It was reported Wednesday that the San Diego Padres signed left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta to a bizarre four-year deal with several opt outs. While the contract itself may be odd, the pitcher is quite good.
Over the past three seasons, most of which came as a member of the New York Yankees, Peralta owns an 2.96 ERA and an a 142 ERA+. The 4.01 FIP during that same timeframe is a bit concerning, but signing a pitcher who was being sought by several other GMs should be seen as a win. Peralta joins fellow relievers Woo-Suk Go and Yuki Matsui as San Diego's biggest free agent signings to date.
And while the old adage is true -- you can never enough pitching -- it might behoove the Padres to sign at least one outfielder. Has Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller forgotten that he traded away two-thirds of the outfield when he shipped Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the Bronx?
The Padres have spent money on pitching, but still have holes on the roster
Not only did Preller trade Soto and Grisham, but every asset he received in return will be part of the Padres' battery. Kyle Higashioka was on the only position player sent back to San Diego, and he plays catcher. The other four players involved in the deal were all pitchers.
While the trade itself offers plenty of upside for the Friars down the road, there are still holes on the current roster that need to be addressed. The latest rumors also focus on pitching, as the Padres are said to be targeting free agent starter Michael Lorenzen.
While San Diego certainly needs another arm to bolster the starting rotation, it might behoove Preller to invest some cash into at least one additional outfielder. At the moment, there are only two on the Padres 40-man roster.
The Padres needs to sign or trade for an outfielder. What's AJ Preller have in mind?
San Diego has several outfielders who've signed minor-league contracts with invites to spring training, but none of those players are difference makers and should be considered little more than injury replacements.
Signing Peralta, on its own merits, isn't the issue. After losing Josh Hader and Nick Martinez, Preller has done a good job of restocking the bullpen. But if the Friars enter the season with the same roster they have right now, that bullpen won't have a lead to protect late in games.
The Padres cannot afford to leave this void on the team any longer. Whether it's a free agent signing or a trade, San Diego needs to stop chasing relievers and find a player or two that can line up alonside Fernando Tatis Jr. on the outfield grass.