3. Xander Bogaerts
The big catch last winter for Preller was swooping in at the last second and signing shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency from the Red Sox. An 11-year, $280 million contract and commitment to the former World Series champion and Gold Glove winner was a big addition.
Were his numbers down from what they were in Boston? Yes, but he played solid defense and came up with some clutch hits for manager Bob Melvin. He slashed .285/.350/.440 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI. He was moved up and down the lineup, but at the end of the season, he was swinging a good bat.
After signing Bogaerts, the Padres were forced to shuffle around positions and now heading into next season, they might be asking the 31-year-old to do the same. Will it be successful? That remains to be seen, but being the true professional he is, if a move is made, it shouldn't affect him in the field or at the plate.
Ha-Seong Kim had a very good season and was rewarded as a finalist at second base and as a utility infielder, while outfielder Fernando Tatis, Jr. is another one for right field. Yes, the 2023 season will go down as a big disappointment for the Padres, but believe it or, they did have some bright spots.