3) Frankie Montas
Both Stroman and Giolito will require multiple years on their contracts at fairly expensive AAVs. A.J. Preller could decide that instead or even in addition to signing one of those guys, he's interested in finding a bargain. If the Padres want to go bargain hunting, Frankie Montas makes a lot of sense.
Like Giolito, Montas was one of the better pitchers in the American League not too long ago. He finished sixth in the AL Cy Young balloting in 2021 after posting a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts and 187 innings pitched. He was pitching even better in 2022, putting up a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts for Oakland before being traded at the deadline to the Yankees.
His experience in New York did not go as planned. He struggled down the stretch with the Bronx Bombers, and then made just one appearance this past season. He missed most of the campaign with a shoulder injury. As concerning as that might be, Montas' appearance came in Game 161 so he's fully healthy and should be ready to join a starting rotation in 2024.
At just 30 years old and looking for a bounceback, a Montas deal could turn out to be a bargain for the Padres. The right-hander will be looking to boost his value, and doing so at pitcher-friendly Petco Park wouldn't be a bad idea at all. The Padres adding him to the back of their rotation with his upside should be a no-brainer.