The San Diego Padres are looking at all corners of the MLB offseason landscape in order to find someone who could be a quality long-term addition or quick upgrade for a year or two. Trying to poach players from the reigning champions seems like a good idea.
The Houston Astros won the 2021 World Series despite parting ways with Carlos Correa before the season. However, with Jose Abreu coming to town and old GM James Click out, the winds of change are sweeping throughout the organization. Multiple champions won’t be able to return to Houston.
The Padres have been once again trying to swing for the fences in free agency, shopping around the Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner sweepstakes. If they want to be less bombastic with the money they spend, adding veterans from Houston to play first base or left field certainly suffices.
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres are reportedly looking at a collection of former Houston Astros. Veteran outfielder Michael Brantley, power-hitting DH candidate Trey Mancini, and aging first baseman Yuli Gurriel are all in San Diego’s crosshairs.
San Diego Padres rumors: Will SD sign 3 Astros players?
Of the three, Gurriel makes the least sense. On top of the fact that some racial insensitivity in his past directed at Yu Darvish might make for an icy clubhouse, the 38-year-old Gurriel hit just .242 with eight home runs last year. His Statcast page is deplorable, as the only thing he excels at right now is not striking out.
Despite moving from cavernous Baltimore to a launching pad in Houston, Mancini struggled. Mancini topped 20 homers in five straight years with the Orioles, but he could only muster a .176 average with eight home runs. If he rediscovers his power stroke, he could be a solid short-term upgrade for San Diego.
If the Padres can only afford one of these players, Brantley will be the best option, despite his injury history. Per 162 games over the last five years, Brantley has hit .306 with 41 doubles, 17 home runs, and 83 RBI. A veteran with championship experience, Brantley would solidify himself as a presence at the top of the order.
The Padres are likely going to make at least a medium-sized splash this offseason, and swiping players away from the reigning champions would certainly qualify as such. While some of these players might be incongruous fits, adding a name like Brantley would be yet another Preller masterclass.