3) What will the Padres do at the DH spot?
The DH position was a huge weakness for this Padres team in 2023. Whether it was Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz, Ji Man Choi, or Garrett Cooper, nothing seemed to go right. They were 15th with a 105 WRC+, but a lot of that has to do with Manny Machado playing in 33 games at DH. That (hopefully) won't happen in 2024, making it crucial that the team makes a real upgrade at that position.
Carpenter remains under contract, and the only role he can feasibly play would be as the left-handed hitting DH to face right-handed pitching. Hoping for a bounceback isn't the worst plan ever, but it's also not one that's fixated on winning in 2024 would do. It feels like the chances Carpenter has a random bounceback are slim.
Shohei Ohtani is the obvious DH dream, but chances are he's not coming here. It would be really nice to steal J.D. Martinez from the Dodgers, but who knows if they can afford him. Even if they sign a guy like Justin Turner or Teoscar Hernandez to be the DH, that would be huge. Adding more length to this lineup is important, and it should start with the DH spot.