Padres' latest blow-ups magnify offseason bullpen missteps in free agency

San Diego's bullpen has been good despite a questionable return on their offseason investments.
Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres
Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

On the whole, the San Diego Padres' bullpen has been a bright spot for the team in 2024. They rank in the top 10 in all of baseball in fWAR, FIP, and ground ball rate, and they have gotten some tremendous performances out of Adrian Morejon, the very surprisingly awesome Jeremiah Estrada, and Robert Suarez.

Given that San Diego lost Josh Hader over the offseason, they absolutely needed those guys to step up and they did. However, the Padres' loss to the Royals on Sunday did highlight the fact that while some of the Padres' internal options have stepped up in a big way, many of their offseason moves to address the bullpen (again, outside of Estrada) have very much not.

Padres' offseason bullpen moves are not looking great right now

San Diego knew that they were going to have to overhaul their bullpen and they certainly brought in a lot of guys. Given the volatility we see in relievers, it was a given that SOME of them weren't going to work out. However, the Padres seemingly missed a lot more often than they hit this offseason, and that is creating some real bullpen depth problems right now.

Wandy Peralta was one of the Padres' biggest moves to reinforce the the bullpen and while his 2.66 ERA looks nice on paper, he isn't missing bats and is giving up a lot of hard contact. That points to the Regression Monster coming to claim him soon -- though, to be fair, so did his 2023 stats, and it still hasn't happened yet. Yuki Matsui was the one who got victimized by the Royals over the weekend and he has been very inconsistent since he signed with the Padres out of Japan.

The most egregious example here is the Padres' signing of Woo-Suk Go. Not only did the Padres not even carry him on their Opening Day roster after adding him to a decent amount of fanfare, but they shipped him to the Marlins in the Luis Arraez trade ... who promptly DFA'd Go a few weeks later due to his inability to miss bats.

Again, this may not seem like a problem right now, as San Diego is hanging around thanks to their top bullpen arms getting things done. However, as the season progresses, the Padres are going to need to preserve those guys, and that means some of these offseason acquisitions who have been much more iffy are going to need to get their acts together.

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