Martin Perez . Trade targets consisted of Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn , though the Padres rather landed 3 other prominent beginners through that path.
The very first domino to succumb to San Diego was the acquisition of previous AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Rays. Snell has 3 years and $39MM of control left, so as you ‘d anticipate, the Rays didn’t provide him away for inexpensive. Rather, the bundle headed to Tampa Bay fixated 21-year-old righty Luis Patino , who ranks amongst the premier potential customers in the sport. The Padres likewise needed to give up 2 other quality potential customers – – righty Cole Wilcox and catcher/first baseman Blake Hunt – – along with a once-heralded farmhand in Francisco Mejia. Gotten from the Indians in the groups’ Brad Hand sell 2018, Mejia was never ever able to develop himself with the Padres at catcher, nor did his offense come close to matching the buzz.
The Snell swap wasn’t the only late-December present for the Padres or their fans. Soon after swinging the trade with Tampa Bay, Preller &&Co. pried 2020 NL Cy Young finalist Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini from the Cubs. It didn’t cost the Padres almost as much this time, in part due to the fact that they consumed all however $3MM on the $62MM Darvish is owed over the next 3 years. The Padres did need to quit among their finest 2020 beginners, Zach Davies, however he’ll be a totally free representative next offseason. Plus, it’s tough not to see Darvish as a clear upgrade over Davies. In addition to Davies, San Diego parted with 4 potential customers – – shortstops Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana and outfielders Owen Caissie and Ismael Mena – – however all of those gamers are at least a couple of years from the majors. If they make it at all, that’s.
The addition of Caratini came as welcome news for Darvish, as the previous is his individual catcher. Caratini played 2nd fiddle to Willson Contreras in Chicago, however he has normally mixed satisfactory offense for his position with well-graded defense. When Austin Nola returns from a fractured finger, he and Caratini must provide the Padres a strong one-two behind the plate with Luis Campusano likewise in the mix.
No one would have blamed the Padres had they stopped at Snell and Darvish, however they chose there was more to achieve. Simply a couple of weeks after scooping up those 2, the Padres carried out yet another eyebrow-raising trade, this time taking righty Joe Musgrove from the Pirates. While Musgrove does not bring a Snell- or Darvish-like performance history, he did provide the Pirates beneficial mid-rotation production for several seasons. Now back in his native San Diego, Musgrove has actually grown, having actually currently tossed the very first no-hitter in franchise history. He has actually likewise yielded simply one made run in his very first 19 innings in a Padres uniform.
To get Musgrove’s 2 economical staying years of group control, the Padres once again sent out away a lot of non-elite potential customers (Hudson Head, Drake Fellows, David Bednar and Omar Cruz). The only significant leaguer they bid farewell to was Joey Lucchesi, whom the Mets got in the three-team offer. Like going from Davies to Darvish, Musgrove provides the Padres an apparent enhancement over Lucchesi.
All stated, the Padres obtained 2 front-line beginners and another who might be becoming one while moving just a single star possibility (Patino). Even in spite of disposing double-digit potential customers in these offers, the Padres’ farm system is still quite packed. according to MLB.com , it’s the video game’s sixth-best system – – one that still boasts 4 top-100 gamers in lefty MacKenzie Gore (No. 6), shortstop CJ Abrams (No. 8), Campusano (No. 45) and outfielder Robert Hassell III (No. 62).
Along with finding outside beginning pitching, looking after crucial inside organization was amongst the main products on the Padres’ offseason list. They and the face of their franchise, 22-year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., made it clear going into the winter season that they wished to work out an agreement extension. Tatis wasn’t on track to reach arbitration up until after 2022 or end up being a complimentary representative till completion of the 2024 season, however the Padres weren’t going gamble on losing him in his mid-20s. Rather, in late February, they prospered in securing Tatis into his mid-30s.
The contract with Tatis is historical – – a 14-year, $340MM pact that shattered Mike Trout ‘s previous record warranty of $144MM for a pre-arb gamer. It’s likewise the 2nd $300MM-plus agreement the Padres have actually administered over the previous couple years, as they formerly signed 3rd baseman Manny Machado to a decade-long handle totally free firm. The club now has the left side of its infield under covers with 2 superstar-caliber gamers for the foreseeable future.
The rotation enhancements and the Tatis extension represented the offseason heavy lifting for the Padres, however they were active in other locations. Most especially, they signed previous Korea Baseball Organization standout Ha-Seong Kim to a four-year, $28MM warranty with a $5.5 MM publishing charge paid to the Kiwoom Heroes. Kim isn’t an upgrade over Tatis, Machado or 2nd baseman Jake Cronenworth , however the group felt it was a rewarding danger to invest in a flexible 25-year-old whom numerous consider a top-1o0 possibility.
The Kim finalizing wasn’t the last of the Padres’ depth-bolstering relocations in totally free company. A couple of weeks after they won the Kim sweepstakes, the Padres re-upped Jurickson Profar on a three-year, $21MM assurance. The agreement consists of a set of opt-outs, so if Profar plays all right this year or next, he might choose to go back to complimentary company. For a minimum of another year, however, he’ll continue to provide the Padres somebody who can play numerous positions and use league-average or somewhat much better offense at a sensible yearly expense. Profar’s 4th on the Padres in plate looks this year, and he has actually currently lined up at 4 areas (initially, 2nd and both corner outfield positions).
The bullpen was likewise a matter of some offseason significance for the Padres, who dealt with the losses of reducers Trevor Rosenthal and Kirby Yates in totally free company. San Diego revealed interest in bringing both back, however they left for greater paydays in other places. The Padres appear to have actually evaded bullets in both cases, as Rosenthal went through thoracic outlet surgical treatment previously this month and Yates had a Tommy John treatment in March.
Rosenthal and Yates signed for a combined $16.5 MM in warranties, however the Padres invested far less on their relief corps, inking Mark Melancon and Keone Kela for an overall of $4.2 MM. It’s early, however the constantly consistent Melancon has actually been an anticipate the Padres up until now. He’s 5-for-5 in conserve chances and hasn’t permitted a walk or a run in 6 innings of one-hit ball. Kela has actually been perfect in the runs enabled department, having actually given up none in 5 2/3 frames. The hard-throwing Kela had a remarkable three-year stretch of run avoidance and strikeouts with the Rangers and Pirates from 2017-19, however a favorable COVID-19 test and lower arm problems held him to 2 innings last season. If healthy, however, he likewise has an opportunity to wind up as a take for San Diego. Far, so excellent.
Although it’s just mid-April, the Padres appear they’re going to be a force once again this year, thanks in no little part to Preller’s offseason relocations. Amazed with his work, Padres ownership chose in February to update Preller’s title from basic supervisor to president of baseball ops and extend him through 2026. It appears the Padres remain in capable hands with Preller at the helm, however how would you grade their offseason?
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