3 Atlanta Braves players who could be on the San Diego Padres radar during free agency

With the Atlanta Braves out of the postseason, it's a good chance to see which members of the NL East champions could be a fit in San Diego

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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2) Pierce Johnson

Morton is a familiar opponent for Padres fans, but Pierce Johnson is a player the Friar Faithful has rooted for in the past. The right-hander signed a two-year deal with a club option entering the 2020 season and, for the first two years of that deal, he had a 3.09 ERA in 87 appearances and 78.2 innings pitched. He was consistently reliable in the middle innings for those two seasons, but injury caught up to him in 2022 where he was limited to just 15 appearances.

Johnson signed a one-year deal to go to Colorado this past offseason and opened the year as their closer, but some major struggles, particularly at Coors Field, derailed the first half of the season. Johnson had a 6.93 ERA in 26 Coors Field appearances this season, and that's including the scoreless inning he threw there as a member of the Braves.

After he was able to get away from Coors, Johnson completely turned his season around. He allowed just two runs in 23.2 innings pitched, striking out 32 batters compared to just five walks. His team obviously failed in the postseason, but Johnson delivered 2.2 scoreless innings accross three outings.

Bringing Johnson back to San Diego for a year or two makes all the sense in the world. He proved he's still a quality pitcher when healthy, as long as he avoids Coors Field.