MLB insider IDs Padres’ next target after Xander Bogaerts move

BOSTON, MA - JULY 31: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 31: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres may have missed out on Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, but their steadfast desire to improve their team helped them lure Xander Bogaerts away from the Boston Red Sox. Thanks to an 11-year, $280 million deal, Bogaerts will likely be a Padre for the rest of his career.

Even with this ultra-talented infield, the Padres aren’t done spending money. With the outfield lacking in offensive quality outside of Juan Soto and the loss of Josh Bell to the Cleveland Guardians, the next order of business will likely be getting a big-name bat to replace one of those names.

Unless the Padres move Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield, just a year removed from locking him up long-term, San Diego will likely need to scour the free agent market and add one more noteworthy name to complete their lineup. One MLB insider has apparently signed out the perfect Padres target.

ESPN’s Buster Olney mentioned Michael Conforto, who we last saw in 2021 with the New York Mets, as a potential Padres target thanks to his power stroke. While he will turn 30 before the season starts, there will always be a market for left-handed power-hitters among contenders like San Diego and Houston.

Are San Diego Padres eyeing Michael Conforto after Xander Bogaerts?

Between 2017 and 2020, Conforto clubbed 27 or more home runs in three straight seasons while hitting .322 with nine dingers in the COVID-shortened year. Conforto only managed to hit 14 home runs with a .232 average in 2021, and he sat out all of last season.

The Padres are in a position where they can afford to gamble on him, as they can throw him out there every day due to the protection afforded to him at the top of this now-stacked lineup. Trent Grisham didn’t even hit .200, and it didn’t impede San Diego’s charge to the NLCS.

If they get a clean bill of health back on Conforto and he returns to his old self, San Diego could add yet another 30-home run threat for pennies on the dollar. With Jurickson Profar still a free agent and the Tatis plan unclear at this juncture, Conforto can’t be ruled out.

The Padres are clearly going for broke in the next few years, so the idea of splurging on Conforto isn’t the worst plan this front office ever came up with. If he flops, the infrastructure built around this team is so robust that they wouldn’t completely fall apart on offense.