3 Padres players we'll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we will wish stayed

Not all of the Padres' losses this offseason are going to hurt as much as you would think.

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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Trading away Juan Soto effectively ended the Padres' window of contention...for now

For San Diego, the package that the Padres got for one year of Juan Soto has a lot of potential, and this is not a knock on those guys. They reinforced their young pitching depth significantly and got some catching depth in the form of Kyle Higashioka from the Yankees. However, moving the best pure hitter in baseball -- even for one year -- at a position where the Padres don't have a clear replacement is devastating on multiple levels.

Not only does trading Soto away deal a massive blow to the Padres' lineup, but it represents the end of an era. Gone are the days of AJ Preller going all out to make the Padres a World Series contender at virtually any cost. There are some smart people in the Padres organization, which gives some hope that they can build a sustainable and successful team down the road, but trading away Soto is going to go down as the beginning of the end of a really fun time for San Diego fans, and that is truly sad.

San Diego letting Michael Wacha walk may not be as bad as it looked

While there are bigger names that the Padres lost this offseason, losing Michael Wacha is no small loss. Wacha joined the Padres at a career crossroads and really came up big for them with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts in 2023. He was so good, in fact, that the Royals rewarded Wacha with a $32 million deal over two years during the offseason.

That is a pretty reasonable deal at first glance, but there are some problems here. First, Wacha is not an innings eater, which means that keeping him around would have put a strain on the San Diego bullpen, and it is likely that he will need to be skipped at times during the season to rest. Second, while his ERA the last couple of years has been good, his FIP of 4.01 over the past two seasons seems to indicate a certain amount of good fortune for him. When you combine that with a guy that doesn't really have power stuff or miss a ton of bats, the Padres may have dodged one here, and could be better off exploring rotation options with more upside.

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