For the San Diego Padres, the writing on the wall on how to improve for 2024 is pretty clear.
At least it's pretty clear if you look at Baseball-Reference's WAR statistics for every team last season and see exactly where the San Diego Padres fell short of their goals in 2024.
Here, we'll look at three areas that should be a focus for the Padres this offseason as they look to strengthen some of their weaknesses from 2023. We'll use last year's combined bWAR numbers as a guide.
San Diego Padres area to fix in 2023: The bullpen
Certainly it seems like there will be a rebuild in the back end with Josh Hader very likely not returning in 2024. Whoever slides into the closer's role in Hader's place will be one of the decisions that Bob Melvin and crew will likely face in spring training.
However, there will need to be more moves than that this offseason for the Padres when it comes to the bullpen. Last year, San Diego's bullpen finished with a collective minus-2.8 bWAR, placing the Padres 22nd in that category out of MLB's 30 teams.
With the Padres finishing 9-23 in one-run games in 2023, a focus has to be on the bullpen in the offseason. Certainly the offense could have done its part to lower that number, but San Diego's relievers also have to be able to give the offense a chance to have a comeback without the other team continuing to put up runs. Look for some new relief arms coming to San Diego in 2024.