Following the San Diego Padres‘ weekend “blockbuster” that landed them starting pitcher Sean Manaea, general manager AJ Preller put the franchise over the $230 million luxury tax threshold for the 2022 season, prompting many to wonder if more moves were on the way.
Then, on Wednesday, the first of likely two or three dropped. Preller traded catcher Victor Caratini to the Milwaukee Brewers, helping the Brew Crew replace the loss of Pedro Severino, who was suspended for 80 games due to a PED violation.
In turn, that helped the Pads clear $2 million against the threshold, but they’ll have to move another $2 million to get below that $230 million mark.
What’s coming next? Is Preller ready to rip off a series of trades and send the baseball world into a frenzy right before Opening Day?
The Padres trading Victor Caratini to the Brewers foreshadows more moves
San Diego was carrying four catchers on the roster, so it only made sense to jettison one of them, especially one that wasn’t starting and making a decent chunk of money. But most of the offseason rumors have focused on the Pads unloading the contracts of Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, which have apparently not even come to close to fruition.
Could someone like reliever Emilio Pagan, who was a rumored piece in the high-profile failed deal with the Mets, be next? He’s making $2.3 million for the 2022 season and the Padres have worked on building their pitching depth with a number of moves this offseason.
At this point, if there’s been no progress on a Hosmer/Myers deal, it’s hard to believe Preller will be able to unload any onerous salaries this close to the start of the season.
Either that, or maybe now the Padres can convince another team to take on the remaining money for either of those guys if San Diego promises to eat an even larger chunk of money in the name of avoiding that $12 million tax for the 2022 season.
Nonetheless, keep your eyes peeled since the Padres have given almost no roster hints as Preller does his last-minute cramming to determine the bigger picture for the upcoming campaign.