Padres could be done adding after a frantic offseason
By Jake Misener
All eyes are on the National League West heading into spring training. The Los Angeles Dodgers swooped in and added Trevor Bauer this week, setting up what looks like it’ll be can’t-miss baseball out west in 2021.
The San Diego Padres, a young team on the rise that bolstered its own rotation this winter, are looking to unseat the Dodgers atop the division for the first time in years. They’ll have their hands full with that task given the strength and depth of the Dodgers’ roster. After a busy offseason, though, it looks like the Friars might finally be done making moves, content with the group they’ve assembled.
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"“You’re always looking to improve and see if there’s areas of the team you can fortify and solidify,” Padres GM A.J. Preller told MLB.com. “But we like our group. We like our team. We’re in a spot where we’re listening, but overall we like the team we have.”"
Looking around the diamond, it’s easy to understand why Preller and the San Diego brass are confident with their roster. Eric Hosmer made changes to his swing last year and got notable results, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado are legitimate MVP candidates and Jake Cronenworth and Ha-seong Kim look to split duties at second base.
In the outfield, Wil Myers looks to lead a talented group after a standout showing in 2020. Jurickson Profar will likely see time in the outfield, along with Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham. The depth Preller has assembled is among the best in MLB – and it will give manager Jayce Tingler tremendous flexibility when assembling the roster on a day-in, day-out basis.
Padres have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball
But where the Padres have the most confidence is the pitching staff. Dinelson Lamet, a Cy Young finalist last season, is healthy and ready to build on his breakout 2020 campaign. He’s joined by Yu Darvish, a Cy Young finalist from a year ago, and Blake Snell – who has a Cy Young to his credit himself.
That’s not to mention Chris Paddack, who has long enticed Padres fans with the allure of what he may become, or guys like Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, MacKenzie Gore or local product Joe Musgrove, who is ready to bring a championship to his hometown.
The bullpen has plenty of intriguing options, as well. Drew Pomeranz has quietly been one of the best relievers in baseball in recent years, Austin Adams has the tools to be dominant in the late innings and the supporting cast has kept Preller from doing something like going all-in on someone like Josh Hader.
There will be moves made in season. But right now, this looks like the most competitive and well-rounded roster the Padres have assembled in some time. Now, it’s about putting in the work this spring and showing up when the season begins in April.