With the Texas Rangers putting the finishing touches on the inaugural World Series title on Wednesday night, San Diego Padres fans can officially turn their attention to 2024.
It wasn't long after the confetti stopped falling inside Chase Field that writers were already pondering next season and who would be hoisting the World Series trophy next November. Of course, San Diego fans would love to see the franchise follow the example set by the Rangers this season, defying odds to get the team off the infamous "never won a World Series" list. But what are the chances that 2024 could be the year? Well, according to the first offseason rankings released by ESPN.com on Thursday morning, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
First offseason rankings land San Diego Padres in favorable spot
In the ESPN article, the Padres are ranked 12th out of MLB's 30 teams on the day after the 2023 World Series concluded. David Schoenfield wraps up his look at the Padres by saying, "I think the Padres will be more competitive in 2024."
That's maybe not the highest bar ever, and certainly these rankings are likely to change dramatically before Opening Day in South Korea next season. Still, there were plenty of reasons why the Padres didn't make the postseason in 2023, and there's hope that those issues (like losing way too many one-run games) can be resolved this winter.
Of course, there are plenty of questions for the Padres to answer as well, including who will be the manager and the fate of Juan Soto as trade rumors swirl around him. But, for now, the Padres land in the upper half of the MLB rankings and after a grueling season and drama-filled offseason already, that feels like a positive, even if the Padres are in the middle of the pack when it comes to the National League West in this article.
In ESPN's rankings, San Diego's division rivals were ranked seventh (Los Angeles Dodgers), 11th (Arizona Diamondbacks), 24th (San Francisco Giants) and 29th (Colorado Rockies).