Padres: Why it’s go big or go home this offseason in free agency and trades

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Six of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Six of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 14: Stephen  Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals after retiring his side in the seventh inning of the game three of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 14: Stephen  Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals after retiring his side in the seventh inning of the game three of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

What does that look like

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If the Padres are going to take my advice and only shop on the top shelf this offseason, what does that look like?

Again, I think the priority this offseason is to find a frontline starting pitcher and rework the outfield.

As far as starting pitchers go, here is a list of the only guys I would consider:

Gerrit Cole

Stephen Strasburg

Corey Kluber

Chris Sale

Zack Wheeler

Madison Bumgarner

Jon Gray

The first two are obvious but unlikely. Maybe the Padres get lucky with a hometown discount for Strasburg, but I kind of doubt it as all indications are that he’s happy in Washington.

But I would be willing to overpay for either of those two.

Kluber and Sale are in a separate tier as both are an injury risk right now (but aren’t all pitchers?) and are very expensive. But if healthy they both can lead a pitching staff.

And then Wheeler, MadBum, and Gray are in that next tier as I think they all can be a solid top of the rotation pitcher.

But beyond those seven (unless I’m missing someone available in a trade that I’m not aware of) I don’t think it makes much sense to acquire a starting pitcher.

Maybe you could grab a veteran like Pineda or Julio Teheran for the back of the rotation to eat innings, but again, I’d rather give those innings to a young guy and let them develop.

In the outfield, it’s a little more open because I’d be OK moving on from just about all of the current internal options.

But here is a list of outfielders I would go after:

Nicholas Castellanos

Marcell Ozuna

Mitch Haniger

Trey Mancini

Starling Marte

Ender Inciarte

Brian Anderson

David Peralta

Clint Frazier

Again, unless I’m missing someone who is available in a trade that I’m not aware of, those are the only outfielders I would target.

And I’m honestly not that high on the free agents, Castellanos and Ozuna, as they aren’t great defenders.

Haniger, Mancini, and Marte would be my main targets in a trade.

Peralta goes against what I said earlier about shortsighted moves, but I think he could be had pretty cheap and is a perfect fit for what the Padres need (a left-handed slugger).

The window for the Padres realistically won’t begin until 2021 when hopefully we will have a rotation of Gore, Paddack, and Patino dominating at the top.

2020 rotation options. dark. Next

There really isn’t a reason to make any moves this offseason just for 2020. The best path forward is to allow the young players to continue to develop so we know who is going to be part of the winning culture in 2021 and beyond.

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