3 non-roster invitees who could steal Opening Day roster spots for the Padres

Will Padres fans see some roster shakeups when the team leaves Arizona?

Cleveland Guardians left fielder Oscar Mercado (35) catches a fly ball
Cleveland Guardians left fielder Oscar Mercado (35) catches a fly ball / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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The San Diego Padres' roster is incomplete. While A.J. Preller was able to rebuild parts of the roster by trading away Juan Soto earlier this offseason, there are several holes remaining.

Preller has hinted at potential trades on the horizon and it sounds as if the Padres still have some payroll flexibility. There have been whispers that the Friars could still be in the market for a starting pitcher, and, of course, the outfield could use some attention.

But one way to fill in those gaps is to allow the process to play out in spring training, and promote one or two of the many non-roster invitees to the active roster. San Diego has a number of players who'll be looking to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster this spring, but which three players will stand out?

3 non-roster invitees who could steal Opening Day roster spots for the Padres

Matt Festa, RHP

There's always at least one pitcher who makes an impression during spring training, and the coaching staff can't help but bring him aboard the Opening Day roster. Last year, it was Domingo Tapia. Will Matt Festa be that guy this year? The Padres signed Festa to a minor-league deal earlier this offseason and invited him to spring training.

A seventh-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, Festa has major league experience. Between 2018-2023, Festa has made 89 appearances and owns a respectable 4.32 ERA. Last season, Festa made eight appearances for the Mariners and struck out over 30% of the batters he faced. Unfortunately, he walked almost as many.

Opponents in the minor leagues have had a tough time racking up base hits off Festa over the last couple of years. The opposition hit just .120 off the right-hander for Seattle's Triple-A affiliate last season. The year prior, though in a small sample size, opposing batters managed just a .079 batting average.

Festa has the potential to strike out the side, but he could also walk the bases loaded on 12 pitches. That type of volatility isn't something that most GMs and managers crave, but if he holds his own during Cactus League play this spring, it could be enough to land Festa a spot on the Padres Opening Day roster.