1 trade candidate from every AL East team that the Padres should consider
Baltimore Orioles: Anthony Santander
It might be odd to see the Orioles trade one of their best hitters this offseason, but Anthony Santander is entering his final year of team control and is projected to make around $14 million in 2024. The Orioles have plenty of prospects including Colton Cowser who can replace him in the outfield, and can look to add more assets for a guy they will likely let walk in free agency with him being out of their price range. Santander could fit in the corner outfield, DH, or even at first base for San Diego.
Boston Red Sox: Alex Verdugo
Alex Verdugo is another guy that would essentially be a Juan Soto replacement. He's nowhere near as good as Soto but could be in a trade that sends Soto to Boston, or can simply slide in to play left field if Soto departs. He'd have one year to prove himself before the Padres have to decide if they want to keep him around long-term or not. At least he'd have extra motivation to defeat his former team, the Dodgers.
New York Yankees: Clarke Schmidt
Clarke Schmidt could find himself on the outside looking in when it comes to being a part of the Yankees rotation if they add a starter like Yoshinobu Yamamoto in free agency. Schmidt made 32 starts for New York this past season and could slot into the back end of San Diego's rotation. He also has options, making him a guy they could use in a variety of roles both in the majors and minors.
Tampa Bay Rays: Tyler Glasnow
The Tampa Bay Rays could look to move the oft-injured Glasnow, and the fact that this right-hander never seems to be healthy for a full season could lower his price to the point where the Padres won't have to touch their top prospects. When healthy, Glasnow is an ace. San Diego would just have to make sure they have enough there to cover for if he were to miss time.
Toronto Blue Jays: Alek Manoah
Alek Manoah was an AL Cy Young finalist in 2022 but could find his way out of Toronto this offseason after how bad he was on the mound. Manoah's struggles caused him to get sent down multiple times, and puts him as a guy who has to re-earn his spot on the Jays. Instead of hoping Manoah turns it around, the Jays could look to trade him. With his value as low as it'd be, Preller would have to at least consider it.