2. Blake Snell
Yes, I know, I'm not breaking any news here. However, just sit back and think for a minute where the 2023 season really could have gone if Snell wasn't the pitcher he was. Seriously, the Padres would have been eliminated from postseason contention long before they were and the trade deadline would have had a different look to it.
The National League Cy Young favorite pitched much better than his stats show. There were many starts where the offense didn't help him out and he had to be nearly perfect on a lot of nights. Snell finished 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA in 32 starts and 180 innings pitched with 234 strikeouts.
Losing him for next season in free agency will be a huge blow and all signs are pointing to that happening. Earlier this season, I wrote that Snell and closer Josh Hader were both pricing themselves out of Southern California and that is going to end up being the case. With a huge payroll now, Preller is finding it tough to fit just one of them under for 2024, never mind both.
Snell is going to get his payday in free agency and it's going to be an earned one. There were a lot of eyes on the Padres this season and everone saw how well he pitched and was the biggest bright spot on the mound for San Diego.