The San Diego Padres are in crisis mode heading into the 2023 offseason. The team won just 82 games this past season, missing the playoffs after so much promise leading up to the 2023 campaign. The Padres have made several monstrous financial commitments which have seemed to catch up to the team as they look to cut payroll this offseason.
Cutting payroll and staying competitive is a challenge A.J. Preller is going to have to accept and hopefully figure out. I have no idea how he'll do it, but that's the task in front of him.
Cutting cost almost certainly means letting go of several high-priced free agents the Padres have on their plate this offseason. One team San Diego would hate to see their players go to is the division rival Dodgers, but with Los Angeles failing in the postseason once again, there's a good chance this is their offseason to go crazy.
We hope these three players don't find their way to Los Angeles this offseason, but with the Dodgers having a lot of money to spend and obvious needs that would be filled from these three players, it's impossible to not make the connection.
1) Blake Snell
The Padres might've missed the playoffs, but the Dodgers won the division and 100 games only to get swept in embarrassing fashion by the 84-win Diamondbacks. Obviously Padres fans have no room to talk with their team missing the playoffs, but these two bitter rivals won the exact same amount of postseason games in 2023.
The Dodgers were obviously outclassed by Arizona, but the biggest issue they had was their starting rotation. Arizona just destroyed Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller, and Lance Lynn, scoring 13 runs in just 4.2 innings pitched against those arms. That's 13 runs for Arizona and 14 outs recorded for Dodgers starters.
Obviously the Dodgers were hampered with injuries this season, but the rotation is a major question heading into 2024 as well. They do have Bobby Miller under control and he was good in the regular season, but surrounding him are a bunch of question marks. Can Walker Buehler stay healthy? Can any from the group of Emmet Sheehan, Ryan Pepiot, and Michael Grove step up? Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are out, and Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Lance Lynn are all free agents.
Blake Snell won't be their top target, but if the Dodgers miss out on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, there's a good chance they go after the soon-to-be NL Cy Young Award winner. San Diego would prefer that didn't happen.