3 AJ Preller decisions that could seal his fate with Padres after 2024

2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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No outfielders after Juan Soto trade

The Padres need to acquire a right-handed hitting outfielder for a potential LF platoon role. The outfield depth on the 40-man roster is way too thin to fill this opening.

Preller brought left-handed hitter Jurickson Profar back to the Padres on a one-year deal. He has become the franchise’s “good luck” charm, but Profar has an opportunity to become more than a stopgap option in left field this season.

He broke in as an infielder, but has developed into a serviceable outfielder. Though he can get lax with his defensive skills, it seems Profar works best in a platoon situation. He's a streaky hitter who gets in trouble at the plate by extending the strike zone.

Ideally, Preller would like to acquire a younger right-handed hitting outfielder who has shown to hit for average and power in the minors. Jo Adell, a possible trade candidate, gives the Padres the complete package in a left-field platoon. Preller would not need to sacrifice defense, as Adell’s calling card is his glove, but he has struggled with his bat. In 178 major league games, Adell has batted .214 with 18 home runs. He must show better production at the plate to become a viable outfield option in 2024.

Preller must exhibit patience when searching for an outfield option on either market, though. He may need to deal one of his talented minor-league pitchers to acquire the right player in any potential trade. The next 10 days will be interesting as the Friars should be active before heading to Korea.

The lone component that keeps Preller employed is a winning season. His goal is still the same: building a roster for the playoffs. It is all about putting a quality product on the field.

The Padres have an incomplete roster, but Preller has time to change that narrative. Another disappointing season will probably seal his fate in San Diego, so he'll have to act fast.