The Padres had a $90 million payroll last season, the highest they ever had. New GM A.J. Preller will have some payroll flexibility. However can they or would they get that big fish?
Free agents that were eligible to receive qualifying offers have and one even rejected his (Pablo Sandoval). Would any of those guys be a fit on the Padres?
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Well Max Scherzer would be nice, but I don’t think that’s happening. Michael Cuddyer would be a nice veteran piece on this club at either right field or first base. Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera would be nice additions patrolling the outfield at Petco.
The Padres have the 13th pick for the third year in a row (hide your eyes if you have Triskaidekaphobia) and if they sign a free agent with a qualifying offer attached, the Padres would give that team their first round pick. So if they want Russell Martin or Melky or Cruz they give up that pick.
The Padres the past two years in the first round added Hunter Renfroe and Trea Turner with their first round picks. Two potential building blocks for the future. The Padres can certainly get other free agents that can help (Adam LaRoche) without giving up draft pick compensation.
I don’t envision the Padres signing Cruz or Cabrera or anyone else with a qualifying offer. Preller and Logan White’s background is scouting and player development. I can’t see them going on a spending spree.
I think in the end, they won’t get a big name free agent with a big qualifying offer.