Speaking of cheap starting pitchers, it really feels like the Padres should have been more in on Erick Fedde who is making his return to MLB with the White Sox after signing a two year, $15 million deal at the beginning of December.
On the surface, it is easy to understand why Fedde may have flown under the radar of most teams. After a fairly unremarkable stint with the Nationals from 2017-2022 where he posted a 5.41 ERA across 102 appearances, Fedde decided to play in Korea in 2023 where he posted a 2.00 ERA with 209 strikeouts against just 35 walks in 180.1 innings of work on his way to being named the league's most valuable player.
A certain amount of skepticism about Fedde's numbers in the KBO is certainly warranted as the level of play there isn't anywhere near what it is in MLB. However, that hasn't stopped San Diego in the past from signing players out of Korea as both Ha-Seong Kim and the newly signed Woo Suk Go both played in the KBO before coming over to the states. How did the Padres let the White Sox of all teams pick their pocket and snag Korea's best starter right out from under them?
It is certainly possible that the Padres were well aware of Fedde's performance over in Korea and they just didn't believe that he was any different from the guy that had washed out of the majors the year before. Fedde will play the entire 2024 season at 31 years old and if San Diego believes that he is still a 5ish ERA guy that struggles to throw strikes, so be it. That said, they are going to be look pretty silly if Fedde has a good season at such a reasonable price tag given their history with signing players out of the KBO.