Padres are the runaway winners of the offseason in the National League

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The offseason is far from over. A number of the league’s top free agents, including Trevor Bauer and JT Realmuto, remain unsigned. But no matter what’s to come, no team has done more to boost its World Series odds than the San Diego Padres.

San Diego general manager AJ Preller landed both Blake Snell and Yu Darvish without touching his organization’s most coveted top prospects. The duo will pair with Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet, as well as hometown kid and recent acquisition Joe Musgrove to form one of the best starting rotations in all of Major League Baseball.

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Last season, the Padres went out and added hurler Mike Clevinger in a trade with the Indians. Unfortunately, the right-hander wound up needing Tommy John surgery and is not expected to be a factor in 2021. But the team has him locked up through 2022, so he’ll add to that already impressive group of arms upon his return.

While the arms have garnered all the attention this offseason, let’s not forget about the powerful offense Preller has put together, either.

You’re talking about one of the most exciting young players in baseball in Fernando Tatis Jr., a slugging corner infield staple in Manny Machado and a resurgent Wil Myers. And that’s just scratching the surface of this lineup.

Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth and Tommy Pham are certainly no slouches at the dish. Really, top-to-bottom, we’re talking about one of the most potent offenses in the league. Don’t forget. In the Darvish trade, San Diego also netted a quality switch-hitting backstop in Victor Caratini, who’s also capable of taking reps at first base.

Padres have won on all fronts this offseason, in both trades and free agency

Overshadowed by the Darvish and Snell acquisitions? The signing of the top international position player free agent: Ha-seong Kim. The Korean infielder is coming off the best season of his career, in which he slashed .306/.397/.523 with 31 home runs and 109 RBI. At just 25 years of age, he should be heading into the prime of his career as the Padres’ window opens up wide.

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As big market teams sat out the offseason (at least to this point) teams like San Diego, the White Sox and Toronto have capitalized, landing big-name targets and taking big steps forward with eyes on the ultimate prize. But no team in the Senior Circuit has done more than the Padres – who look like a legitimate threat to end the Dodgers’ stranglehold on the National League West.