While more than half of the league seems perfectly content to not spend a dime this offseason, there’s one team that’s seizing the opportunity in hopes of bringing a World Series home in 2021.
The San Diego Padres, who, just yesterday, I said were the clear-cut winners of the offseason in the National League – aren’t done yet. The club went out and re-signed utilityman Jurickson Profar, inking him to a three-year, $21 million deal.
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The contract features opt-outs after both the 2021 and 2022 seasons – hardly a deterrent for a team like the Padres, who are swimming in depth. In the infield, San Diego already boasts its superstar duo of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado across from first baseman Eric Hosmer. That’s not to mention fellow infielders Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim, who will split time at second base this year.
That depth likely means we’ll see Profar more in the outfield in 2021 – something he’s very familiar with after appearing there 36 times for the Padres last year. The bigger question is what he’ll bring to the table offensively after finishing scorching hot in 2020.
Padres hoping Jurickson Profar can step up offensively.
In the season’s final month, the former Rangers prospect slashed .351/.380/.500, racking up 26 hits and scoring 10 runs in 22 contests. That helped erase a dreadful start at the plate – and led to his posting a career-best 113 OPS+ in the pandemic-shortened campaign.
Traditionally a light-hitting presence, San Diego is obviously hoping Profar can pick up right where he left off at the end of 2020 offensively. Whether or not he does so remains to be seen but, again, with a lineup dripping with talent, even if he’s just league-average, the team should be fine in that department.
He’ll join the club’s trio of projected starters in the outfield: Wil Myers, Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham. The number of ways manager Jayce Tingler can build a lineup on any given day is staggering. It’s legitimately hard to find a team that’s more well-rounded than this one.
Of course, if Profar goes out and rakes in a lineup where he’s surrounded by big-time bats, that opt-out after next year will look pretty enticing to him (remember, he’s still just 27 years old). But, like I said, the team has the long-term depth to weather losing him. For now, though, it’s nice to have him back in the fold in 2021.