AJ Preller hints more big roster changes are coming for Padres

The notoriously aggressive Padres GM may still pounce before the 2024 season.
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres' offseason has been a challenging one to be sure. Given the death of their owner and the financial ramifications of their underwhelming 2023 season, the Padres were forced to part ways with Juan Soto and let key players like Blake Snell (probably) and Josh Hader leave in free agency.

Losing that amount of talent from a team that many thought was destined for greatness is never going to feel good.

However, there's a lot of optimism in Padres camp right now. They still have some absolute studs on the roster and everyone seems to be impressed so far with how new additions Yuki Matsui and Woo Suk Go look, on top of the work that many of San Diego's young guys put in this offseason. While the Padres no longer have the look of a "super team," there is a lot to like with this squad.

General manager AJ Preller seems to agree. Preller spoke with the media this week and discussed how difficult the 2023 season and this offseason has been, his thoughts on free agency, and how he views the Padres' current group. However, the money moment came when he was asked about San Diego's plans before the 2024 season where he said, "The team that starts camp here in the next couple days, it's not going to be the team that, obviously, we finish with."

Expect the Padres to make at least one more splash before the start of the 2024 season

In the same interview, Preller mentioned the need for more starting pitching and outfield help as two areas he would like to address. Preller acknowledged that he has some things in the fire when it comes to free agent signings and trades, but nothing has gotten to the finish line just yet. The Padres have been flirting with the idea of a trade with the Red Sox to add Jarren Duran, so that at least still seems like a possibility given Preller's comments.

Should Padres fans expect the team to re-sign Snell or make a play for Jordan Montgomery before the start of the season? No, they shouldn't. The Padres' financial reality hasn't changed since the beginning of the offseason. It's still far more likely that guys like Hyun Jin Ryu, Michael Lorenzen, or even Eric Lauer are going to be the types in play for the rotation.

Still, it's nice to hear that Preller is remaining active even with spring training getting started. While some of his moves haven't worked out previously, Preller remains relentless in his pursuit of roster upgrades, which could bode well for the Padres' chances of putting up a surprisingly good 2024 season.

The proof is in the pudding, though, so let's see what sort of magic Preller can conjure in the coming days and weeks.

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