Offseason In Review: San Diego Padres

The Padres finally threw themselves back on the delineate in 2020. Emboldened by last year’s success, director of baseball operations A.J. Preller wasted the winter attempting to assemble a championship-caliber roster. Preller had batch of money to play with, evidenced by the Padres’ franchise-record $174 MM Opening Day payroll.

Major League Signings

Ha-Seong Kim, INF: Four times, $28 MM( mutual alternative for 2025) Jurickson Profar, INF/ OF: Three years, $21 MM Mark Melancon, RHP: One time,$ 3MM ($ 5MM reciprocal alternative or$ 1MM buyout for 2022) Keone Kela, RHP: One time, $1.2 MM Brian O’Grady, INF/ OF: One time, $650 K( split contract) Total invest: $54.05 MM

Trades And Claims

Acquired LHP Blake Snell from the Light 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 Raider 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 ClaimedRHP Jordan Humphreys from the Giants

Notable Minor League Signings

Nabil Crismatt, Patrick Kivlehan, Parker Markel, Jacob Rhame, Nick Burdi, Nick Ramirez, Wynston Sawyer


Fernando Tatis Jr ., SS: 14 times, $340 MM Mike Clevinger, RHP: Two years, $11.5 MM

Notable Losses

Patino, Mejia, Lucchesi, Trevor Rosenthal, Garrett Richards, Jason Castro, Kirby Yates, Mitch Moreland, Luis Perdomo, Greg Garcia

At 37 -2 3, the Padres finished with the majors’ third-best record last-place season, but that still left them six tournaments behind the Dodgers- their NL West rival and the reign World Series advocates. With that in spirit, Preller and his front office cohorts applied the past few months apparently leaving no stone unturned in an effort to overthrow the Dodgers, who have regulated the department for eight consecutive seasons. The Padres registered interest in a variety of household names both in free bureau and business, and they were successful in careen in a few big fish.

The always vigorous Preller’s central headline-grabbing possessions addressed the Padres’ gyration, which was terrific last year. However, the Padres met a got a couple of their top starters- Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger- go down with traumata late in the season, while Garrett Richards then exited in free authority. Lamet hasn’t yet returned from the joint issues that dissolved his season in September, though he doesn’t seem far away from his 2021 introduction. On the other hand, the Padres learned in November that Clevinger, who was a blockbuster in-season pickup, expected Tommy John surgery. He’s not going to pitch at all in the current campaign, but that didn’t stop the Padres from indicating Clevinger to a two-year, back-loaded deal with the hope that he’ll factor in come 2022.

In the wake of the Clevinger news, the Padres went to work in a major nature. They evidenced interest roam from slight to serious in free agents such as Trevor Bauer, Masahiro Tanaka, Tomoyuki Sugano, Adam Wainwright, Kohei Arihara and Martin Perez. Trade targets included Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn, though the Padres instead moored three other high-profile starters via that route.

The first domino to fall for San Diego was their purchases of onetime AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell from the Light. Snell has three years and $39 MM of hold left, so as you’d expect, the Rays didn’t give him away for cheap. Instead, the bundle headed to Tampa Bay centered on 21 -year-old righty Luis Patino, who ranks among the premier potentials in the play. The Padres also had to surrender two other tone promises- righty Cole Wilcox and catcher/ first baseman Blake Hunt- as well as a once-heralded farmhand in Francisco Mejia. Acquired from the Indians in the teams’ Brad Hand trafficking in 2018, Mejia was never able to establish himself with the Clergymen at catcher , nor did his offense come close to matching the hype.

The Snell swap wasn’t the only late-December present for the Rector or their fans. Shortly after swaying the trade with Tampa Bay, Preller& Co. levered 2020 NL Cy Young finalist Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini from the Cubs. It didn’t expenditure the Padres nearly as much this time, in part because they ate all but$ 3MM on the $62 MM Darvish is owed over the next three years. The Padres did have to give up one of the most appropriate 2020 starters, Zach Davies, but he’ll be a free agent next offseason. Plus, it’s hard not to examine Darvish as a clear upgrade over Davies. Along with Davies, San Diego parted with four prospects- shortstops Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana and outfielders Owen Caissie and Ismael Mena- but all of those players are at least a few years from the majors. That’s if they make it at all.

The addition of Caratini came as welcome news for Darvish, as the former is his personal catcher. Caratini played second fiddle to Willson Contreras in Chicago, but he has typically coalesced tolerable pique for his position with well-graded defense. Once Austin Nola returns from a ruptured digit, he and Caratini should give the Padres a solid one-two behind the plate with Luis Campusano also in the mix.

No one would have accused the Padres had they stopped at Snell and Darvish, but they decided there was more to accomplish. Just a few weeks after scooping up those two, the Padres implemented yet another eyebrow-raising trade, this time hauling in righty Joe Musgrove from the Pirates. While Musgrove doesn’t carry a Snell- or Darvish-like track record, he did give the Pirates helpful mid-rotation yield for multiple seasons. Now back in his native San Diego, Musgrove has flourished, having already thrown the first no-hitter in franchise autobiography. He has also provided exactly one payed invited to participate in his first 19 innings in a Padres uniform.

To pick up Musgrove’s two cheap remaining years of team control, the Padres again mailed apart a bunch of non-elite potentials( Hudson Head, Drake Fellows, David Bednar and Omar Cruz ). The only major leaguer they said goodbye to was Joey Lucchesi, whom the Mets acquired in the three-team deal. Like going from Davies to Darvish, Musgrove dedicates the Padres an obvious betterment over Lucchesi.

All said, the Padres acquired two front-line starters and another who may be turning into one while moving only a single virtuoso expectation( Patino ). So, even in spite of dumping double-digit potentials in these copes, the Padres’ raise method is still jolly laded. In detail, according to, it’s the game’s sixth-best arrangement- one that still boasts four top-1 00 musicians 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 starting pitching, taking care of key inside business was among the primary items on the Padres’ offseason checklist. They and the face of their right, 22 -year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr ., made it clear entering the winter that they wanted to hammer out a contract increase. Tatis wasn’t on track to reach arbitration until after 2022 or become a free agent until the end of the 2024 season, but the Clergymen weren’t moving take a chance on losing him in his mid-2 0s. Instead, in late February, they has been effective in fastening up Tatis into his mid-3 0s.

The agreement with Tatis is historic- a 14 -year, $340 MM pact that shattered Mike Trout‘s previous record guarantee of $144 MM for a pre-arb player. It’s also the second largest $300 MM-plus contract the Padres have doled out over the past couple times, as they previously indicated third baseman Manny Machado to a decade-long deal in free authority. The association now has the left side of its infield under wraps with two superstar-caliber musicians for the foreseeable future.

The rotation increases and the Tatis extension represented the offseason ponderou hoisting for the Rector, but they were active in other areas. Most notably, they indicated onetime Korea Baseball Organization standout Ha-Seong Kim to a four-year, $28 MM guarantee with a $5.5 MM posting fee paid to the Kiwoom Heroes. Kim isn’t an upgrade over Tatis, Machado or second baseman Jake Cronenworth, but the team felt it was a worthwhile risk to spend on a versatile 25 -year-old whom many regard as a top-1o 0 prospect.

The Kim subscribe wasn’t the last of the Padres’ depth-bolstering moves in free enterprise. A few weeks after they won the Kim sweepstakes, the Padres re-upped Jurickson Profar on a three-year, $21 MM guarantee. The contract includes a duet of opt-outs, so if Profar represents well enough this year or next, he could elect to return to free authority. For at least another year, though, he’ll continue to give the Padres someone who can play multiple positions and offer league-average or slightly better offense at a acceptable annual cost. Profar’s fourth on the Padres in plate impressions this year, and he has already lined up at four spots( first, second and both angle outfield plights ).

The bullpen was also a matter of some offseason importance for the Padre, who faced the losses of relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kirby Yates in free authority. San Diego testified interest in bringing both back, but they started for higher paydays abroad. The Padres seem to have evaded bullets in both cases, as Rosenthal underwent thoracic outlet surgery earlier this month and Yates had a Tommy John procedure in March.

Rosenthal and Yates ratified for a combined $16.5 MM in guarantees, but the Rectors wasted far less on their aid detachments, inking Mark Melancon and Keone Kela for a total of $4.2 MM. It’s early, but the always continuous Melancon has been a bargain for the Padres so far. He’s 5-for-5 in save opportunities and hasn’t allowed a tread or a run in six innings of one-hit ball. Likewise, Kela has been flawless in the runs allowed agency, having ceded nothing in 5 2/3 chassis. The hard-throwing Kela had an superb three-year stretch of run prevention and strikeouts with the Guard and Pirates from 2017 -1 9, but a positive COVID-1 9 evaluation and forearm tribulations viewed him to two innings last season. If healthful, though, he also has a chance to end up as a steal for San Diego. So far, so good.

Although it’s only mid-April, the Padres look as if they’re going to be a force again this year, thanks in no small-time component to Preller’s offseason moves. So astonished with his task, Padres ownership decided in February to upgrade Preller’s title from general manager to chairperson of baseball ops and extend him through 2026. It performs the Padres are in competent pass with Preller at the helm, but how would you grade their offseason?

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