3 cost-effective DH targets for Padres after Xander Bogaerts splurge

Jerry Trotta
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 08: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers congratulates Will Smith #16 for his two-run home run in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 08, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 08: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers congratulates Will Smith #16 for his two-run home run in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 08, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Michael Conforto

The Padres’ lineup is so rich that they can afford to take a flier on Conforto, who didn’t play at all last season after he underwent shoulder surgery following a disaster contract year in 2021. Likely in contention for a one-year, prove-it deal in the $13-16 million range, San Diego would be crazy not to give him a call.

A .265/.369/.495 hitter from 2017-20, Conforto’s production plummeted to the tune of a .232/.344/.384 slash line two years ago. Did the pressure of performing in a contract year get the best of the former All-Star? It’s definitely possible. Not everyone is Aaron Judge and posts a historic season after turning down a reported $213.5 million offer weeks before the season, you know.

Nevertheless, Conforto offers a ton of upside. Assuming his medical report checks out, he provides plus defense in right field (Juan Soto certainly didn’t cover himself in glory there in October). He’ll turn just 30 years old in March, and averaged 29.3 homers and 80.6 RBI spanning 2017-19 with the Mets.

San Diego can do a lot worse than Conforto for its DH spot. The fact he’d bring extra insurance in the outfield is just an added bonus.

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