The San Diego Padres have been rather quiet this offseason since trading Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the New York Yankees. While the return of Micheal King and Drew Thorpe is likely to bolster the Friars rotation, both in the short and long term, this year's roster still has some holes.
AJ Preller has proven time and time again that Padres fans should expect the unexpected. But with just a few days remaining before the Friars head to Peoria for spring training, the clock is ticking.
Still, it's not too late to make some 11th-hour free agent signings or pull off another offseason trade. What's left in the tank for Preller and the front office to follow the Wandy Peralta signing?
3 moves the Padres can still make before spring training
The Padres can sign Joey Votto to a one-year deal
The Padres need to invest in a left-handed power hitter. While Joey Votto, at 40 years old, is past his prime, the former NL MVP still has enough left in the tank to give the Friars some pop from the left side of the plate.
Without Soto and Grisham, the Padres have lost two left-handed bats from last year's lineup. Throw in the fact that Matt Carpenter re-signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, and you can see why there's a cry from the Friar faithful to bring in some lefty power.
Votto's $20 million club option was not picked up by the Cincinnati Reds earlier this offseason, and the six-time All-Star has yet to find a new team. Votto was limited last season following shoulder surgery in 2022, but now fully recovered, perhaps the veteran could bring some part-time power to the Padres lineup in 2024.
Votto had a renaissance season in 2021 with 36 big flies and 99 RBI before struggling through an injury-plagued campaign in 2022. He was replaced by the Reds' youth movement in 2023 with the team going with players like Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer at first base.
Votto is a tireless worker who will be out to prove that he can still perform at the highest level. He received a $7 million buyout from the Reds earlier this offseason, so an incentive-laden deal and the promise of playing time might be enough to lure the future Hall of Famer to San Diego.