2) Letting Brandon Drury walk for the contract he got was a foolish decision
Brandon Drury did struggle after the Padres acquired him from the Reds at the deadline last season. He was brought in to provide another big bat for the middle of the order, but had just a .724 OPS with the team after putting up an All-Star caliber first half in Cincinnati. I get the team not wanting to bring him back partially due to his struggles, but the deal he signed to go to the Angels was for two years and just $17 million.
I know Drury wanted to be an Angel as that was the team he grew up for, but you'd think if San Diego offered more money or added on a third year for the 31-year-old Drury, they might've been able to snag him at a very reasonable price. Drury was back in All-Star form for the Angels in 2023 as he put up an .803 OPS this season.
Drury would've provided the Padres some much-needed depth and versatility in the infield. He could've played third base when Manny Machado was out, could've played first base when Jake Cronenworth was out, and could've DH'd when everyone was healthy.
Drury signed for just $5 million more than Matt Carpenter who is six years older and hadn't been good in a full season in a half decade. It didn't look great to let him go for so cheap at the time, and looks even worse after the season is over.