Padres: 15 players to protect in hypothetical expansion draft

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 13: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 13, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 13: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 13, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr.
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

MLB is likely to add another team or two to the league at some point, so what current Padres’ players would you protect from an expansion draft?

Similar to when the Las Vegas Golden Knights joined the NHL as an expansion team in 2017, MLB may be facing the same dilemma in the next couple of seasons. The league has reportedly been identifying a few locations that the next MLB team could form with Las Vegas, Nashville, and Portland being among the cities.

The Padres joined the league in 1968, selecting players along with new teams in the Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals, and Seattle franchises that the rest of the league chose not to protect. And utilizing a hypothetical scenario of being about to protect 15 players on the current roster, what players would you make untouchable?

1. Fernando Tatis, Jr.

Getting a few of the obvious ones out of the way first, Tatis is still 21 years old and is going to be a perennial MVP-candidate. He played in just 84 games in his rookie year, but he’s going to be a permanent fixture on the Padres roster for at least the next decade.

2. Manny Machado

Inked to a ten-year deal last offseason, Machado is still entering his prime. He turns 28 years old in July and is on track for a Hall of Fame career. In a down year with the Padres, he hit .256 with 32 bombs and 85 RBI. Look for him to rebound now that he’s settled into his contract and his new team.

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