Padres' offseason maneuvering paid off in monstrous manner with Jurickson Profar

Was signing Jurickson Profar the Padres' best move this offseason?
San Diego Padres outfielder Jurickson Profar
San Diego Padres outfielder Jurickson Profar / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres offseason was an interesting one, to say the least. Padres President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller was wheeling and dealing all winter.

The Friars opened up the offseason with a blockbuster trade that sent Juan Soto to the New York Yankees. San Diego then improved its starting rotation with the acquisition of Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease. More recently, Luis Arráez joined the party, and has been one of the Padres' best hitters.

But amid all the high-level transactions with names like Soto, Cease, and Arráez, the most underrated move that Preller may have made this year was signing Jurickson Profar to a one-year deal shortly before the 2024 season began.

Padres' unrelenting transactions paid off in monstrous manner with Jurickson Profar

While it may be a stretch to call the addition of Profar the best move this year, it's certainly the biggest bargain. The Padres signed Profar, almost as an afterthought this past winter, to a one-year, $1 million contract. Profar, who was with the Padres for just 14 games last season after spending the majority of the year with the Colorado Rockies, hit .242/.321/.368 in 2023.

But this season, Profar has taken his power to the next level. The 31-year-old has posted a .330/.424/.498 slash line with eight home runs and 37 RBI. The .498 slugging percentage is the highest of Profar's career since 2018 with the Texas Rangers. That year, Profar hit .254/.335/.458 with 20 round-trippers.

Profar is on pace to set a career-high 22 homers this season while also racking up 96 RBI. Profar had a 12-game hit streak earlier in the year, and has continued his surge in May. According to Baseball Savant, Profar ranks in the 94th percentile in expected batting average, which is a huge change from 2023 when he was near the bottom-third of the league. The outfielder is making solid contact, taking his walks, and not striking out. That's been his recipe for success this season.

Profar can be a forgotten man on a Padres roster that includes Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and Fernando Tatis Jr., but there's no denying that he's been one of the best on this year's team. Profar ranks first among all Padres players this season in bWAR. Maybe he's not that irrelevant after all, huh, Will Smith?

More San Diego Padres News from Friars on Base