The San Diego Padres find themselves in a difficult position following an extremely disappointing 82-80 season. The Padres have a ton of players locked in on long-term deals which is great, but also limits their flexibility quite a bit.
A.J. Preller hopes his guys bounce back in 2024, but there's also work that has to be done to ensure the roster is ready to compete. The core is in tact, but the roster is nowhere close to deep enough.
These three moves might not be the most realistic when it comes to setting the Padres up to win in 2024 and beyond, but would be a dream come true.
1) Extending Juan Soto should be a priority for the Padres
Money is an issue. The Padres are looking to cut payroll after splurging a ton in recent years, and that makes keeping Juan Soto around a major issue. Despite that obvious hurdle, San Diego is hoping to keep Soto around for the 2024 season and maybe get him extended.
Soto's agent, Scott Boras, revealed that the Padres showed him their plan for next season and that plan includes Juan Soto. This is good news for the Friar Faithful as Soto is obviously the team's best position player. The problem is, he's entering the final year of his deal and will certainly search for one of, if not the largest contract in MLB history in the 2024 offseason.
Keeping Soto around should be San Diego's priority. What they need to do is ask him point blank what it would take to get him to extend long-term. If there's a number, reach it and go from there. If there isn't trading Soto needs to be on the table. He's too good of a player for the Padres to risk losing for nothing.
In this dream scenario, Soto gives them a number and the Padres find a way to keep their best player in brown and gold for a very long time. If that means parting with a different expensive player on the roster, so be it. This team becomes less of a threat if Soto isn't a part of it.